The team at 18F — the General Services Administration's digital services innovation arm — released the 16 winners for the first set of contracts on its Agile Development Services blanket purchase agreement (BPA).

18F developers have been championing agile software development methods since the unit was created, however the enthusiastic response from agencies looking for help with this quickly outstripped the team's ability to offer support.

More: 18F builds agile contract for agile development

In order to meet demand, 18F reached out to private industry earlier this year to start building a BPA of pre-competed contracts for the team to buy services off of, with the eventual goal of expanding its use across the federal government.

"We want to buy digital services in a different way than we bought them before," 18F Director of Acquisition Management David Zvenyach said during the solicitation process. "We want the experience that we've had at 18F to scale beyond just building it internally."

In order to ensure vendors were able to meet the team's agile development needs, 18F set up a two-week test sprint and evaluated potential awardees on their ability to deliver working code, rather than past performance or other traditional acquisition metrics.

More: Say goodbye to 100-page RFPs — 18F found another way

The result is a cadre of 16 tested agile companies available to help with new development projects.

"GSA strives to be a proactive federal partner to both agencies and the vendor community and this agile BPA is another great example of that," said GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth. "By allowing 18F to contract with companies that work in an agile, user-centered fashion, GSA will be able to continue transforming the way government buys digital services and better respond to the needs of customer agencies."

The final 16 winners were chosen from among 88 vendors to compete in the third pool (full stack). Officials said details on the first and second pools and awardees will be coming soon.

The winners:

Aaron Boyd is an awarding-winning journalist currently serving as editor of Federal Times — a Washington, D.C. institution covering federal workforce and contracting for more than 50 years — and Fifth Domain — a news and information hub focused on cybersecurity and cyberwar from a civilian, military and international perspective.

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