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How we work

Together, we create a unified team by pairing our technical expertise with your program knowledge.

18F partners with civilian and military federal agencies to help you build or buy exceptional digital services.

18F helps agencies define a strategy and work towards a solution through our Path Analysis and Experiment and Iterate services. We also offer procurement services, including to state and local governments with access to federal funds.

18F works with partners that have federal funding, and, as a cost recoverable office, we’re required to charge for our work.

Path Analysis

Asking the right questions, solving the right problems.

Each Path Analysis is customized to the needs of an agency, with the goal of moving you from identifying a problem to working on a solution. With a Path Analysis, we’ll develop an action-oriented analysis of routes to pursue, places to narrow the project’s scope, and the best ways to deliver value to your users.

  • 2-3 person team
  • 8-10 weeks
  • 1 path analysis per project

Experiment & Iterate

Exploring user-centered solutions.

Once your team has completed a Path Analysis, we can experiment and iterate on a solution to your problem. We’ll work shoulder-to-shoulder with your team to explore the challenges your users face and develop solutions to those problems. Experiment & Iterate phases can focus on building a working product, preparing a procurement package, or training your team to take over development. This model allows you to stay in control of your budget and remain flexible.

  • 4-6 person team
  • 12 weeks
  • Flexible number of phases based on project needs

Bundle: Path Analysis + Experiment & Iterate

Assess and explore.

We’ll start with a Path Analysis and move directly to an Experiment & Iterate phase (both described above) as soon as possible. With this bundle option, we are able to more flexibly move between the phases of the project, without losing momentum.

  • 4-6 person team
  • 20 weeks

Acquisitions Services

Our acquisition team specializes in modern information technology – IT modernization, legacy system upgrades, software development services, and cloud services (SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS). Our approach allows you to structure your contracts for modern software development—such as agile development— which reduces risk, increases flexibility, and awards contracts faster and to the most qualified industry partner(s). Members of the 18F cross-disciplinary team, which may include designers, developers, product managers, and acquisition experts, will support you throughout the lifecycle of the procurement.

Acquisition Consulting

Coaching your team through the procurement process.

Your contracting officer will conduct the procurement with guidance and coaching from our team. We will work with your team to:

  • Conduct user research and discovery
  • Develop the procurement package and any necessary justification materials
  • Conduct a three-day acquisition workshop to draft a solicitation
  • Assist with market research, help identify qualified contractors, support Q&A, serve as advisors to the evaluation panel, and support the contractor kick-off meeting.
  • De-risk the procurement through prototyping
  • Support the contractor kick-off meeting

18F can also provide post-award support for additional fees.

Assisted Acquisition

Managing the procurement process for your team.

18F will conduct the procurement and issue an award using a GSA/FAS procurement vehicle. Assisted acquisition includes all the consulting acquisition offerings, plus:

  • Conduct market research, solicit industry, conduct Q&A, evaluate proposals/bids, award the contract, and facilitate the contractor kick-off meeting.
  • Provide post-award management and support, which includes training your team to direct the vendor team, assess the work, and get into production

In each of our projects, our teams will work to build your agency’s capacity for agile digital service delivery. We’ll empower your team to continue to do this work beyond our engagement.

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Work with us to plan successful projects, choose better vendors, build custom software, or learn how to work in new ways.

Contact us

Case studies

Here are a couple of projects we’ve built with federal agencies using a Path Analysis followed by Experiment & Iterate phases.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Moving critical crime data to an interactive website that includes an open API so the public can build tools using the data.

  • Federal Election Commission

    Rethinking how the Federal Election Commission provides data, instructions, and legal resources to the public.

  • General Services Administration

    An efficient way for contracting officers to search past government contracts for fair hourly rates.