Case studies from government agencies and jurisdictions around Australia focussing on the cultural and process change required to work in an agile environment to deliver better government services.
You will hear:
- how one of the oldest departments in the Australian Public Service embedded customer experience (CX) design practices to improve services
- how years of testing agile approaches and building capability has turned the IT Operating Model in a department around
- how cultural change was central to turning waterfall project management into an agile delivery process
- how a new agile framework has revolutionised how an agency works
- Death, taxes and agile - Australian Taxation Office
- Going digital - Digital Transformation Agency and Department of Employment
- Moving to agile in a waterfall agency - Department of Education
- AgileSWIFT - National Heavy Vehicle Regulator
In 2018 the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business launched a new digital operating model for ICT systems design and delivery. This change made agile, user-centred design, and other contemporary approaches, the standard for approximately 400 people in the IT workforce.
The successful transition was the most significant change in ways of working and governance for systems design and development for decades.
The Department used pilots over a 3-year period to test agile approaches and further build capability in user-centred design. In late 2017 the Digital Strategy and Governance (DSG) section surveyed staff to identify training needs. Results from the pilots, survey results and research/analysis of the future state built the case for change.
In 2018, management endorsed the proposed operating model. The DSG team ran training and coaching activities, training over 370 people in agile, dev-ops, user-centred design, business analysis, programming, testing and other practices.
Successfully ‘going digital’ enabled the group to transition into new ways of working, improving business and IT collaboration, becoming more user-focused, and accelerate alignment to the Digital Service Standard.
Moving to agile in a waterfall agency
The purpose of the Department of Education is to maximise opportunity and prosperity through national leadership on education. To achieve this, the Department collects, verifies and uses data from education providers on higher education students.
We are currently transforming how we collect and verify data through our first major agile project.
The 5 key lessons learnt through this project are:
- Business and information technology professionals must work together on a daily basis.
- Program increments–a bundle of sprints–in SAFe Agile provide a waterfall-like construct, which governance bodies, used to managing waterfall projects, have received well.
- Program increments in SAFe Agile have provided an effective mechanism to regulate scope over a defined period of time.
- Extreme programming practices are critical. For example, Test Driven Development has forced developers to think more deeply about business functionality.
- DevOps is critical for unlocking the value of agile and has generated significant efficiencies in project delivery. For example, automated testing has enabled us to conduct regression testing with short turn-around cycles.
In a typical sprint, the scrum team would focus on describing business requirements and development activities. At the end of the sprint, functionality would be demonstrated in a showcase. While this approach emphasises the successful completion of a sprint, the challenge for many is to make sure they properly manage all aspects of change, communication and release activities in a systematic but agile manner.
The AgileSwift framework meets that goal. The framework governs and practically enables the team to perform activities from conception–by way of business requirements–to delivery. This includes change support to make sure a business is capable and can realise the benefit of the product and/or service delivered by the team.
We categorise the framework under 5 areas:
- development operations
- change, benefits and communication
- release management, incorporating quality
We deliver products under the AgileSwift framework in a planned, collaborative and clear way. The model incorporates a team approach to governance and makes sure the team is doing the right thing, at the right time and in the right order.