All agencies are basically following the same or similar guidelines for design and analysis, CMMI etc., when developing or modifying electronic data processing systems – although, presumably, each agency develops their own processes and standard documentation requirements based on agency needs.
Although I am not advocating that every agency follow exactly the same development standards, I believe that each agency needs to make sure that the paperwork/process requirements are customized to the project. Rather than ‘one size fits all’ requirements, it would be more appropriate to put together ‘tiger teams’ to work with each project being developed or retrofitted to follow new standards. If these teams went from project to project the development/retrofit development timeframes could be much reduced and time, effort and training could be much reduced, since each project would not be starting on square one and then struggling to understand and implement the new standards. In addition, if Tiger Teams were in charge, it would not cause much time to be wasted on artifacts that are not necessary or needed for a project based on the actual project type and underlying needs – the Tiger Team could evaluate and determine exactly what artifacts or components of artifacts are actually necessary - dependent on what the project/program actually delivers. No more and no less than what is needed would be developed and delivered and useless documentation would be eliminated. The current scenario seems to pit process over product and is a time and money waster. In the past several years I have seen numerous instances where contractors are being paid to deliver standard boilerplate documents that actually serve no purpose other than to check off the fact that a document exists. No pertinent data is developed since it is really a document that is not necessary in the situation, it is just boilerplate. A Tiger Team(s) could eliminate waste such as this.
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