What is a Software Factory?

What can 100 years of manufacturing principles teach us about large-scale software services?

In the late 1800s, small teams of craftsmen would build small batches of automobiles together, from scratch. These teams would handle everything from vehicle construction even to maintenance, since they had unique knowledge about each of these amazingly unique cars.

When Henry Ford implemented mass production, concepts like a moving assembly line, interchangeable parts, and purpose-built machine tools changed the entire automotive industry forever. Cars simultaneously became dramatically higher quality and exponentially less expensive. The world hasn’t looked back.

Fast-forward 100 years and into the world of large-scale IT Services. Work is still managed on hourly labor rates, there is little true investment in process and tools, and projects are staffed with generalists instead of trained specialists. A wave of outsourcing provided a one-time cost drop due to labor arbitrage, but little improvement has been seen in quality and no ongoing cost improvements.

DevFactory takes IT software services out of the dark ages — bringing radical cost savings to large businesses while simultaneously delivering a fundamentally higher quality product. It turns out, it's never a bad idea to use such proven principles as assembly lines, specialized machine tooling, lean manufacturing, kaizen, kanban, continuous integration, and continuous quality.

If your organization's annual software services budget is over $1B per year, you can't afford not to use a software factory.