Forge.mil
Overview

In 2009, the U.S Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) established Forge.mil, a collaborative development environment and social coding platform that now supports over 20,000 software DoD IT professionals around the world. Steel Thread supported the DISA Forge PMO as the strategic agile development team to envision and develop the highly successful, awarding-winning Forge.mil service capabilities.

Challenge

Enabling adoption of open-source and commercial Agile software development best practices within the DoD’s highly complex delivery environment (including a rigorous information assurance compliance and Waterfall heavy process culture).

Why Steel Thread?

Steel Thread's founding members have extensive knowledge in Agile practices and proven experience building collaborative open-source communities within large-scale Commercial and Federal Agency environments.

Approach

Steel Thread executed the project using its preferred approach, a combination of agile development and continuous delivery best practices.

Objectives
  • Provide a secure, centralized repository for Department of Defense (DoD) source code.
  • DIACAP certified (ATO on NIPRnet).
  • Also available on SIPRnet.
  • Reduce duplicity and cut down on lost productivity and expense by Programs-of-Record and projects licensing one-off Application Life-cycle Management solutions.
  • Minimize redundancies across DoD by promoting the discovery and re-use of source code artifacts.
  • Create a marketplace or application store ("AppStore") for DoD.
  • Promote cross program collaboration and re-use.
Outcomes

Commercial best practices were successfully applied to the process-heavy, “security-first” culture of the DoD.

The program:

  • Confirmed DISA’s belief in the viability of open source development within the DoD.
  • Provided project teams with a feature-rich Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool.
  • Delivered a platform for hundreds of communities of interest (COIs) serving as “incubators” for future development initiatives.

Key Accomplishments

The offering was aggressively adopted within the DoD community and its supporting contractors. As of November 2013, the Forge.mil business office published the following customer metrics:

Forge.mil by the Numbers
27,000

Members

100+

Communities of Interest

1000+

Software Projects

100,000+

Software Downloads

In under four months, Steel Thread was able to design, develop, integrate, DIACAP certify, test, deploy and begin supporting its first customers on the Forge.mil. Given that the typical DoD software project schedule is measured in years and not months, this is a significant accomplishment.


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