Intrapreneurship: Startup Mentality; Large Company Resources

Intrapreneurship: Startup Mentality; Large Company Resources


Intrapreneurship is the emerging term to refer to the phenomenon of individuals working within a large organization as entrepreneurial change agents. Intrapreneurs behave like entrepreneurs—sparking change, technological disruption, and innovation through a management style that accepts risk taking and creativity. Large organizations are finding it increasingly valuable to cultivate intrapreneurial teams in order to foster the innovation necessary to stay competitive. They marry a startup mentality with the brains and funding of a large corporation.

This “startup” mentality and trend in commercial software development is now spilling over into traditional contracting. Startups are known for industry innovation and disruption, knowing and taking care of the customer, hiring the right employees and valuing their efforts, accelerated learning, iterative development and improvement, enhanced collaboration, creating a winning culture, and calling on the team for success. Of course, our government customers also want those things!

Engility’s Agile DevOps ENnovation Center (EC) embodies these trends in our effort to provide customized software development. With a ready-staff of experts and the ability to pull in subject matter expertise from other Engility programs, the Agile DevOps EC offers the full spectrum of software development capabilities to our customers. During its first year alone, the Agile DevOps EC completed more than 10 projects, supporting Engility Corporate Capture and customers such as NASA, DoD, and the VA, while demonstrating the ability to quickly ramp up successful collaborative Agile efforts across multiple Engility teams, locations, and departments. The team was able to pull on a large and diverse group of talent and invest resources that may not be available to a small startup.

In one challenge, we created an application, from scratch, over a four-month period, with no prior examples or prototypes and no existing requirements. We ensured the resulting application supported the capture of information, reporting on the captured information and the availability of the data for analytics and reporting. The EC immediately organized with the skillsets and knowledge needed by pulling expertise from the Charleston, Jacksonville, and Virginia Beach offices in order to begin development and address a number of core project challenges. By the end of the four-month period, the EC was able to deliver a custom solution that satisfied all customer requirements and was ready to be used in the field.

Intrapreneurship Our culture remains true to the Agile tenets of self-organization, rapid iteration, customer-facing development, continuous learning, and lean operation. Our culture also personifies the DevOps practice of unifying software development and production operations; active testing and cybersecurity through continuous integration and deployment; and innovation through rapid customer feedback. In addition, our culture follows an engagement model that values individuals and interactions over process and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.

We strive to bring intrapreneurship to the Agile DevOps EC and to behave like entrepreneurs as we work within the Engility organization.

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Posted by Brad Stewart

I am Engility’s Director of Software Development and IT Services as part of the Technical Solutions Group and serve as the program manager for the Veterans Benefit Management System Agile software development activities in Charleston, SC. I have served in leadership and strategy roles on programs with Engility’s Space and Defense Groups. I am currently focused on expanding the Agile DevOps ENnovation Center and supporting Engility’s customers in the realm of systems and software development activities across the organization.