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G2X Industry Insight: IT Modernization: It takes more than agile sprints

Embarking on a technology modernization project is not a simple feat and often involves a wide range of people, processes, and existing technologies across your organization. These variables play a major role in the success of a modernization initiative and influence the types of challenges and risks that may arise. To increase the chances of succeeding with a modernization project, you must integrate changes to organizational culture in conjunction with improvements to process and technology. This requires your team to embrace new ways of working, adopt new operational practices, and implement modern engineering practices to build impactful technical solutions.

Organizations using traditional plan-driven approaches to modernization commonly experience extensive and time-consuming rework, delays in value delivery to stakeholders, and less than expected value once the project is “complete.” A more effective approach is to adopt an incremental, iterative methodology grounded in Agile principles. This approach allows teams to realize value early, validate that output is in fact valuable to stakeholders through ongoing feedback loops, and provides the flexibility necessary to pivot quickly in response to changes in the business environment. However, it’s not enough to implement a few, simple Agile tactics such as stand-ups and other Scrum activities. Organizations must change their mindset to embrace iterative learning and adaptation.

While it is essential to embrace continuous change and improvement, teams must also take steps to incorporate modern engineering practices into their processes. Developers involved in a technology modernization project need to not only write solid code, but also leverage modern engineering approaches popularized by DevSecOps, DataOps, and others. Used in tandem with the best fit Agile delivery frameworks, these modern engineering practices elevate the capabilities and resilience of the final delivery and set the stage for future sustainability of the product.

To achieve success in your technology modernization project, you must build the right thing and build the thing right. Time and again, we see strong adherence to traditional ways of working and unwillingness to incorporate modern engineering practices, sabotage technology modernization efforts. Organizations end up with a final product that does not meet their requirements and is not sustainable for growth. To build the right thing and to build the thing right, organizations must fully embrace continuous improvement and true agility to see visible results early and often—an outcome not achievable by just simply following a prescriptive, rigid process model.

“Transformation is not achievable in a single step from old to new, [organizations] must be prepared to continuously adapt and improve on [their] journey to better outcomes” – Mathias Eifert, Practice Director, Organizational Transformation.

Too often do organizations implement some Agile methodologies—and expect quick results—without accepting that modernization is not a destination, but a continuous evolution.

Excella is a proven IT partner enabling federal agencies to successfully tackle their modernization projects through a blend of modern software delivery, AI and analytics, empowered by an unmatched approach to Agile and organizational transformation. From our work with U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to the Office of Personnel Management and beyond, Excella technologists facilitate the transformational changes our government clients need to execute their missions and deliver value to citizens every day. If you’re ready for change, we’re ready to transform your approach to modernization! Contact us today.

About Gavin Gollehon

Gavin Gollehon currently serves as the Director of Strategic Growth at Excella, with a focus on expanding the organization’s footprint across the Federal Health and Civilian market. Since joining Excella, he has played a pivotal role in securing key contract wins with the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Regulatory Commission, and more. Gollehon has over a decade of experience in helping Federal Agencies achieve their mission objectives. Prior to joining Excella, Gollehon led business development for CGI Federal’s International Diplomacy, Assistance, and Commerce business unit.

About Excella

Excella is an Agile technology firm and transformative partner to leading organizations. Since 2002, federal agencies, prominent brands and trailblazing nonprofits have turned to Excella to transform bold ideas into elegant technology solutions. We believe technology exists to solve challenges and evolve thinking – we help organizations harness this power to make real progress. Learn more at

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    • #169460
       Tim Harvey
      • Senior Director, Digital Content & Engagement
      • G2Xchange FedCiv

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