NewsBrief June 19, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: June 19, 2020

Agility to action: Operationalizing a value-driven agile blueprint

(McKinsey & Company) Over the past few years, many companies have sought to be more agile by reconfiguring their organizations into small, cross-functional teams. In most cases, such exercises start with a pilot, in which employees from across the organization come together to work on a common mission. Such missions might include a bank building a product for its customers, a retailer tailoring an assortment for shoppers, or a fast-food chain implementing a plan to comply with changes in labor regulations in a specific country. Moving beyond individual teams to implement an agile operating model requires that missions are loosely coupled but tightly aligned; teams should be able to execute their missions with minimum dependencies while ensuring the overall organization is geared toward generating value. Read More

DOD wants to overhaul its software development by 2025

(FCW) The Defense Department wants virtually all of its new software initiatives to use modern software development methodologies by 2025—but it has to untangle decades of legacy processes first. “Nearly all of our processes push back on the idea of rapid delivery of small amounts of capability and production,” said Peter Ranks, DOD’s deputy CIO for information enterprise, during FCW’s Cloud Summit June 17. That’s why DOD wants to build a “services ecosystem” that mimics commercial industry’s software practices, said Ranks, who has been leading an effort to develop a security-focused DevSecOps reference plan this year. Read More

‘Agile’ is not quite agile for DOD, and other familiar acquisition problems persist, watchdog finds

(fedscoop)The Department of Defense continues to run into recurring problems of cost overruns, cybersecurity vulnerabilities and slow software updates, the latest version of an annual GAO assessment says. The Department of Defense’s claim that nearly two dozen of its weapons programs are using “agile” software development — a methodology where iterative updates are pushed out rapidly — doesn’t quite meet industry standards, the report says. And while some branches have embraced penetration testing for IT networks and other more life-like cybersecurity tests on their networks, less than half of the 42 major weapons systems the GAO reviewed conducted such tests. But many did do table-top exercises. Read More

The Recession’s Impact on Analytics and Data Science

(MITSloan) The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is having a dramatic negative impact on economies in the U.S. and worldwide, and unemployment rates are soaring. Given the economic disruptions, it seems likely that many countries in the global economy will experience a recession. Organizations are beginning to grapple with how the economic slowdown will influence investments they are making across the board. One question we wonder about is whether the demand for analytics and data science resources will remain heavy or slow down. You don’t have to look far to find evidence that the focus in this area has been strong: A 2017 report by IBM, for instance, predicted that the number of analytics and data science positions in the U.S. alone would increase by 364,000, to 2,729,000 by 2020. Read More

Army releases $1B cyber training request

(Fifth Domain) The Army released its highly anticipated request for proposals June 11 for a contract that could be worth as much as $1 billion to provide cyber training for the Department of Defense. The Cyber Training, Readiness, Integration, Delivery and Enterprise Technology (TRIDENT) is a contract vehicle to offer a more streamlined approach for procuring the military’s cyber training capabilities. The Army is running the contract on behalf of the joint force. Read More

Federal CX in the age of COVID-19

(FCW) We’re all used to living in an age of digital convenience. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many companies have had to redefine what that convenience looks like and reset their offerings to meet consumer needs and maintain relevance. E-commerce giants have pivoted their logistics and warehouse operations to essential items, such as medical supplies and household staples. Read More

Innovation in a crisis: Why it is more critical than ever

(McKinsey & Company) John F. Kennedy once observed that the word “crisis” in Chinese is composed of two characters—one representing danger, the other opportunity. He may not have been entirely correct on the linguistics, but the sentiment is true enough: a crisis presents a choice. This is particularly true today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of life, from the personal (how people live and work) to the professional (how companies interact with their customers, how customers choose and purchase products and services, how supply chains deliver them). Read More