FDM Group collaborates with Fannie Mae to bring talent in-house

Top Quote Fannie Mae works with IT services provider FDM Group to develop local technical talent in-house, moving away from offsite outsourcing through an external vendor. End Quote
  • Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV (1888PressRelease) September 23, 2016 - For a period of time, much of Fannie Mae's Software Configuration Management (SCM) services had been delivered by an external vendor, offsite from the organization's offices in Reston, VA. In early 2015, Fannie Mae took on the goal of internalizing subject matter expertise and focusing on developing and fostering core skill sets within internal teams of full-time employees. In a market where technology talent is in short supply, Fannie Mae strategically turned their focus towards building their internal talent pool, investing in their people with the goal of maximizing retention.

    Thus, Fannie Mae began a structural shape shift - specifically, transitioning their SCM services back in house. In a new vendor collaboration with IT and professional services provider FDM Group, Fannie Mae was able to successfully accomplish that transition. FDM worked collaboratively with Fannie Mae's DevOps Transition Team to develop a customized training program specific to the organization's SCM needs. FDM recruited and trained local talent and worked together with Fannie Mae managers to ensure a smooth on-boarding process and effective knowledge transfer. As Fannie Mae sought to build a team that reflects the greater population that they serve, FDM played a key role in recruiting a diverse pool of candidates.

    The training included Java and scripting technologies, Puppet and Jenkins tool stacks, and agile best practices that would allow FDM Consultants to fulfill a number of objectives including: supporting the legacy tool set as the third-party resource was wound down; backfilling the third-party resource with a second wave of Consultants; and migrating the tools from legacy to the target state platform. All of this effort was underpinned by the adoption of a DevOps approach across the SCM team to enable swift IT change. The new team of FDM Consultants in this Enterprise SCM team was able to take over full function from the previous vendor with a transition time of only four months.

    FDM CEO Rod Flavell spoke of the collaboration between FDM and Fannie Mae, saying that it "clearly showcases the results that companies can achieve by investing in their talent pipeline for the future. By transitioning FDM Consultants permanently after a period of two years, Fannie Mae's talent pool will be strengthened, giving them a competitive edge. Utilizing the typical contractor model without considering the need to retain knowledge, skills and resource long term doesn't have the same effect."

    Today, Fannie Mae is experiencing first-hand the value of this in-house, agile SCM work environment. With the new core team in place, the SCM services are still meeting the existing SLAs and the DevOps Transformation Team has optimized their services in-line with industry best practices. Supported migration volume has improved by more than 20% since April, and 10 legacy applications have been migrated to target state architecture. Quality of service has been increased and the speed of issue resolution has dramatically improved. In addition to the benefits of having local, onsite resource, this team has an enhanced skillset in comparison to the previous vendor's teams due to FDM's bespoke and immersive training.

    For Nathaniel Hahn, a current FDM Consultant placed at Fannie Mae within the SCM group, being in an agile team means always using forward-thinking and optimizing performance. He explained the function of his role and how, together, they are producing quality output:
    "On the SCM Team, we provide critical automated build and deploy support to all of Fannie Mae's applications. We also transform applications from manual to automated builds and deployments, which greatly reduces the cycle time of applications in development. In my role on the team, I drive continuous improvement of our service quality through agile practices using Kanban. We focus our improvements on educating customers on how to use our services, ensuring that knowledge is shared amongst the team to improve our issue reaction time, and automating manual processes to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks. By identifying our key improvement areas and forming small sub-teams to implement our ideas, we are streamlining the process for developers using SCM tools to rapidly iterate on ideas from the business."

    Rakesh Bantu, Manager of DevOps (CICD) Development Services at Fannie Mae, oversees this team and has been pleased with the performance of FDM Consultants like Nathaniel: "It was refreshing to see how FDM invested in junior talent, along with training military veterans. Fannie Mae's SCM services directly benefited from this investment, and I was very impressed with how FDM worked hand-in-hand to understand our needs and provide resources. We are already seeing the results from this talent where they are challenging the status quo and bringing in fresh ideas."

    Fannie Mae's DevOps Transition is a true success story for making human capital planning strategies and objectives a reality. This new collaboration with FDM and the achievements of the resulting team are great indicators of the potential for the future state of DevOps at Fannie Mae.

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