The past decade has seen a significant push from highest levels in government and DOD to transform troubled software development efforts from waterfall to agile methodologies. The frenzy reached new heights within the Air Force in 2018 with help from Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Will Roper and programs like Kessel Run, which have spawned their own movement with rallying cries like #AgileAF and #DevopsorDie among a group of younger, more tech savvy DOD junior leaders.
Today, most DOD software development efforts claim to follow agile principles (in 2018 Dr Roper directed that all Air Force software efforts must become "devops"), but the majority have simply adopted agile ceremony and tools to manage their still waterfall development. In this discussion, we focus on our experience working with a DOD customer that is deeply entrenched in a waterfall mentality. We'll review the challenges, frustrations and small victories we've achieved in the past two years as a new small business founded on the principles of modernization. We'll also propose a methodology for restructuring waterfall efforts into agile deliveries and share what's worked and what hasn't worked since we've been in business.