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As the federal government is being tasked with doing more with less these days, it has been embracing a new method for managing IT projects called Agile Software Development.

The foundation for Agile Software Development is to continuously address project impediments, receive ongoing stakeholder feedback, empower cross-functional teams and track progress daily.  This new project management methodology is aimed at making sure that long-term IT projects don’t become obsolete or go over budget.

In other words, Agile Software Development is remarkably similar to the NetLink Adaptive Process, where we take an “iterative approach” for managing the implementation of web solutions.

The NetLink Adaptive Process mitigates many common risks of IT projects and gives us the framework for our project teams to deliver superior solutions to clients while staying within schedule and budget commitments.  The key ingredient to make this work is to get solutions in front of clients early and often through the project management process.

Our process has six concrete steps for meeting the goals for projects by doing more upfront project planning and defining of requirements — with plenty of client input along the way.

While the iterative or agile approach is well known in IT circles, it’s unfortunate that providers who claim to use it don’t always have the commitment to actually put it into practice — leaving clients wondering about the benefits, and often feeling underwhelmed with the final product. It takes a significant amount of discipline to manage IT projects this way, but doing so with the correct project management oversight will pay dividends by yielding a final product that is superior than if traditional waterfall methods are employed.

Whether for a government agency, a hospitality provider or larger enterprise, the proper management of IT projects is paramount.  And with the government facing challenging budgetary times — with mission goals not decreasing — Agile Software Development should allow government to be more effective…If they have the know-how and discipline to leverage it correctly.