U.S. Census System Saves $200 Million by Going Agile

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Projects at Work logoOutlined in this Projects@Work paper is another real world story of a large government project, managing census operations paper forms, that started to fail but succeeded in time and under budget by switching to agile.

The 6 page paper highlights how this Census Bureau project was slated to cost $350 million and was accomplished in $50 million.

 

The project manages 52% of the census data that is not responded to by mail and requires manual effort by the operations.  The team implementing the management system was up to “110 folks.”  This was a back and forth process while contractors experienced in agile worked with teams who had little to no background in agile at all.

 

One of the great outcomes of this project is not only a successful, working system, but the knowledge and expertise transferred from an experienced group to existing management teams that will be able to apply this experience elsewhere.  “This program taught the staff we
were working with at the Census Bureau that they could add agility to some of their processes…” Half the battle is experiencing agile’s success and this helps spread good practices throughout the government.

 

Read the full paper here.