Commercial lawyer Susan Atkinson says that agile development is not an evangelical fad ill-suited to government IT. Her comments were prompted by a blog post in which lawyer, Alistair Maughan, said that "Agile simply won't work in the real world of government ICT".
These are some of the points Atkinson makes:
- There is already evidence that agile can fix failed GovIT
- Agile is compatible with fixed price
- It's possible to award agile contracts under EC procurement rules
- The traditional "waterfall" model of managing projects may be the cause of many failures
- Arguably a customer has more remedies under an agile contract than under a traditional one.
- The cases of BSkyB v EDS and DeBeers v Atos do not show that “when Agile projects go wrong, they can go spectacularly wrong” .
- The Government should be applauded for taking the bold step to change its IT strategy to adopt agile. "However, it is inevitable that, like any innovation, such a significant change in strategy will be met with resistance. It will require changes to be made not only on the part of the government, as highlighted by the Institute for Government, but also on the part of suppliers and supporting partners, including the legal profession."