3 lessons on how Singapore built an agile government [#AgileLessons #AgileSingapore #AgileGovernment]

1. People: the foundational layer for agile agencies
2. Good processes create good results
3. Open source innovation as the backbone

1. People: the foundational layer for agile agencies
In agile agencies, leaders need to first set in place the right conditions for their people to work together. This could mean changing the dynamic between management and employees, boosting independence and cutting the need to “spoon feed”.

Managers instead play the role of coach, facilitator and resource finder, supporting the team as they self-organize and make their own decisions. This will inevitably build up their sense of ownership around the product they are building and give them a sense of responsibility.

Co-location is important to agile development too as the feedback loop will be very quick. Physical proximity like this means that team members will inevitably build rapport and trust with each other, which will lead to better overall communication.

2. Good processes create good results
Good processes help to shape good products that solve citizens’ problems and have a place in their daily lives.

Collaboration is crucial to building something truly great. This means working with everyone inside the agency – and outside of it – to polish up the minimum viable product, or MVP. Developers need to talk to the IT and business folks for their perspectives, bringing together different ideas and diversity of experience so that they can consider the product from all angles and “future-proof” it better.

Automate as much as possible. This removes routine tasks from team members’ desks, freeing them up for higher-order work.

3. Open source innovation as the backbone
Open source software is freely available to anyone to use, so that people can prototype often and fail fast to iterate to the desired outcome quickly.

1. Open source is community-driven, which fosters collaboration among people. This helps to create a collaborative spirit for business users, developers and everyone to work closely together in an agile way.

2. Open source software provides the advanced technology and tools that make agile development easier. The open source community is actively improving the software for better productivity, continuously.

3. There is also a compelling cost benefit. Open source is free and can significantly reduce the cost of development and open up new ideas, and so will allow governments in ASEAN to progress in their digital transformation faster.

Adapted from:
Three lessons on how Singapore built an agile government:
Poh Kah Kong from GovTech Singapore recently spoke about the building blocks of agile development.

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