Within DHS, our customer USCIS required a modern identity management architecture to support the more than 130 enterprise mission critical applications with Single Sign-on capabilities. The original architecture had vendor lock-in and did not accommodate the rapidly changing and fluid nature of the requirements across all the application systems. Fixed Scrum sprints were constantly being changed while the personnel where tied down to the abilities available in the COTS architecture The COTS based solution required significant customization to meet the agency’s needs for its most critical applications. This functional limitation greatly reduced the ease and speed at which system integration could occur. In addition, the DevOps CI/CD supporting this environment was not consistent or stable.
In order to provide the best service, we hired a team of 23 cross-functional security and identify management specialists who transitioned to an Agile Kanban methodology that minimized work in progress in order to maximize throughput. We identified that individual work packages were small and could be rapidly completed, which provided more flexibility for the customer to pivot requirements while limiting the impact to the dynamic work environment. Our SMEs worked closely with federal stakeholders to validate policy and business requirements to drive the open-source approach based on technology stacks common to the department.
The development teams were staffed and designed to support Agile DevOps and Best Practices with personnel who were skilled in Agile Roles supporting scrum development, which allowed each team to be more self-sufficient and focused on particular areas of the solution without having to rely on external resources. Due to the highly specialized, and heavily siloed nature of the project, we realized that sharing knowledge and prioritizing tasks were areas of concern. This led to sprint cadences being synchronized across all teams to provide cross-team collaboration and planning.
The lack of common infrastructure to facilitate CI/CD initiatives put the organization at risk for extended downtimes and heavily impacted the user base. So, we leveraged tools from our S4C supply chain, such as GitHub, Jenkins and Nexus to allow for greater flexibility in deployments and troubleshooting. We also use a technology/vendor agnostic, open-source approach to the new solution which allowed for increased deployment releases, from quarterly to weekly, across all product lines to ensure that all customer requirements were met.
- Zero Downtime Deployments: Our efforts led to zero downtime deployments during business hours, no after-hours deployments, no overtime to troubleshoot deployment issues, and instantaneous rollbacks. Sevatec eliminated the impacts to the user base and reduced deployment issues.
- Successful Transition to Agile Kanban: The use of Agile portfolio management centralized requirements significantly reduced O&M tasks across all enterprise and public initiatives, allowing the team to accomplish the highest priority items quickly.
- Greater Flexibility and Quicker Releases: Sevatec increased deployment releases from quarterly to weekly across all product lines and delivered greater flexibility leveraging a technology and vendor agnostic, open-source approach.