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GSA’s 18F Unveils Guides to Help Federal, State Agencies Implement IT Projects

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The General Services Administration’s (GSA) 18F digital services unit has released “de-risking” guides to help federal and state government agencies plan and address issues in implementing information technology projects.

The guides explain the six basic principles of modern software development: agile software development, user-centered design; DevOps, product ownership, modular contracting and building with loosely coupled parts.

The Federal Field Guide is composed of three sections: planning, deciding what to buy and doing the work.

For the planning phase, agencies should empower product owners to oversee development efforts, involve end users in software development efforts and take advantage of the benefits of open source technologies.

“Developing code in the open benefits agencies in numerous ways: improves code quality; gets active feedback from the public; makes collaboration easier among agencies, contractors, and the public; improves security; and encourages reuse,” the federal guide reads.

The State Field Guide presents several factors to consider when budgeting and overseeing tech projects, such as procuring services, requiring demos, hiring in-house tech talent and expanding the pool of vendors.