Why government can[not] build digital services iteratively

Since 2011 public-sector organizations in the UK have embraced, tested and implemented a paradigm shift towards faster, shorter, more ‘modular’ ICT procurement and development. The motivation behind is to minimize risks on a large scale and to operate ‘more sustainable’ IT solutions.

In the past five years the understanding and pressure to reconsider existing practice has grown in Switzerland, too. In terms of procurement, governance, implementation and operation of IT solutions, ‘iterative’ approaches with shorter and more frequent release cycles are often in conflict with public-sector trends to build large IT procurement programs and implement large IT systems.

In my thesis I am discussing why the UK approach is [not] practicable in Switzerland at Federal level because of public procurement or other legal reasons. I am showing how ‘iterative’ approaches are already practiced in all phases of building ‘digital services’, and that they can be legitimated on the existing legal framework. My conclusion is: ‘iteration’ is ‘safe-to-try’ for Swiss government, too.

In this Liiptalk I want to share with others these findings to clear away myths and/or excuses one might has heard about ‚iterative‘ and ‚agile‘.


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