Please read this interesting report by the Institute for Government (IfG),  recommending a new approach to address key and recurring issues in government based projects.  Food for thought & action I would suggest.

An excerpt from IfG:

Despite spending around £16 billion per annum, Whitehall and Westminster often see IT as a necessary evil: a risk to be mitigated rather than an opportunity to be exploited.

Information technology should be a transformational force, a tool to enable government not only to improve public services but to dramatically improve the relationship between citizen and state.

System Error: fixing the flaws in government IT sets out the case for a new approach to IT in the public sector, and recommends tackling two important aspects simultaneously:

a) platform – delivering government-wide efficiencies of scale and interoperability
b) agile – facilitating rapid response and innovation at the front line.

Our report demonstrates that by implementing both of these elements, government could see cost and time savings whilst delivering a more effective and flexible service.

System Error has been welcomed by government CIO Joe Harley:

“As Government CIO I find the report very helpful. The approach to platform and agile is useful and constructive. Government has a large and complex IT estate and the majority of it works efficiently and effectively. However, we are always looking for ways to improve and this report has a number of very useful recommendations for us to consider as we formulate our ICT Strategy. I look forward to working with the Institute in the future.”

Collaborative Consulting can support the IfG recommendations by helping organisations successfully introduce an effective, scalable agile approach whilst maintaining effective governance.

Access the full report here

Information technology should be a transformational force, a tool to enable government not only to improve public services but to dramatically improve the relationship between citizen and state.

System Error: fixing the flaws in government IT sets out the case for a new approach to IT in the public sector, and recommends tackling two important aspects simultaneously:

  1. platform – delivering government-wide efficiencies of scale and interoperability
  2. agile – facilitating rapid response and innovation at the front line.

Our report demonstrates that by implementing both of these elements, government could see cost and time savings whilst delivering a more effective and flexible service.

System Error has been welcomed by government CIO Joe Harley:

“As Government CIO I find the report very helpful. The approach to platform and agile is useful and constructive. Government has a large and complex IT estate and the majority of it works efficiently and effectively. However, we are always looking for ways to improve and this report has a number of very useful recommendations for us to consider as we formulate our ICT Strategy. I look forward to working with the Institute in the future.”

Collaborative Consulting are delighted to announce they will be presenting at the Health Infomatics Scotland conference in Glasgow on 22nd September 2010.

The conference will be held at the prestigious Glasgow Science Centre over two days from 22nd to 23rd September.  The conference provides a wealth of knowledge, information and meet key people helping to shape IT within the NHS.  The conference will also include the first NHS Scotland e-Health awards.  The conference will enable you to attend seminars, workshops and 18 lively commercial exhibitions plus a champagne reception social evening.

In a separate area there is a new venture this year: PUBLIC information stands with information about how eHealth is used in health to improve the care of every person in Scotland.

Collaborative Consulting have been invited to talk about how an Agile approach can really drive performance improvement across an organisation.  We will be sharing our passion, belief and pragmatic approach on how Agile and specifically DSDM Atern can deliver huge benefits and drive performance improvement.

For more information or to register please click on the link Health Infomatics Scotland conference in Glasgow on 22nd September 2010

Collaborative Consulting are delighted to announce they will be presenting at the BCS Specialist Testing Group’s conference in London on 16th September 2010.

At the conference there will be a wealth on information and people to meet on all topics based around the important specialism of Testing.  With will include presentations, workshops and exhibitors.

Collaborative Consulting have been invited to talk about how an Agile approach can really ‘Delight your organisation and increase job satisfaction’.  We will be sharing our passion, belief and pragmatic approach on how Agile and specifically DSDM Atern can deliver huge benefits.

From a Testers perspective we will show how they can play a significant influencing role on projects, helping to shape and contribute throughout the delivery lifecycle.  No more last minute testing under pressure, testing & quality short cuts;  Agile and DSDM addresses all these typical issues.

For more information or to register please click on the link BCS Specialist Testing Group conference 16th September: A Testing Toolbox

I was recently posed this question, here’s what I think.

In the DSDM Agile approach the Testers role is specifically defined and in most projects I would expect to see a testing specialist performing that role as they add a lot of specific skills and experience that benefit the project.

The Tester is involved from the beginning of the project helping to both shape and fully understand requirements. The solution evolves over a number of short timboxes (or sprints) with each timebox having a specific set of functional or non-functional requirements to complete. During the early stages of the timebox the Tester will start to define the likely test scenarios and cases; these will be refined with the solution. Ideally these will be built in such a way that they can be repeated or modified easily for future timeboxes. The Tester is also likely to work closely with the end user to support them in their Acceptance Testing.

At the end of the time box (subject to the objectives set at the beginning) is likely to be a partial, but working solution. The solution evolves for future timeboxes, as does the testing which extends so that it tests the newly developed solution and the previous solution. I should also add that developers are expected to develop and extend their own automated unit testing to provide confidence in the level of quality in the solution that the Tester is executing. The result is a very high quality solution that has been tested much more thoroughly and repeatedly than during a typical waterfall approach from Developers, Testers and End Users.

After a number of timeboxes the solution may have evolved to still be a partial solution but one that is sufficiently complete & accepted by end users to deploy in an operational environment. This enables the business to start to gain early business value & return on investment.

In essence I believe Agile projects need good Software Testers. To succeed Software Testers need to have a good understanding about how agile is different to waterfall and will need a more flexible, evolving approach to developing and executing test cases. I have seen many Software Testers adapt fairly easily to this approach and gain huge benefits from being able to contibute to the shaping of the solution being developed. This empowered, collaborative approach leads to much greater job satisfaction and enthusiasm from the whole project team.

Read a very interesting article in the CIO magazine that supports in a broader sense the approach of agile projects using the DSDM Atern framework.

Using DSDM business & technical respresentatives across the lifecycle collaborate early in the project during the Foundation Stage.  This enables people from business & technical backgrounds to build an in depth understanding of requirements & objectives.  From these they shape & construct what & how the project is to deliver the objectives & as a result generating buy in.

I encourage you to look at the article to show elements of this approach have been used by the Department for Work & Pensions to help shape the broad & complex topic of IT Strategy.

CIO Magazine article – Deparment for Work & Pensions reveals the power of crowd sourcing in government