B&A Agile capabilities incorporate and leverage best practices from the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), providing delivery solutions at the portfolio, program, and team levels. B&A is a Certified Scaled Agile Bronze Partner, with many disciplined Agile Leaders experienced in managing and leading agile teams for our government clients. These leaders have the CSM (Certified Scrum Master) and SA (Scaled Agilest) certification in addition to hands-on experience leading agile teams. As Lean Agile Leaders, we are equipped with the ability to provide training for Lean Agile, understand, teach and coach lean agile behaviors, and are trained in practice and tools of continuous improvement. B&A has successfully implemented Agile methodology within multiple components of the Department of Homeland Security, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Passenger Systems Program Directorate (CBP/PSPD) and Cargo Systems Program Directorate (CBP/CSPD), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Watch List Service (USCIS/WLS), Visa Support Services Project (USCIS/VSSP), and Risk and Fraud Support Services (USCIS/RFSS).
Improved Transparency: Government leads acting in the role of Product Owner have increased transparency into individual team member assignments, Scrum team priorities via Release and Sprint Planning, and increased awareness of the Scrum team’s accomplishments via the Sprint Demonstrations. Continuous Improvement is achieved through Retrospective sessions. This has improved the overall team’s efficiency and resulted in shorter feedback loops and less rework.
Improved Responsiveness and Performance: Increased release frequency allows for responsiveness to emergent needs and more rapid delivery of value to the user community. B&A delivered the award winning CBP Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) system using tailored Agile processes, completing the project in only six months. Today, ESTA executes more than 9,000 automated tests every time code is modified. 20-25 million applications are processed each year, with system availability in 36 countries, supporting 22 different languages.
Improved Test Framework and Efficiency: By developing test scripts for automated regression testing, B&A reduced regression testing time on 5 different agile projects from 5 days to 1 day, demonstrating an 80% increase in operational efficiency. The test automation framework with continuous integration tightened the development cycle and increased productivity. The number of defects found during Quality Assurance testing was reduced by over 50%.
Continuous Integration: At CBP/PSPD, via the introduction of continuous integration, B&A reduced the time to deploy software to a new region from up to 8 hours to less than 30 minutes, thus creating an efficiency gain up to 94% in the deployment process. Furthermore, due to the increased efficiency, resources were able to bring in new user stories into their current sprint and achieve stretch objectives.