According to the GAO, US Federal Agencies spend $76 Billion bucks annually on IT so to reduce the risk of budget overruns and delivery delays Agile is now recommened by the OMB as the preferred development methodology. They've just released a freely available report on what practices have been effective, and what the challenges have been. These challenges tend to not get talked about so much so it's great to see this commentary.
Some of the biggest challenges identified were:
- "Teams having difficulty collaborating closely": Getting the mix right with pair programming, as well as personality clashes when everyone is working so closely together, spring to mind as examples of where this comes up
- "Self directed work" and "difficulty managing iterative requirements": Particularly when transitioning from a traditional project manager led approach. The Scrum Master is critical in fostering and shepherding this cultural change. Guidance around roles and responsibilities was also called out in this area.
- Setting up technical environments.
- Status and reporting tracking.
- Bringing along the rest of the organization - e.g. procurement and compliance checking.
Very consistent with what I've experienced in both small and large organizations.