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Powerful Example: A Day In the Life of the Kessel Run Software Factory

Powerful Example: A Day In the Life of the Kessel Run Software Factory

Powerful Example: A Day In the Life of the Kessel Run Software Factory
Sean Brady, DAU Software Acquisition Learning Director

The Kessel Run team gives us a glimpse of what life is like in a modern software development organization in DoD. Successful change management, and modern software practices such as DevSecOps and Extreme Programming, are critical capabilities that enable Kessel Run to continuously deliver value to the Warfighter.

Kessel Run team members (e.g., special projects director, release engineer, product manager, lab director, engineering practice lead, software engineer) discuss their culture, work environment and software practices such as pair programming, test driven development, and CI/CD through their software pipeline.

High performing software companies and industrial software factories have to release new code to the market at break-neck pace (within minutes or hours) just to maintain their competitive advantage. Kessel Run has been recognized for helping DoD move closer to achieving the Under Secretary of Defense’s goal to catch up to private sector software delivery performance. Kessel Run transformed a legacy system program that did not deliver capability for nearly a decade, into a modern organization that delivers war-winning capabilities to the fight every 12 hours. This involved scaling change and growing from a 20-person experiment -- to an organization of over 700 people that has inspired change across DoD. The efforts of the Kessel Run team, past and present, were recognized with new 2019 Software Innovation Team Award from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and the General Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award from Air Force Chief of Staff.


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For more information about this story, or to submit your own Powerful Example - send an email to the DAU Powerful Examples Team at [email protected].

Key Words: Best Practices, Lessons Learned, Powerful Examples