Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
SEI_Podcast_1014

Agile in the DoD

A series of podcasts exploring the real-world application of the 12 agile principles

In this ongoing series, SEI researchers Suzanne Miller and Mary Ann Lapham discuss the 12 agile principles and their application in programs across the Department of Defense. 

April 18, 2013

Applying Agile in the DoD: First Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"One of the things that we found with DoD and federal clients is that these principles are a little bit new. Some of them feel good—they feel like they fit within the DoD culture—and some of them don't."

"One of the things that we found with DoD and federal clients is that these principles are a little bit new. Some of them feel good—they feel like they fit within the DoD culture—and some of them don't."

Categories: Acquisition Support

June 13, 2013

Applying Agile in the DoD: Second Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"One of the key things, if you're going to use Agile methods, is have enough definition up front of what you want to do, but not so much detail that you can't learn, that it can't change, because your environment changed."

"One of the key things, if you're going to use Agile methods, is have enough definition up front of what you want to do, but not so much detail that you can't learn, that it can't change, because your environment changed."

Categories: Acquisition Support

August 15, 2013

Applying Agile in the DoD: Third Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Garcia-Miller

"It has become evident within the DoD community and the government in general that we need to do software delivery sooner. So, how do we do that?"

"It has become evident within the DoD community and the government in general that we need to do software delivery sooner. So, how do we do that?"

Categories: Acquisition Support

October 31, 2013

Applying Agile in the DoD: Fourth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"Agile is an evolving learning environment. So, you have the top-level requirements. But, then, as you evolve and learn more about it, different requirements will emerge. And, you need to verify those with the actual operational end user."

"Agile is an evolving learning environment. So, you have the top-level requirements. But, then, as you evolve and learn more about it, different requirements will emerge. And, you need to verify those with the actual operational end user."

Categories: Acquisition Support

January 30, 2014

Applying Agile in the DoD: Fifth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"Inside their own organization they don't have this trust either because, again, they've been developed and trained in the old system. This is a different paradigm. We know that."

"Inside their own organization they don't have this trust either because, again, they've been developed and trained in the old system. This is a different paradigm. We know that."

Categories: Acquisition Support

May 29, 2014

Applying Agile in the DoD: Sixth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"The one thing I will say is that teams that don't pay attention to this do have trouble. We have seen that more than once. "

"The one thing I will say is that teams that don't pay attention to this do have trouble. We have seen that more than once. "

Categories: Acquisition Support

July 24, 2014

Applying Agile in the DoD: Seventh Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

"This is a case where the cultural aspects of Agile are sometimes ahead of where some of the stakeholders are in the acquisition process. This working software principle really brings that to the forefront. "

"This is a case where the cultural aspects of Agile are sometimes ahead of where some of the stakeholders are in the acquisition process. This working software principle really brings that to the forefront. "

Categories: Acquisition Support

October 09, 2014

Applying Agile in the DoD: Eighth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

"We have seen teams that have devolved into just racing as fast as they can because they don't have the management top cover. We have also seen teams where the management understands that keeping that sustainable pace is part of what keeps the software coming. It is part of what makes their users happy. So, they work really hard to protect the teams in maintaining that pace. "

"We have seen teams that have devolved into just racing as fast as they can because they don't have the management top cover. We have also seen teams where the management understands that keeping that sustainable pace is part of what keeps the software coming. It is part of what makes their users happy. So, they work really hard to protect the teams in maintaining that pace. "

Categories: Acquisition Support

January 16, 2015

Applying Agile in the DoD: Ninth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"Technical excellence is not just about being the best coder, not just about being the best tester. It’s about having the team that has the right competencies for the problem that you are trying to attack."

"Technical excellence is not just about being the best coder, not just about being the best tester. It’s about having the team that has the right competencies for the problem that you are trying to attack."

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February 12, 2015

Applying Agile in the DoD: Tenth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

"I want to talk about some examples that we have seen of enacting this idea of simplicity. One of the most successful programs that we have worked with in the Air Force has been through two complete re-architectings of their system in the last 10 years…When we talked to them about what their goals were for those re-architectings, one of the goals was always Make it simpler."

"I want to talk about some examples that we have seen of enacting this idea of simplicity. One of the most successful programs that we have worked with in the Air Force has been through two complete re-architectings of their system in the last 10 years…When we talked to them about what their goals were for those re-architectings, one of the goals was always Make it simpler."

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February 26, 2015

Applying Agile in the DoD: Eleventh Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

"This isn't just about the architecture, this is also about dealing with the requirements, understanding the requirements, dealing with the design elements that are specific to this functionality and using all the resources across the team to make sure we get the best solution."

"This isn't just about the architecture, this is also about dealing with the requirements, understanding the requirements, dealing with the design elements that are specific to this functionality and using all the resources across the team to make sure we get the best solution."

Categories:

March 26, 2015

Applying Agile in the DoD: Twelfth Principle

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Suzanne Miller

 Jeffrey Smith (Microsoft)

Mary Ann Lapham

"Now, most DoD organizations are attuned to doing lessons learned at the very end of a project: What did we learn? What worked? What didn’t? What are we going to do different on the next one we are working on? But, we don’t wait in Agile until the very end. We do it to the end of each sprint, each release, each stopping point, if you will. So, the team actually gets involved in this. "

"Now, most DoD organizations are attuned to doing lessons learned at the very end of a project: What did we learn? What worked? What didn’t? What are we going to do different on the next one we are working on? But, we don’t wait in Agile until the very end. We do it to the end of each sprint, each release, each stopping point, if you will. So, the team actually gets involved in this. "

Categories: Acquisition Support

Speakers in This Series

Mary Ann Lapham
Mary Ann Lapham is the technical lead of the SEI’s research on agile methods within Department of Defense acquisition settings. In addition to leading the writing of several SEI technical notes on this topic, Lapham is also active in consulting with military service clients of the SEI’s Software Solutions Division on the use of agile methods within their programs. She has more than 30 years of program management and software development experience in commercial and government contexts.

Suzanne Miller

Suzanne Miller
Suzanne Miller’s research focuses on synthesizing effective technology transition and management practices from research and industry into effective techniques for use of Agile and lean methods in regulated settings like the DoD.