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Inhouse Software Factories: Bridging the gap between the developer and the end user

By Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Caleb Walker 
Published: May 5, 2022
READ TIME: 3 minutes
WithYouWithMe recently partnered with several FVEY military organizations to build out their in-house digital capabilities to empower teams to ideate and build technology solutions that meet their evolving needs.

The challenge

Currently, many defence organisations find themselves digitally hamstrung. They're often forced to address their complex and unit-specific software requirements with commercial-off-theshelf products that don't quite meet the brief or are highly customised and siloed solutions.

There's little-to-no consideration for reuse and future development and it's difficult to mobilize innovative ideas.

Units increasingly require fit-for-purpose software developed in-house by subject matter experts. They need the ability to update their solutions to meet their specific current and future software requirements.

Ultimately, units require digital transformation - but accessing the capabilities and mindset to achieve this in-house is challenging.

The solution

WithYouWithMe is building out defence organizations’ in-house digital capabilities through the delivery of ‘Software Factories’ which are designed to create empowered teams that ideate and deliver technology solutions that meet unit's evolving needs. WithYouWithMe's Software Factory model helps ensure innovation and agility can be embedded into defence culture.

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Commanders can readily identify and enable their members to learn software development through WYWM. Resulting in personnel with in-depth knowledge of the Unit user requirements to build bespoke software solutions.

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Leveraging WYWM's industry network, qualified personnel were able to gain valuable experience in large tech organizations and implement that knowledge into their Unit.

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A fundamental problem with militaries is that often, the link between the people producing the solution and the people using the solution, is too far, is broken, or doesn't exist. And so the problems compound. A software factory is designed to bring those two teams together.

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A software factory could look like anything. It could be a team of three in a unit or a larger squad in a higher headquarters. It can be customized to the size of the organization, and the size of the problem.

Within FVEYS, we worked with several Defence Leaders, which required diverse HR software solutions to address a data capture/analysis deficiency that impacts the entire enterprise.

After several attempts using spreadsheets and off the shelf software, the leaders and her teams of SMEs sought to design a 'unicorn' solution. With user story and problem in mind, the Unit undertook testing to discover the talent of their personnel and enabled them to complete WYWM's training pipelines. Once qualified, the Unit had a Software Factory developing successful, bespoke software solutions.

The innovation of the Unit was showcased widely as they were able to assist other HQs requiring the same solution.

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Caleb Walker
Vice President Defence and Government, WithYouWithMe

Benefits of an inhouse Software Factory

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Using WYWM’s Potential training platform to create a pool of digitally-enabled teams

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Fit for purpose software developed in-house by subject matter experts

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Units are able to update their solutions to meet current and future software requirements

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Enhanced analytics capability integrating PowerBI reporting

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Improved generation of decision-ready information

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Increased levels of digital literacy

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Improved automated handling of data

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Broader access to data across the organization

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Integrated capability development

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