Agile Assessment Guide Comment Tool

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Welcome to GAO's Agile Assessment Comment Survey!

From September 28, 2020 to September 27, 2021, GAO is seeking input and feedback on this exposure draft from all interested parties.

Who is GAO?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is responsible for, among other things, assisting Congress in its oversight of the federal government, including how agencies develop and manage their information technology (IT) systems. In prior audits, we have reported that federal agencies faced challenges in developing, implementing, and maintaining their IT investments. All too frequently, agency IT projects have incurred cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes.

The federal government spends billions of dollars each year on major IT investments. While the executive branch has undertaken numerous initiatives to help agencies better manage their IT investments, these programs frequently fail or incur cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes. Agile, a framework for developing working software in short increments, has been adopted by many federal agencies. It emphasizes early and continuous software delivery and is defined by values and principles that can be realized through a set of common practices. The Agile Assessment Guide is intended to address generally accepted best practices for Agile adoption, execution, and control.

Why did we develop the Agile Assessment Guide?

The Agile Assessment Guide (GAO-20-590G) is a companion to our existing best practice guides. It highlights Agile specific best practices and also links to our previously published program management best practices. Our first best practice guide, published in March 2009, was the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide. This guide, along with the Schedule Guide published in December 2015, present a consistent methodology based on best practices that can be used across the federal government to develop, manage, and evaluate capital program cost and schedule estimates. In 2020, we published the GAO Technology Readiness Assessment Guide which provides a systematic, evidence-based process that evaluates the maturity of technologies critical to the performance of larger systems. We also updated the GAO Cost Guide in 2020 to help ensure it reflects current best practices.

With the Agile Guide, GAO intends to establish best practices that can be used across the federal government for Agile adoption, execution, and program monitoring and control. The primary audience for this guide is federal auditors, who can use the best practices described in the guide to assess the extent to which an agency has adopted and implemented Agile methods. However, the guide is also intended to provide Agile practitioners, program management office personnel, and governance bodies throughout the federal government a framework for better understanding of Agile processes and its application. Organizations that have developed their own guidance can use the Guide to support and supplement their practices. Organizations that have not yet developed their own policies can use it to begin establishing their own guidance. This Guide can also help other oversight organizations evaluate agencies’ management decisions about Agile programs.

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Names or other identifying information will not be published in the guide.

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If you have any questions about completing or submitting your form, please contact Jennifer V. Leotta 202-512-5761.

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