US Small Business Administration (SBA)
US Digital Service (USDS)
In 2015, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) had little to no experience with agile frameworks. Yet, the organization had ambitious plans to modernize aging applications and infrastructure on a limited, small-agency budget in a relatively short timeline.
Rather than try to build agile expertise organically via Seed-To-Oak, the SBA employed Cutting and Replanting in creating a new Digital Services Division tasked with many of the modernization efforts. Unlike past efforts to modernize, the Digital Services Division:
Separating out the Digital Services Division from the rest of the organization and staffing it with agile-friendly staff (an example of Grafting) allowed agile practices to flourish. Shortly after its creation, the Digital Services Division delivered a number of successes, including the launch of SBA Certify, which triggered a 176% increase in the number of Women-Owned Small Business applications in its first year of operation, according to a US Digital Service report to Congress.
Over time, agile spread beyond the Digital Services Division, as IT, the Small Business Certification Programs and the Office of the Chief Administrator visited the Digital Services Division to see agile being practiced (an example of Cross-Pollination). Each adopted agile techniques to improve their own performance and increase success.
Submitted by:Donald Patti