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A Framework for Applying Agile Methods for Non-Information Technology (IT) Disciplines

By Nadya Huleatt , Kurt Miller , David Yu , William Brice

Today’s organizations are facing a complex landscape of issues, whether building an open collaborative work environment or addressing questions arising from technological adoption, such as automated process, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. To respond to this rapidly changing environment, additional capabilities, processes, and tools are needed to develop solutions that provide value to impacted stakeholders and align with intended outcomes.

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In recent years, there has been a growing number of organizations looking at innovative methods for developing non-Information Technology (IT) products, such as policy. Organizations are evaluating how adopting these innovative methods address the political, technical, and economical risks to deliver value to their customers. One innovative method is Agile, wherein cross-functional teams develop requirements and solutions while receiving rapid, iterative stakeholder feedback. Agile is a proven software development method, successfully used by industry and government, to address the risk of failing to deliver value to products in a timely and cost-efficient manner. In turn, organizations in non-IT disciplines are exploring how Agile values and principles provide an iterative, accountable, and focused development and deployment method for addressing stakeholder needs and delivering value, given resource and time constraints.

This paper shows how Agile, specifically a modified Scrum framework, may be applied in a non-traditional IT context. This Agile practice implements a disciplined process that addresses stakeholder needs and ensures the desired outcome is understood and achieved. Building upon past experiences, we present an execution process and apply it toward an organizational policy scenario to demonstrate a structured, incremental, and iterative policy development approach. Our intended audience is organizations who are unfamiliar or new to Agile and interested in learning how to apply Agile principles in non-IT related disciplines.