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VA Touts Benefits of Product-Oriented Software Development

Software product

VA Touts Benefits of Product-Oriented Software Development

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ new product-oriented approach to software development has improved customer experience and developer accountability, an official said.

Daniel McCune, acting associate deputy assistant secretary of VA’s Enterprise Program Management Office, explained that the department previously passed products from one team to another, leading to a disconnect between the product and its objectives, GovernmentCIO Media & Research reported.

“The result of that is what I called software fragility because we’re making changes on a product that is not informed by the original design principles,” McCune said during an FCW event.

McCune said the issue forced veterans to navigate through different units to receive benefits, leading to challenges in scheduling and integration.

To address the problem, VA now assigns each product to a dedicated software development team that will be responsible for its entire life cycle.

McCune said the new approach prioritizes effectiveness over efficiency, in addition to providing a single point of accountability for each product.

The product-oriented approach also accounts for the long-term sustainment of new software, McCune said, noting that the department’s software inventory is growing by 16 percent each year.

VA should focus on modernizing its software development process to free up resources for innovation and the department’s increasing information technology needs, McCune said.

The department has already adopted the Scale Agile Framework to catch problems early in the software development process, cutting back on maintenance costs later down the line.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: customer experience Daniel McCune Department of Veterans Affairs FCW GovernmentCIO Media & Research modernization product development Scaled Agile Framework software development VA