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FCW : July 15, 2013
MTESCs largest mailers. Of cials built on the success of that launch to intro- duce the second phase of the MTEOR project to postal facilities and smaller mailers in April 2013. Although USPS of cials would not disclose how much money MTEOR is saving the agency, they said they are pleased with the results, especially with regard to cost avoidance. Furthermore, the number of phone calls to MTESCs regarding order que- ries has decreased by 90 percent, and the USPS business team reports no neg- ative feedback from the mailing com- munity since MTEOR rolled out. That is signi cant because MTESC mailers have placed more than 22,000 orders for MTE valued at $231 million since September 2012, and since April, USPS facilities have placed more than 3,500 orders for MTE valued at $33 million. Because of MTEOR, USPS is collect- ing inventory data from large mailers that it never collected before, and it is developing a new inventory-reporting component for USPS facilities to use. "What made agile so valuable to us was that it had a hard deadline, where- as if we used a waterfall methodology, we d probably only just now be plan- ning on doing something," said Cathy Moon, manager of operations integra- tion and support at USPS. "From a mailer s perspective, MTEOR offers them the exibility to control their own destiny --- they can change orders or cancel orders --- where before they didn t even have a way to con rm if an order was placed or if it s coming," she added. USPS IT shop now applies agile software development methodolo- gies and best practices to almost every project it undertakes, Edgar said. In fact, the IT team has delivered more than 50 projects using agile develop- ment, and 25 projects are currently in progress. Knowing that close com- munication is integral to a project s success, design teams interact with customers nearly every day. With so many successes just three years into their five-year adoption strategy, USPS of cials have declared agile development to be the standard methodology for all projects unless an exception request is approved. "Agile is a way we deliver solutions to our customers and get those solu- tions faster and with a more success- ful conclusion to users, wherever they may be," Edgar said. ■ Requirements change Customer turnover Technology innovation Project timeline July 15, 2013 FCW.COM 25 AGILE VS. WATERFALL The U.S. Postal Service is using agile development to break large IT projects into smaller chunks of deliverables, which means developers can incorporate user feedback as each piece is being developed. It is more exible and adaptable than the traditional waterfall approach in which developers typically work on a project from start to nish before sharing it with users. Waterfall Analyze Plan Design Build Test Deploy Sources: Agile Enterprises This development cycle is repeated for each increment throughout the agile development process. Agile Analyze Plan Deploy Design Build Test The waterfall method follows a series of linear steps, which can make it harder to incorporate changes in requirements or technology.
June 30, 2013
July 30, 2013