Creating an Agile Center of Excellence

Case Study Government Services

A large defense integrator uses Apex’s Agile approach to implement a Center of Excellence that helped integrate software engineers into their environment while limiting risk exposure on a major weapons program. 

SITUATION 

Our client, a large aerospace and defense integrator, was experiencing significant risk exposure on a major weapon systems acquisition program with the Department of Defense (DoD), driven by insufficient availability of qualified software engineering resources to meet the program’s requirements.  Program execution could not keep pace with maintaining a production baseline already fielded to DoD warfighters, as well as with requirements to upgrade capabilities for evolving operational demands.  Our client required a solution with the flexibility to integrate Software Engineers into their SAFe Agile environment by conducting system development within an Eclipse and Microsoft visual studio environment supporting Java, C# and utilizing tools such as Enterprise Architect, SVN, VersionOne, Jira and Crucible.  

SOLUTION 

Our team partnered with the client to implement a customized Center of Excellence solution.  The first step was to create an initial resource demand plan and integration strategy, which had unexpectedly grown 60% by the time the contract launched.  Our management approach included daily on-site engagement management overseeing resources deployed seamlessly to various system module and product teams.   

A key component of our integration was the full implementation of our work product execution and technical reporting within the client’s development environment and supporting management systems.  This was designed to improve reliability and accuracy of all reporting under DoD-mandated earned value management system requirements for this weapon platform acquisition program.   

A customized candidate screening process allowed us to independently qualify candidates and expedite the onboarding process.  The placement of an onsite program manager ensured quality and accountability of our performance resulting in better contributions and efficiency in supporting the contract execution. 

Closed 60% Gap Within Seven Weeks

RESULT 

In a span of seven weeks, our team closed the client’s gap with 22 Software and Systems Engineers, along with a backup pool of another 17.  Having provided seamless integration between our team and the client management team, our process allowed the customer to hit development milestones that were previously unattainable.