Posted on June 2016 | Aziz Gilani

Can Agile Processes and DevOps Fuel Your Digital Transformation?

Can Agile Processes and DevOps Fuel Your Digital Transformation?, by Will Kelly, was originally published on

Aziz Gilani, Partner at Mercury Fund, focuses on the SaaS and DevOps startup space. With other experts, he shares his thoughts with Will Kelly about how the government is now adopting agile and DevOps style processes to meet the expectations of American citizens. The following is an excerpt from the full article.

The US federal government has painted a horrible picture of digital transformation — one marred by multi-year project timelines, overspending and the website failures.

But now the feds are using practices like agile development and DevOps to change history and fuel the migration of digital services to the cloud.

Incremental, Iterative Work

“The federal government is just like every other enterprise out there. It’s facing a lot of pressure to join the world in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) transformation, but then be able to release and maintain applications with the shortened sprint times required to support those types of applications,” said Aziz Gilani, a partner at the Mercury Fund.

A seed and early-stage venture capital firm, the Mercury Fund has investments in two companies that offer agile and DevOps project support to federal clients…

Gilani thinks agile and DevOps are what the federal government needs to get away from multiple-year projects that end with in scope creep and no results to show.

Shorter Projects, Open Standards

The changes are evident. For example, 18F, a civic consultancy for the government within the US General Services Administration (GSA), is trying to change the way contracts are written.

It’s a long-term solution because the goal is to alter fundamental procurement processes. The challenge is to get the feds to shift to more outcome-based contracting rather than arcane processes and stuff that isn’t particularly relevant to what’s getting built.

The United States Digital Service, meanwhile, is trying to move federal agencies over to more commercial business practices and technologies. The USDS partners technologists with public servants to improve the usability and reliability of the government’s digital services.

The intended result of these changes will take the form of shorter term projects built on open standards with greater transparency during the project lifecycle.

Lessons Learned from Agile, DevOps

So what lessons can private industry learn from the feds adoption of agile and DevOps? Gilani is blunt: if those processes are helping the federal government advance digital transformation, then they can probably do wonders for any enterprise on the planet.

Click here to read the full article

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