Big Bang, Agile or a Mix of Both?

State CIOs argue there’s a time and a place to embrace iterative development.

by , / May 5, 2016
Government Technology

BALTIMORE — While some in government point to instances where major system deployments are best completed using traditional waterfall development practices, the approach has its critics. Technology deemed suitable at a project’s outset can be archaic by the time roll-out nears. Emphasis on meeting a final delivery deadline for a massive project can limit time and attention on needed course corrections along the way, not to mention encourage a disconnect between the deployment team and the line of business the project was intended to serve.

At the NASCIO Midyear Conference this week, we talked to several CIOs whose agencies are experimenting with agile development methods not only at the department level, but for enterprise-wide projects as well.

In the state of Washington, CIO Michael Cockrill says agile development is cropping up all over the state, but not in the way you might think:


And in Delaware, CIO James Collins says his state is using agile development techniques to release new services more quickly, including an upgrade to the state’s one-stop portal for businesses:


In Missouri's transition to agile, CIO Rich Kliethermes notes the importance of both methodology and mindset:


And in Ohio, CIO Stu Davis says agile software development is improving engagement between IT staff and business users, producing better solutions and services:

Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.

Steve Towns

Steve Towns is the former editor of Government Technology, and former executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government TechnologyPublic CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market. Steve now serves as the Deputy Chief Content Officer for e.Republic.