Building a Digital Factory

How to Scale Your Digital Transformation

In their in-depth article McKinsey explores the dynamics and successes of the ‘Digital Factory’ model, a “construction site” where change happens.


A Digital Factory comprises dedicated, cross-functional teams that work together on change-the-business programs. They resemble factory workers in that they employ reusable tools and repeatable processes to build specific “products” in the form of new experiences, services, or solutions.

In another McKinsey article they define how to build these ‘networks of teams’, exploring in detail practices for forming dynamic, self-organizing units.

This model of product-centric ‘squads’, versus rigid departmental hierarchies, is the key to unlocking organizational agility.


These reusable tools and repeatable practices are enabled through a Platform approach to development.

Rather than the traditional top-down, waterfall cycle that creates a new set of requirements for each project, the secret sauce of the Digital Factory is a model-driven “assembly line” that reuses standardized PaaS (Platform as a Service) components to rapidly create new digital products.

This approach of ‘MDAg’ – Model Driven Agility, is becoming commonplace and enabled through service provider innovations, such as AWS ‘Solution Constructs‘.

Exemplar Case Study


Scotiabank created ‘PLATO’, the Platform Organization, to formalize the platform approach and establish agile Cloud Native practices. 

Read more in this case study.

Great Spaces

Scotiabank Digital Factory

This short video provides a walk through of the Scotiabank Digital Factory organization, how they’ve designed a new, purpose-built environment for cultivating the transformation from a traditional banking organization to a customer-centric digital innovator.

High Performance Framework

Skills and Metrics

Hand in hand with a fertile work environment is a high performance framework, for quantifying, measuring and speeding the throughput of digital innovation.

These metrics can calculate and improve an overall ‘Developer Velocity Index‘.

Code commits
Reduced error rates
Provisioning speed
New digital products

McKinsey describes the KPI improvements the Digital Factory enables:

“We see reductions in management overhead of 50 percent for technology teams in the DF, 70 percent in the number of business analysts needed to write technology requirements, and, as test automation becomes the norm, a drop of 90 percent in the number of testers.

Finally, we see top engineering talent performing at eight times the level of their peers, as measured with metrics such as code commits.”


Cloud Native DevOps

The right tools for the right job are central to enabling the performance improvements these metrics measure.

In this presentation Nirmata provides an overview of ‘Cloud Native’ DevOps, summarizing the journey from monoliths in VMs to microservices in containers, from ITSM Runbooks to automated infrastructure, and the central role of Kubernetes as the ‘Cloud Native OS’.

A Low Code Digital Factory

Another key enabling technology is ‘Low Code’ development.

In their playbook Outsystems introduces a new methodology called the Low-Code Digital Factory, and outlines the structure, talent, ecosystem, and processes needed to scale low-code from first app to enterprise-wide adoption.

Low Code enables “business logic programmers”, abstracting the process of application development to non-technical staff, thus increasing the throughput rate of workflow solution deployment for business needs, such as Case Management.

contact us today

Part of our Digital Transformation expert consulting practice. We can assist in some or all aspects of transitioning to the Digital Factory model.

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