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FCW : April 15, 2014
Editor'sNote When the General Services Administration announced its in-house development startup a few weeks ago, it got people talking. And not all the chatter was positive. The new IT venture, called 18F, folds in the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and embraces the principles of lean and agile development. With a few dozen employees at launch and plans to grow quickly in both D.C. and San Francisco, 18F aims to "prove that building technology in an agile manner is possible in government at scale." The move was applauded in the commercial tech press and excited those who have been rooting for the PIFs. But even before the March 18 announcement, GSA of cials started getting the calls --- and so did FCW. Industry leaders wanted to know why GSA would compete with the private sector for development and deployment work. Executives at other agencies worried that their expertise and investments in traditional IT were being devalued. One acquisition expert complained, "The PIFs are running amok!" For the moment, though, count me among the cautiously optimistic. To be clear: Agile development alone will not magically improve every project. And the challenge of truly changing the federal IT culture could make the HealthCare.gov rescue look like a picnic. But there are precedents that suggest an upside worth pursuing. The United Kingdom has seen real bene ts from its Government Digital Service --- a technology-and-strategy SWAT team of an agency that was created in 2011 and is essentially 18F on steroids. Closer to home, the proposal by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) to create a technology team under the federal chief technology of cer suggests at least some congressional support for 18F s mission. At a more fundamental level, however, why not give 18F a try? There is so much work to be done --- so many projects that could use extra expertise and so many aspects of IT acquisition that could be improved. A team of 100 GSA techies won t be able to do it all. But if 18F buckles down and joins forces with the larger community, we might all come away with a clearer sense of how to make federal IT work better. --- TROY K. SCHNEIDER firstname.lastname@example.org, @troyschneider The ABCs of 18F April 15, 2014 FCW.COM 7 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EXECUTIVE EDITOR Troy K. Schneider John Bicknell MANAGING EDITOR Terri J. Huck STAFF WRITERS Frank Konkel, Adam Mazmanian, Mark Rockwell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Richard E. Cohen, Alan Joch, Konstantin Kakaes, John Moore, Colleen O'Hara, Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Richard A. Spires, Sarah Lai Stirland CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jef f Langkau ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Dragutin Cvijanovic SENIOR WEB DESIGNER Martin Peace EDITORIAL FELLOW Reid Davenport PRESIDENT James Causey CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER Anne Armstrong CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER Wendy LaDuke CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Carmel McDonagh PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Neal Vitale SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Richard Vitale EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Michael J. Valenti VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION Christopher M. Coates VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY& APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT Erik A. Lindgren VICE PRESIDENT, EVENT OPERATIONS David F. Myers CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Jef frey S. Klein HOW TO REACH THE STAFF A list of sta members can be found online at www.fcw.com. E-mail: Sta members can be reached by using the nam- ing convention of first initial followed by their last name @1105media.com. Vienna O ce (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. -- 5:30 p.m. ET) (703) 876-5100; Fax (703) 876-5126 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500, Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Corporate O ce (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. -- 5:30 p.m. PT) (818) 814-5200; Fax (818) 734-1522 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311
March 30, 2014
April 30, 2014