Mashups are great! We’ve all seen memes on our social media feed that combine beloved themes, or maybe croissants married to donuts to create cronuts, or maybe a western meets science fiction and results in Firefly…whatever flavor of nerddom resonates with you. And sometimes, we mashup technical capabilities like Agile and systems development to create a better approach to customer problems.
In the realm of software development, there are times that improvement requires a break from long-established, time-honored methods and favors a move to new processes, new ways of thinking, new attitudes, and something altogether different. This can be a challenging undertaking, especially in a government contracting model.
Traditionally, within government program offices, software development activities are typically contracted separately. And because software development is not integrated with other activities like systems development or quality assurance, if a system defect is discovered outside the systems engineering functional area, it is documented by the third-party agency and sent back to the software development team with little collaboration on a resolution between the disparate organizations. This process repeats until the system is fully accepted and delivered into the field, and the loop leads to cost overruns and delays in system fielding.
One trend in the commercial software development industry beginning to show up in government projects is the introduction of an Agile approach to system development and integration. Customers want service-delivery maturation and rapid delivery of technical solutions in a dynamic environment, and they are insisting on Agile tenets like:
- User community involvement
- Cross-functional teams
- Continuous improvement and flexible response to change
- Schedule slips due to improper security accreditation
- Underestimating the effort needed to correct deficiencies found during testing
- System-performance issues affecting productivity
- Unclear customer requirements
Engility’s Agile DevOps ENnovation Center fosters a culture of innovation, rapid learning, iteration and process improvement. The team is a rapidly growing part of Engility’s technical offering, regularly called upon to provide solutions to our customers’ toughest challenges in the areas of software development and operations support. Further, our culture follows an engagement model that values individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.
Don’t settle for “that’s how we’ve always done it.” Insist on a better approach to your system development. Dare to mashup your development methodologies!