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Agile Gov Playbook: Dissecting the New White House TechFAR Handbook

Aaron Pava
October 21, 2014

Agile Gov Playbook: Dissecting the New White House TechFAR Handbook

The White House recently created a new U.S Digital Services group to deliver “customer-focused government through smarter IT.”

As part of this announcement the Office of Management and Budget released the “Digital Services Playbook” and an accompanying “TechFAR Handbook for Procuring Digital Services Using Agile Processes” to make it easier for agencies to procure and implement agile.

In this presentation given at Agile DC 2014, we review the history of Agile procurement, the relevant Digital Services Playbook "plays," the TechFAR handbook objectives, key components and recommendations for getting agile adopted in your agency.

Aaron Pava

October 21, 2014
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  1. “I want us to ask ourselves
    every day, how are we using
    technology to make a real
    difference in people’s lives.”
    President Barack Obama

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  2. Agile  Gov  Playbook  
    Dissecting  the  New    
    White  House    
    TechFAR  Handbook
    Aaron  Pava  
    @pava

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  3. AARON PAVA
    @ CIVICACTIONS
    @ PAVA

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  4. View Slide

  5. 2008

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  7. March  2009
    Vivek  Kundra  
    First  US  CIO

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  8. April  2009
    Aneesh  Chopra  
    First  US  CTO

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  9. March  2010
    President  Obama  signs  the  
    Affordable  Care  Act  into  law.  

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  10. July  2010
    Healthcare.gov  launches!  

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  11. November  2010
    OMB  announces    
    structural  changes  to    
    agency  IT  management  and  
    acquisition

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  12. November  2010
    80  Billion  worth  of  IT

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  13. November  2010
    80  Billion  worth  of  IT  
    (Annually)

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  14. November  2010
    “…budgets  and  acquisitions  
    should  better  align  with  the  
    rapid  technology  cycle"

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  15. December  2010
    25  Point  Implementation  Plan  
    to  Reform  Federal  Information  
    Technology  Management

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  16. “Evidence shows that modular
    development leads to increased
    success and reduced risk.”
    25 Point Implementation Plan

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  17. April  2011
    Executive  Order  13571  
    Streamlining  Service  Delivery  
    and  Improving  Customer  
    Service  

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  18. July  2011
    Executive  Order  13576  
    Delivering  an  Efficient,  Effective,  
    and  Accountable  Government  

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  19. May  2012
    Building  a  21st  Century    
    Digital  Government  
     12-­‐month  Roadmap  

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  20. August  2013

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  21. Image Credit: Forbes

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  22. March  2014
     GSA  launches  18F  to    
    simplify  the  government's  
    digital  services  

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  23. August 2014

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  24. August  2014
    Obama  launches  the  
    U.S.  Digital  Service

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  25. “Too often, the lack of guidance encouraging
    agency use of innovative contracting practices
    results in narrow and overly rigid interpretations
    of federal acquisition rules that complicate the
    government's ability to adopt smarter ways of
    acquiring high-quality digital services.”
    Todd Park, Steve VanRoekel & Beth Cobert

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  26. Digital Services Playbook

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  27. Digital Services Playbook

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  28. TechFAR

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  29. TechFAR
    &
    &
    Digital Services Playbook

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  30. 13  Plays
    1. Understand  what  people  need  
    2. Address  the  whole  experience,  from  start  to  finish  
    3. Make  it  simple  and  intuitive  
    4. Build  the  service  using  agile  and  iterative  practices  
    5. Structure  budgets  and  contracts  to  support  delivery  
    6. Assign  one  leader  and  hold  that  person  accountable  
    7. Bring  in  experienced  teams  
    8. Choose  a  modern  technology  stack  
    9. Deploy  in  a  flexible  hosting  environment  
    10. Automate  testing  and  deployments  
    11. Manage  security  and  privacy  through  reusable  processes    
    12. Use  data  to  drive  decisions  
    13. Default  to  open

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  31. Playbook  &  TechFAR
    Yes,  the  White  House  is  now  
    explicitly  authorizing  the    
    use  of  Agile!

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  32. Play  4:  Agile
    Build  the  service  using    
    agile  and  iterative  practices

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  33. ❖ Ship  a  functioning  MVP  
    ❖ Run  usability  tests  frequently  
    ❖ Close  communication;  daily  stand-­‐ups  
    ❖ Keep  delivery  teams  small  and  focused  
    ❖ Release  features  and  improvements  

    multiple  times  each  month  
    ❖ Create  a  prioritized  feature  backlog
    Play  4:  Agile

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  34. Play  5
    Structure    
    budgets  and  contracts    
    to  support  delivery

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  35. ❖ Budget  research,  discovery,  &  prototyping  
    ❖ Contract  requests  frequent  deliverables  
    ❖ Contract  allows  delivery  team  flexibility  to  
    adjust  feature  prioritization  as  project  evolves  
    ❖ Create  a  prioritized  feature  backlog
    Play  5:  Contracts

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  36. “Following agile methodologies is a
    proven best practice for building
    digital services, and will increase
    our ability to build services that
    effectively meet user needs.”
    Digital Services Playbook

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  37. ❖ IDIQ  
    ❖ Fixed-­‐price  model    
    ❖ Time-­‐and-­‐materials  (T&M)  
    ❖ Labor-­‐Hour
    Types  of  Agile  Contracts

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  38. Requirements
    Agile  software  development    
    can  meet  the  requirements    
    of    FAR  15.203  by    
    identifying  a  Product  Vision

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  39. Product  Vision
    ❖ For  (target  customer)  
    ❖ Who  (statement  of  the  need  or  opportunity)    
    ❖ The  (product  name)  is  a  (product  category)    
    ❖ That  (key  benefit,  compelling  reason  to  buy)  
    ❖ Unlike  (primary  competitive  alternative)  
    ❖ Our  product  (statement  of  primary  
    differentiation)

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  40. ❖ Use  presentations  as  part  of  the  technical  
    evaluation    
    ❖ Integrate  agile  into  the  technical  factors  in  the  
    RFQ    
    ❖ Request  Agile  software  development-­‐specific  
    information  from  offerers    
    ❖ Evaluate  demonstrated  experience  with  agile  
    Tips  for  Agile  Solicitation

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  41. “We've reviewed and fully support the materials
    in the Digital Services Playbook and TechFAR, it
    will assist all IT service acquisition
    stakeholders, notably program managers and
    contracting professionals as the documents
    address both procurement and implementation.”
    Mark Naggar, Procurement Advisor DHHS

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  42. “Bottom line: federal CIOs should follow the
    playbook. These 13 digital plays focusing on
    customer experience, leadership, DevOps and
    data analytics provide a solid foundation for
    addressing the challenges of delivering
    digital services.”
    Forrester Research

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  43. Reference  Links
    !
    U.S.  Digital  Services  Playbook  
    https://playbook.cio.gov  
    !
    TechFAR  Handbook  
    https://playbook.cio.gov/techfar/  
    !
    25  Point  Implementation  Plan  to  Reform  Federal  IT  Management    
    https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/digital-­‐strategy/25-­‐
    point-­‐implementation-­‐plan-­‐to-­‐reform-­‐federal-­‐it.pdf  
    !
    !
    Digital  Government:  Building  a  21st  Century  Platform  to    
    Better  Serve  the  American  People  
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/digitalgov  

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  44. civicactions.com
    Aaron Pava
    @ pava
    @ civicactions

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