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Big Bang, Agile or a Mix of Both?

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

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: