Recovery.gov succeeded with agile development

Monday - 4/18/2011, 3:32pm EDT

Shawn Kingsberry, CIO, Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Recovery.gov - the website that tracks the $787 billion in stimulus funds - was borne of a willingness to take risks in the face of a tight deadline.

"When you have to deliver, it forces you to think outside the box and use agile methodologies and focus on delivery," said Shawn Kingsberry, CIO for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. "If you don't do that, you're doomed."

The agile development strategy meant making "incremental steps forward" and communicating as those steps were made, Kingsberry said.

"You got to communicate and you have to be able to take baby steps with the understanding you have the bigger picture you have to focus on," he said.

As the CTO, Kingsberry said his responsibilities were initially the "nuts and bolts" of the technology. Now, he said he is more focused on the bigger picture of how to improve Recovery.gov and spread those lessons to the rest of the federal government.