When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) sought to undertake a substantial modernization of its Benefits Integration Platform (BIP)—the cloud-based platform nerve center that coordinates all applications and software packages throughout the agency’s claims processing infrastructure—Booz Allen proposed implementing a SAFe® Agile DevSecOps capability. The number of affected individuals is estimated to be as high as 90,000. We have subsequently developed and operated a robust change management process in coordination with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Office of Business Improvement (OBI), including modernized intake, requirements gathering, agile development, and a DevSecOps pipeline for VA. We achieved one of the first and the largest SAFe® implementations at the agency, followed by the model they’re now using for product line management and their DevSecOps processes for instrumentation, monitoring, and operations.
As part of enabling BIP, we also helped VA lift and shift some large products into the cloud (migrating over 1.3PB of data) and developed a platform to share services between systems. New software applications can now be swiftly developed and immediately put to work addressing issues as they arise, and the standard data required to handle claims is readily available through shared application programming interfaces (API). Booz Allen consultants also established a specialized talent pool of software architects, cloud engineers, and business subject matter experts to allow support teams to be spun up rapidly and provide the ability to shift and prioritize new requests, making the system much more responsive to changes in legislation and veterans’ needs.
Our efforts at the VA had a swift and substantial operational impact, enabling 290 production deployments within 3 months. We achieved 75% reuse of common enterprise services and reduced the time for deployment to the environment’s configuration to 10 minutes. Once operational, our solution averaged just 11 days for production resolution of Critical/High defects and 16.5 days for Medium/Low defects, easily beating the SLA targets of 30 and 60 days, respectively. And these operational efficiencies were also reflected in financial savings, leading to a 79% reduction in infrastructure costs for VA.