Agile Methods and Request for Change (RFC): Observations from DoD Acquisition Programs
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This technical note is the third in an SEI series on the adoption of lean and agile methods in the DoD. Agile topics in acquisition were introduced in CMU/SEI-2010-TN-002 and CMU/SEI-2011-TN-002. This technical note extends the topics covered into the evaluation and negotiation of technical proposals that reflect iterative development approaches that in turn leverage agile methods. This framework is intended for use by government program office personnel who seek to understand evaluation approaches in this context. The information and recommendations contained in this report result from observations of defense acquisition programs wherein contractors employed iterative methods such as Agile software development methodology (hereafter referred to as “agile”). Key questions for discussion with the contractor are provided, along with agile perspectives on why certain items will be defined differently depending on whether the contractor is using agile or iterative methods for software development. The intended audience for this paper includes any government personnel who need to support or participate in negotiations with contractors for changes to the contract that is in place to develop software using agile or iterative methods.