A fast, cost-saving way for Federal software development?

A fast, cost-saving way for Federal software development?

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Federal IT projects always seem to be ineffective, expensive, and slowly done. On the other hand, projects using new software development tools and approaches seem to get the job done fast and cheap.

Part of the approach is to separate code and data, and to do the software using private/public partnerships, maybe informal ones like AppsForDemocracy and Hackathons.

For example, the Coburn-Obama bill mandated that the OMB build a database of government grants and contracts. Sunlight Foundation funded a nonprofit, OMB Watch, to build a similiar database, took 'em eight months and $320,000.

The Coburn-Obama bill allocated $12 million for it.

Turns out OMB purchased the OMB Watch software, which is the basis for USASpending.gov.

What do we learn from this?

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2 Comments

Thecancer

One of the problems with major projects, public works, IT, etc. is that when the contractor begins the work and perhaps the oversite is lacking. The contractor and the customer (government) can get into pickles with one another and then it's he said, she said and the lawsuits fly and the job doesn't get done properly and is too expensive to fix. I have witnessed this on several occassions.

Collaborateking

We wrote an article that focused on crowdsourcing collaboration ( http://bit.ly/aNT2w9) and how the British Government is trying to solve their issues this was, as well as companies like City Sourced (even with an iphone app)
We need scale and awareness of these and their outputs for them to actually work thought!!!

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