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Agile Gov Playbook: Dissecting the New White House TechFAR Handbook

E166c9f4a132f6609a0cb217194df147?s=47 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
  2. Agile  Gov  Playbook   Dissecting  the  New     White

     House     TechFAR  Handbook Aaron  Pava   @pava

  4. None
  5. 2008

  6. None
  7. March  2009 Vivek  Kundra   First  US  CIO

  8. April  2009 Aneesh  Chopra   First  US  CTO

  9. March  2010 President  Obama  signs  the   Affordable  Care  Act

     into  law.  
  10. July  2010 Healthcare.gov  launches!  

  11. November  2010 OMB  announces     structural  changes  to  

      agency  IT  management  and   acquisition
  12. November  2010 80  Billion  worth  of  IT

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

  14. November  2010 “…budgets  and  acquisitions   should  better  align  with

     the   rapid  technology  cycle"
  15. December  2010 25  Point  Implementation  Plan   to  Reform  Federal

     Information   Technology  Management
  16. “Evidence shows that modular development leads to increased success and

    reduced risk.” 25 Point Implementation Plan
  17. April  2011 Executive  Order  13571   Streamlining  Service  Delivery  

    and  Improving  Customer   Service  
  18. July  2011 Executive  Order  13576   Delivering  an  Efficient,  Effective,

      and  Accountable  Government  
  19. May  2012 Building  a  21st  Century     Digital  Government

       12-­‐month  Roadmap  
  20. August  2013

  21. Image Credit: Forbes

  22. March  2014  GSA  launches  18F  to     simplify  the

     government's   digital  services  
  23. August 2014

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

  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
  26. Digital Services Playbook

  27. Digital Services Playbook

  28. TechFAR

  29. TechFAR & & Digital Services Playbook

  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
  31. Playbook  &  TechFAR Yes,  the  White  House  is  now  

    explicitly  authorizing  the     use  of  Agile!
  32. Play  4:  Agile Build  the  service  using     agile

     and  iterative  practices
  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
  34. Play  5 Structure     budgets  and  contracts    

    to  support  delivery
  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
  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
  37. ❖ IDIQ   ❖ Fixed-­‐price  model     ❖ Time-­‐and-­‐materials

     (T&M)   ❖ Labor-­‐Hour Types  of  Agile  Contracts
  38. Requirements Agile  software  development     can  meet  the  requirements

        of    FAR  15.203  by     identifying  a  Product  Vision
  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)
  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
  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
  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
  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  
  44. civicactions.com Aaron Pava @ pava @ civicactions