All of our work has a common thread. Our ultimate goal is always to solve problems, and to improve the process for the next problem.

Case Study: USMC Maintenance battalion maker community

Executive summary

Eight members of the Marine Maintenance Battalion community came together with four other Marines through Hacking for Defense™ to increase unit productivity by making it easier to share and collaborate on design files for custom parts.  Working with three professional product designers and supported by four subject matter experts in shared work and community development, the Marines tackled the problem by cross-leveling their experience and selecting specific targets of opportunity for the week.  

The BMNT team used Sprint questions to support hypothesis development, which are measurable tests that generate meaningful insight related to both the problem and potential solutions. Through iteration and voting, the teams built out their hypotheses into a self-reinforcing group of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs).  These MVPs -- and the skills developed through this week -- will enable the Marines to continue testing and rapidly advancing their understanding of the problem, ultimately supporting the effective testing, deployment, and sustainment of a truly expeditionary solution.

Key Takeaways

Marines are returning to their home stations with critical hypotheses to test in the form of MVPs. Testing these MVPs will result in high-quality data that can be used to help create a well-refined and highly-effective solution later this year.

Accompanying each MVP, teams also developed a 1-page guide to support testing and ensure effective feedback is collected.

Through engagement with industry experts, Marines learned about intentional steps to build and support the Maker community without relying extensively on complex and costly software.

Case Study: CYber National Mission Force

Executive Summary

The Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF) began H4D seeking to: “Determine time and cost effective ways to increase the cost curve on adversary cyberspace operations.” H4D brought together 18 participants – cyber analysts, program managers, and mission operators from 9 organizations across Cyber Command and the intelligence community – with 21 experts from 14 companies and Stanford University to tailor their solution approach.

While interacting with the current state of the art in emerging commercial capabilities, the participants maintained a user-story mindset, which paired their tremendous experience with the art of the possible, and focused efforts on providing a tangible benefit to users. They emerged from the Lean Methodology with a refined understanding of their problem, which refocused their efforts on leveraging automated orchestration to increase the cost-curve for adversary cyberspace operations.  

Armed with more clarity and a narrower focus, the CNMF team built a pathway for the development of automated orchestration pilot and operationalization. DIUx’s Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) now allows CNMF to rapidly pursue solution options as they are identified; while the pathway itself enables them to focus on broader automated response options in the near future.

Key Takeaways

Refined and refocused understanding of their institutional problems

Deep awareness of the current art of the possible

Clearly articulated metrics for successful testing and evaluation

Roadmap for quick-turn solution development with DIUx’s Commercial Solution Opening

2016 Year-in-Review

Born out of a combination of the rapid problem sourcing and curation Pete Newell developed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, and Steve Blank’s Lean Startup process, Hacking for Defense (H4D) has set the national security arena afire. H4D projects have earned recognition as the fastest way to bring technological innovations to bear on defense’s thorniest problems, whether through a BMNT enterprise effort, or a graduate-level course facilitated by Hacking for Defense, Inc (H4Di). 

Interested in Solving Problems