Globally, the government sector is under pressure to deliver more and better services to its populace, stakeholders, the organized private sector, SMEs, citizens, political environ and the government leadership. Agile ways of working, confers a mindset that invokes transformation at the workplace and in every business endeavour.
The most fundamental aspects of Agile development is the continuous integration and testing. Government can be agile just like software development can be agile. Government can respond to changing public needs in an efficient and timely way, if it is citizens-centered. Agile can rapidly modify government service planning and take into account new input from feedback sessions to enable government service rendering achieve better performance.
The use of Agile approach to project management in government services, can be a machinery-hub for gross-domestic-productivity of an economy. Agile practices in the civil service is a preferred responsive-solution to operational structures in the government service. Its’ processes and tools conduct rapid techniques for fast delivery of services, encouraging team-spirit in handling delegatory assignments, and adapt, as needs change. With Agile methods, changes in government business processes are delivered through simple configuration of effective time management, progressive developments and no barriers to service delivery. Agile methods encourage civil-servant teams to build quickly, test what they’ve built and iterate their work, based on regular feedback.
However, there are a range of challenges met with in applying Agile methodology in the government service. For instance, while some subordinate officers may be familiar with the benefits of Agile applications, other senior stakeholders saddled with the leadership to drive-in change, might not be. In other cases, government’s siloed organizational structures and staffs skill gaps at the federal, state and local levels, can work against a transition to Agile methodology. Under these kinds of transitional tussle, citizens who want quality services from government bodies, are often disappointed by the outcome of government agencies complexity and unproductive nature of doling-out their civil service responsibilities. In some cases, responsible citizens are unsatisfied and downcast by stories of failed projects that directly affect them, due to long process-flow of project management; inefficiency, waste of resources and ineptitude of a system that tends to value process over outcomes. Also, in a risk-averse environment of bureaucratic rank and file, talented-mission-driven public servants become disenchanted in the government service.
Convincingly, the Agile methods of working, will transform the ideals of work-process-flow in government services, to surpass the challenges of late delivery of public demands, disappointing services, ineffective time management on projects, less quality deliverables, waste of resources, and the limitation to productivity caused by hierarchical cultures, shortfall in capacity/skills, outdated organizational strategies, complex procurement process, inefficient public-private-partnership processes, etc.