Agile Gov Playbook: Dissecting the New White House TechFAR Handbook

The White House recently created a new Government 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 session, we’ll review the TechFAR handbook objectives, key components and recommendations for getting agile adopted in your agency.

 
20 favorite thumb_down thumb_up 5 comments visibility_off  Remove from Watchlist visibility  Add to Watchlist
 

Outline/structure of the Session

  1. Brief History of Government Agile Directives
  2. Agile Acquisition Best Practices
  3. Contract Vehicles and Use of Existing IT Contracts
  4. Pricing Considerations
  5. Use of Competition
  6. Contract Administration
  7. Sample Language for Government Contracts for Agile Software Development Services

Learning Outcome

Government IT teams and managers, will understand the objectives behind the new TechFAR Handbook and practical implementation techniques for procuring and implementing agile within federal government agencies.

Target Audience

Government IT managers and executives, Government procurement officers, Government IT contractors

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

Comments Subscribe to Comments

comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Elizabeth Raley
    By Elizabeth Raley  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi George,

    The proposal got accepted, which is great. I recently discovered I will not be available to come to DC on that date, but I have a collegue, Aaron Pava, who I worked onthe proposal with and he would be very well suited to present this. Can we make the swtich and if so, what do I need to do?

    • George Dinwiddie
      By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hello Elizabeth,  We are sorry to hear that you will not be able to join us.  We are OK with Aaron presenting in your absence.  Please have Aaron forward his Bio, Headshot and contact informatoin to the attention of Phillip Manketo at PIMANKETO@GMAIL.COM asap and we will insure the website is updated to accurately reflect this change.

      Regards,

       

      Phillip Manketo and George Dinwiddie

      on behalf of the organizing members 

  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  2 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Elizabeth... the Organizing Members have completed their review of the proposed sessions.  While we believe you have submitted a compelling proposal that would have interest among conference participants, the session proposal would likely fall BELOW THE LINE for 60 minute presentations.  However, the session proposal would likely be ABOVE THE LINE as a 30 minute presentation.  Would you be open to revising the presentation to fit the 30 minute format or do you believe the proposed session requires the full 60 minutes to provide the value intended?  My thanks in advance for your consideration and response. 

    • Elizabeth Raley
      By Elizabeth Raley  ~  2 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi George,

      30 minutes would be fine.

      Thank you,

      Elizabeth


  • Linda Cook
    Linda Cook
    Doug Depew
    Doug Depew
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    Trying to figure out Agile Release Planning?  We've done it and we've done it well.  Twelve teams - done! Twenty teams - done! Forty teams - done!  If your organiztion needs to tackle the enterprise release planning beast, you should attend this session.  Whether you are struggling with planning a large agile release planning event or simply trying to figure out how to improve your current agile release planning events, this session will provide nuggets of learning from planning teams with hundreds of people spread around the globe.  Many organizations have tried to conduct enterprise agile release planning and gave up because they could not overcome some of the basic obstacles like who to invite, where to hold the event, and how to keep everyone engaged.  

    If you are trying to figure out how to coordinate two teams or dozens of teams, this session will provide insights into what works and what doesn't.  You will gain expereince by practicing actual agile release planning exercises to help you prepare for your orgainzations next agile RP event.  The learning expereince starts with a presentation on the key steps to consider as you launch a large agile program.

  • Andrea
    Andrea
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Project success =  f (listening, feedback, intentionality, practices) 

    To make your agile practices and processes come to fruition, you need to cultivate an environment that promotes listening, learning, inquisitiveness, intentionality and top notch feedback that everyone is comfortable with. 

    Agile projects succeed when there are frequent high-quality reinforcing feedback loops. I will share communication models based on Clean Language questions of David Grove and the Systemic Modelling techniques of Caitlin Walker that can greatly increase clarity, sense of purpose and listening skills within your team and collaborative endeavors.  These include: Clean Questions, Clean Feedback, and Clean Setup.

    This is a hands-on, try it out, concrete practice session.

  • Liked Aaron Pava
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Agile Gov Playbook: Dissecting the New White House TechFAR Handbook

    Aaron Pava
    Aaron Pava
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    The White House recently created a new Government 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 session, we’ll review the TechFAR handbook objectives, key components and recommendations for getting agile adopted in your agency.

  • Liked Wyn Van Devanter
    keyboard_arrow_down

    A Thin Automation Framework for Managable Automated Acceptance Testing

    Wyn Van Devanter
    Wyn Van Devanter
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Demonstration
    Intermediate
    Automated Acceptance Tests (AAT) can provide huge value, and can automate time-consuming tasks like regression testing, but aren't easy to scale.  Have you tried implementing them only to abandon them later?  Are they fragile?  Do they give a lot of false positives?  Do they take more time to write than the value you're getting out of them?  These are common problems with automated acceptance testing, but there are ways to mitigate these issues.  One great way is to create a very thin automation framework that helps you write the tests faster while reducing the fragility.  Wyn will walk through writing a thin automation framework, illustrating a test-driven approach that yields a framework appropriate for the software being tested.  The resulting tests are very clean and readable, and they become faster and faster to write as the framework evolves.  He will use C# and Selenium but the concepts are applicable to other languages and browser automation frameworks.  He will also illustrate simple approaches that reduce the fragility and maintenance costs of the tests.  Participants will come away knowing how to get started on an automation framework that will be easy to understand and maintain, and that should scale as much as needed.  
  • Liked Shawn Faunce
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Engaging a Product Owner on a Government Contract: Challenges and Solutions

    Shawn Faunce
    Shawn Faunce
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    Great systems require active, capable Product Owners.  Functional innovation is not possible without their commitment and involvement in the project.  Too often in government contracting, the Product Owner is an Absentee Owner.  Agile Development teams often seek out tools and techniques to create great systems, however too frequently what is holding them back is the lack of an engaged Product Owner. Teams in this situation must face the elephant in the room if they desire to build a system that brings positive change in efficiency, productivity, quality, usefulness, and adoption.  This talk shares solutions I have used for challenges I see again and again on government contracts.

    The talk begins with some introductory material on the problem, its causes, what I mean by functional innovation, and why this is required to build great systems.  I describe four challenges with Product Owner engagement that are not unique to government contracting, but that I see recurring on projects: committing staff, procurement practices, role ambiguity, and absentee ownership.

  • Liked Joshua Seckel
    keyboard_arrow_down

    No defects in a government setting? What does that really mean?

    Joshua Seckel
    Joshua Seckel
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate

    We have heard a lot about no defects or zero defects, but is that reasonable or achievable in the government context?  How else can each sprint be deployable? Or how can you get to true flow with each story deployed to production?

     This session will explore how to get to a no defects posture across all of the tests required in a government setting. 

    We will look at the various types of testing:

    Unit, Functional, Integration, Security, 508, System, User Acceptance, etc 

    We will look at what defects mean and how (or if) they should be tracked

    We will look at what potential impediments from government organziations may exist in reaching a no defect state of software delivery

    We will look at what tools and techniques can be used successfully in the government setting to address the impediments and achieve no defects in released software

  • Liked Roland Cuellar
    keyboard_arrow_down

    IV&V for Federal Agile Programs: A Customer Experience Report

    Roland Cuellar
    Roland Cuellar
    Ken
    Ken
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Intermediate
    1. Many federal government organizations have a requirement to perform independent verification and validation (IV&V) of software development projects for purposes of risk identification and compliance
    2. As more federal agencies move towards agile, they will need to devise agile-appropriate methods for evaulating agile teams and contractors for process performance and project risk identification
    3. Traditional approaches to IV&V are heavily biased towards waterfall, gate reviews, and traditional SDLC artifacts and hence, do not work well within an agile envrionment
    4. Agile programs have their own process-specific risks and issues that need to be evaluated uniquely.  The document-centric approach that has traditionally been used is innapropriate and ineffective for agile teams as it does not find the right risks and does not find them early enough in the development process.
    5. We at DHS/CIS have developed a unique, agile-appropriate IV&V model for a large agile transformation effort within DHS
    6. The model is used to discover process risks, design risks, code risks, and testing risks in real-time for agile teams
    7. The model serves as actionable and real-time feedback to teams, contractors, and federal managers that can be used for process improvement, vendor evaluation, and as a means to find and elevate delivery risks on agile projects
    8. Positive results, challenges, and recommendations related to the development, roll-out, and execution of this agile-appropriate IV&V model will  be shared
  • Liked Scott Schnier
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Shu Ha Ri and Self Organizing Teams

    Scott Schnier
    Scott Schnier
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Join Scott as he discusses valuable lessons he has learned as an Agile Coach working with new agile teams on government projects. After several years on agile projects in the private sector the shift to agile in the public sector was quite a shock. Scott will discuss how the Japanese martial arts concept of ShuHaRi (roughly translated, it means first learn, next detach, then transcend) has helped him become a better coach when working on Agile transformations on government projects. Explore when the maxim “Let the team decide” is not appropriate and the technique of rationing tools and process to encourage engagement. Engage in thoughtful discussion about the stages of learning and come away with valuable guidance for managing the seeming paradox of self-organization and disciplined learning. This discussion provides a powerful message for agile coaches and scrum masters for teams just beginning an agile journey or just stuck in hybrid mode.

     

  • Linda Cook
    Linda Cook
    Chris Espy
    Chris Espy
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Beginner

    Many agile initiatives suffer from a feeble launch.  As Aristotle once stated “Well begun is half done”.  Performing the activities associated with developing a sound charter can help increase the likelihood of success for a team or organization .  

    Beginning with the end in mind, we use retrospective techniques to develop consensus around objectives, vision, and mission.  In this workshop we introduce the components of a good charter and how those components help focus the teammates toward a common goal.  In addition, the development of the recommended charter components ensures that key questions are succinctly answered during the kickoff of a team.

    Participants will learn the various types of charters and their recommended content.  During the workshop activity teams will develop a complete charter based  team of their choice or a provided case study.

  • Liked Simon Storm
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Positioning Agile and Continuous Delivery for Auditors and Examiners

    Simon Storm
    Simon Storm
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Talk
    Advanced

    Agile emphasizes self managing teams that regularly change how they work to improve productivity. Auditors and examiners want to ensure that management is actively providing oversight and that the team is following a consistent and repeatable development process. Continuous Delivery and Infrastructure as Code requires operations engineers to commit code into source code control systems and it encourages developers to have sufficient access to help troubleshoot production problems. Meanwhile, auditors and examiners are strong believers in separation of duties. These are just a few examples of how new development processes are creating serious challenges for audited and regulated companies. Given the conflicting priorities, how is a highly regulated or audited company supposed to implement either Agile or Continuous delivery without violating the core principles of these development approaches?

    In this talk we will review 25 actionable items to help position Agile and Continuous Delivery so that your next audit is a success. Come with your own challenges as well as items that you are implementing so that the discussion period at the end of the presentation can include a meaningful session on additional tips and tricks you are employing or find solutions to your particular challenges.

  • Liked David Kane
    keyboard_arrow_down

    The Role of Architecture in Agile Development

    David Kane
    David Kane
    Dave Dikel
    Dave Dikel
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    In large Government and Commercial organizations with many interacting systems, architecture is necessary to collaborate effectively across disparate entities and systems. Traditional command and control approaches to architecture are often ineffective and cause great tension, especially when Agile efforts are part of the portfolio. We will discuss two principles, Vision and Partnering.  These principles provide insight and get results for both architects and Agilists; and present tools and approaches on how to effectively engage architects and architecture.

  • Liked Huet Landry
    keyboard_arrow_down

    I Think I Kan(Ban) - How to get your release train going with a small engine.

    Huet Landry
    Huet Landry
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    This session will be an interactive exploration of how delivery teams, product owners, and organizational stakeholders can get their "story cargo" moving without first having to tear down the mountain range or create a fission-powered maglev train to carry everything including an army of kitchen sinks.

    Large organizations - especially Government ones, like to talk about change, but mostly they appear interested in changing everything but themselves.  Based on the concept of "The Little Engine That Could", this session is designed to help you examine ways to use Kanban and SAFe principles to get your release train accelerating even when you are being asked to haul MONSTER epic stories along the tracks that seem to be climbing up sheer cliffs of compliance regulations.  

    Bring your favorite "Franken-story" examples and be prepared to have fun talking about ways of getting them over the mountain range.

     

  • Liked Kerri Sutey
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Implementing Scrum Successfully on a Non-Software Development Project

    Kerri Sutey
    Kerri Sutey
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    A common misconception of Agile Scrum is that it can only be applied to software development projects.  This case study examines a DOD Modeling & Simulation project set in a Scrum environment and focuses on the roles, interactions and "rules of engagement" for all relevant stakeholders. Some of the key aspects that will be described are the critical importance of the team, customer involvement, frequent communication, and lessons learned. Executed properly, Scrum can transform the responsiveness, productivity, and quality of products and organizations. This work serves as proof that Agile can be successfully implemented in non-software development projects.

  • Liked Mishta A Brooks
    keyboard_arrow_down

    5 Moving Trains all Trying to Merge on the Same Track

    Mishta A Brooks
    Mishta A Brooks
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    30 mins
    Talk
    Beginner

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decided to shift thier agencies current Transformation to include changing the entire development process all at one time. This included utilizing multiple contractors, shifting to a DEV/OPS structure, using a new cloud enviroment, transitioning from COTS to open source software all while introducing Agile concepts to the development team. This complete overhaul of "business as usual" was a complete culture shock to the enviroment and required close colloboration and consistent communication in order to create change and progress. As the Release Manager during this transition I will speak the lessons learned and how the team was able to progress after the introduction of so much change at one time, all while ensuring Government requirements were still met.

  • Liked Stephen Ritchie
    keyboard_arrow_down

    Lightweight Documentation: An Agile Approach

    Stephen Ritchie
    Stephen Ritchie
    schedule 2 years ago
    Sold Out!
    60 mins
    Workshop
    Intermediate

    One of the values of the Agile manifesto is working software over comprehensive documentation. However many agile teams think that now we are Agile we don’t need to document. Come to this session to learn about lightweight documentation and how to strike a sensible balance between working software and documentation. Learn which documents are necessary and which documents you can do without as well. Learn about JIT lightweight alternatives to our tradition documentation set. Leave with specific techniques to evaluate the value of each document along with recommended alternatives.