Building a Better Software Delivery Model

A large, federal IT organization had the ability to develop innovative, new technologies to meet and exceed their customers’ and business partners’ needs, but they needed a better way to implement them securely, with a high degree of quality, and rapidly enough to meet any new or emergent need.

The organization’s approach to software development and delivery had become siloed. Several highly motivated executives wanted to take a more dynamic approach toward development. To meet its objectives and fulfill customer need, the organization desired an approach that was consistent and scalable, based on shared goals, and grounded in foundational components that simultaneously created better technology and a high-performing workforce. Leveraging industry and government best practices would lead to higher levels of satisfaction and success, better technology utilization, and fast communication of information, resulting in quicker decision-making.

Dealing with an organization whose workforce was set in their ways and accustomed to legacy development approaches, the federal IT organization was more than six months behind schedule in developing the necessary software factory model.

Emerald One was brought in to influence, organize, and spearhead the initiative. We assessed and analyzed existing physical software factories for applicability in the organization’s environment and identified common principles and characteristics that would assist in the model development. To begin the socialization process, Emerald One held several high-impact workshops with key executives to craft a loose framework and visual representation of the software factory model. We developed a Draft Concept of Operations which helped guide the prioritization and sequencing steps of execution. We then identified opportunities for reuse across the organization to allow for more rapid implementation and adoption across the enterprise and further identified points of strategic refinement or consolidation to enable implementation.


Emerald One was able to successfully lead the organization to a customized, unique model to implement software factories along with a detailed implementation roadmap. With an active design team assigned, the organization was able to achieve its first year’s milestones. With engaged executive sponsorship, stalled programs were restarted with structured team members, prioritized objectives, and timelines. The initiative has maintained a continuous forward momentum and acceptance as an established initiative within the organization with CIO interest and support. As an ancillary development, due to Emerald One facilitation and coaching, four executives developed a collaborative working relationship that has accelerated the development of processes and shared resources and fostered shared ownership to propel the organization’s digital transformation further and faster.

Going forward, the software factory model will deliver unparalleled value to their customers and business partners by creating a standardized, consistent, low-burden environment enabling the organization to leverage emerging technology, methodologies, and trends.