Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What if Congress used Agile?

Eric Camulli posted this interesting question in the Agile Alliance LinkedIn group:
Could Agile help Congress with healthcare reform? I'd like to see someone take a stab at applying scrum principles to the "great development project" of our day...

Our country's healthcare "project" could end up looking like many Waterfall projects...not on time, over budget and not meeting customer's needs in the end.
Unfortunately the conversation quickly started to veer off into moral, ethical, and political opinions/viewpoints/jokes unrelated to agile...

But I thought about this a little bit and I did find some comparisons between our legislative system and large companies that aren't agile. Here is what I ended up writing:
I think the real problem with anything going through Congress is that they don't "go to the gemba". They rely too much on research and lobbyists to translate the needs of the "customer" for them.

Congressman act as if they are Product Owners, but they don't have the domain knowledge or "end user" interaction to truly own that role.

So... I guess my solution is that we need to find a way to decrease the feedback loop distance between those affected by policy and those creating it.
Does anyone else have any ideas or insight into this one?

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