VA seeks agile develop help for health management platform

The Veterans Affairs Department has started to introduce its new electronic health management platform (eHMP) in increments and the VA has benefited from an agile development approach due to the project’s size, scope and the changes in requirements and priorities. However, the VA’s fixed-price acquisition strategy has been a hindrance.

Now, VA officials are looking to industry for potential acquisition strategies that would take both financial and performance risk off the government’s shoulders.

Furthermore, the VA wants to collaborate with health care systems and commercial vendors. Officials recognize a need for vendor teams because, otherwise, they likely won’t have the breadth of highly specialized expertise in product knowledge and technical architectures. In addition, system designs must be compatible with reference architecture and other standards so the department can participate in the marketplace.

The VA is currently in a transition from the Project Management Accountability System to a more agile process. The eHMP is one of the pilot efforts. The pilot period will extend through March, but officials already are starting to update and refine it.

The VA plans to buy services for the development and implementation of eHMP’s features and functionality managed by a scaled agile process. They will also set a flexible prioritized backlog that will go through frequent adjustments roughly each quarter of the year.

To get the strategies and teams, the VA released a request for information Feb. 3 for feedback. Responses are due by Feb. 17.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

Reader Comments

Mon, Feb 8, 2016

To what extent do u think companies implicated in prior VA IT systems disasters at VA will be excluded from participation in this program?

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