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Our Work at USDA

All four centers of excellence are embedded at this partner agency.


As a tactical approach to standing up the Centers of Excellence (CoE) and proving their value, we found an agency collaborator that would go “all-in” with us - an enlightened, passionate agency partner that would work to advance in all five CoE areas. Working together, USDA and the CoE are modernizing IT across the department to execute the Secretary Sonny Perdue's vision of being data driven and a leader in customer service and experience, not just across the government, but across industry as well.

The CoE began Phase 1 Discovery Work at USDA in April 2018, and their Phase II implementation activities in October 2018.

Cloud Adoption

Key Findings Phase 1

  • Generated $2M+ in cost avoidance at USDA by leveraging an existing FedRAMP authorized cloud solution for a new data platform
  • Partnered with the USDA Information Security Center and the Data Analytics Center of Excellence to achieve Authority to Operate (ATO) for a new FedRAMP-authorized cloud landing zone in USDA - completing ATO for both the cloud platform and its first component application in less than five months.
  • Partnered with USDA's Marketing and Regulatory Programs Mission Area to create technical teams that will position them for migrating legacy applications to the cloud.
  • Developed solution architectures for AWS and Azure ATO processes for USDA that are transferable to other Federal agencies.
  • Provided USDA’s Forest Service with a notional architecture for migration of their current application inventory to AWS.
  • Developed a department wide application inventory and identified the initial 100 USDA applications to be migrated to the Cloud.

Latest Updates

  • Creating a Cloud First Organization

  • Contact Center

    Key Findings Phase 1

    • Engaged with stakeholders within USDA and across federal government to identify areas of opportunity and lessons learned to expedite contact center optimization
    • Spearheaded USDA’s “Tell Sonny” voice of the customer program to better understand the needs and expectations of farmers, ranchers, producers, foresters and consumers.
    • Developed future-state vision of an omni-channel capable OneUSDA front-door contact center to address pain points identified in current state assessment and apply best practices
    • Created enterprise-wide knowledge management strategy to facilitate consistency and improve efficiency throughout the customer experience
    • Developed Chief Customer Office to-be vision and organization structure based on best practice research, in order to streamline and unify customer experience operations and initiatives at USDA
    • Projected a 58% in cost savings anticipated from the OneUSDA contact center over a three-year period to quantify financial management efficiency goals

    Latest Updates

  • Tell Sonny Initiative

  • Customer Experience

    Key Findings Phase 1

    • Facilitated a farmer’s roundtable in Kansas City, MO with USDA and OMB in coordination with the President’s Management Agenda announcement
    • Developed a Farm Loans Hypothesis Workshop Report and Farm Loans Hypothesis Journey Map
    • Developed Farm Loans Final Report
    • Completed Farm Production and Conservation Mission area Voice of the Customer Assessment

    Latest Updates

  • How Do You Use a Journey Map?
  • How Do You Read a Journey Map?
  • What Is a Customer Journey Map?
  • How Customer Experience (CX) Can Help Your Agency

  • Data Analytics

    Key Findings Phase 1

    • REE - Established Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for REE mission area that align with the USDA strategic plan by conducting several workshops with the REE team. As a part of this effort, REE agency level performance indicators were assessed and evaluated to see where improvements can be made. The improved metrics have been approved by the Deputy Secretary and will be implemented in Phase II. Additionally, Rural Development mission area is interested in developing strategic plan KPIs for RD based on the same process in Phase II.
    • FS - Developed working prototypes for Forest Service describing Timber Sale information over time. In addition to tracking timber sales information, these dashboards can be used to forecast expected progress as well as the impact of process/technology improvements on timber sales.
    • Analyzed customer feedback from citizens across the U.S. gathered through the “Tell Sonny” initiative and created user friendly visualizations to inform USDA. The visualizations are updated daily and are triaged to respective USDA agencies for further action.
    • Evaluated USDA mission area strategic KPIs to assess alignment with USDA strategic plan. Currently working on expanding it to include additional agency level KPIs.
    • Created a prototype OMB A-11 feedback mechanism and worked with mission areas including FPAC to socialize requirements and support implementation.
    • Assessed and evaluated needs around various Voice of Customer (VoC) channels including Tell Sonny, Social Media and Web Analytics to evaluate where USDA can develop data driven solutions to understand customer sentiment. As a part of this effort, various working visualization prototypes were developed to reflect customer feedback that can be expanded to reflect a holistic view of USDA Voice of Customer in Phase II.

    Latest Updates

  • REE Key Performance Indicators Development
  • Tell Sonny Dashboard