Making an impact has been the primary focus of her entire career for Rose Wang, founder and CEO of Binary Group, a technology consulting firm based in Rosslyn. She started Binary 18 years ago because she felt it was the most logical way for her to have an even greater impact for her clients.
Wang began her career as a software developer at a small start-up that was eventually acquired by a large company. As a principal engineer at the start-up, Wang says she got some money through the acquisition and was given stock options. It was an exciting time, but coming from a casual workplace (she says the start-up CTO never wore shoes!), she quickly realized that the more formal culture of the corporation wasn’t for her.
“I met with someone from HR [soon after we joined them],” she recalls, “and in a 45-minute conversation, sitting across the table from each other, not once did she call me ‘Rose’ or address me by any other name. . . . There seemed to be no attempt to understand who I was or how I contributed.”
Wang decided to leave. She landed a three-month consulting job in the D.C. area that marked the genesis of Binary Group, effectively her company of one. Throughout the '90s, as she acquired more clients, including telecommunications companies like MCI and Sprint, she realized that managers at risk-averse corporations wanted to do business with an established and larger company.
“This was when I started thinking that I should make Binary Group a ‘real’ company,” she says. “I wrote a business plan and transformed Binary into a technology solutions and strategic consulting company. Soon after 9/11, I steered the company in a new direction, bringing our commercial experience and enterprise architecture and system development success to the federal government."
Today, Binary Group works with government agencies in the areas of information technology, information management, financial management and program management. About 30 staff work at their corporate headquarters in Rosslyn, and many more work at customer sites.
“We’re super passionate about getting government to run more efficiently and effectively,” Wang says. “We help government clients figure out, upfront, what outcomes they want and chunk our project engagements into six month and shorter increments, producing results within each sprint. We want them to see results quickly.”
Binary Group’s agile approach, which they call their Outcome Driven Enterprise Approach™ (ODEA™), has produced big results. Among their many successes, Wang points to an instance in which Binary Group helped a military comptroller find $4 million in funding through process improvements within just days of starting the engagement. On another occasion, Binary Group helped NASA develop a decision-making model for managing their software applications in the face of budget cuts. Cost savings have been significant. Binary also helped the Army 20th Support Command save nearly $60 million in satellite communication bandwidth fees without any reduction in capabilities.
“When organizations are vast, they’re stovepiped,” says Wang. “Decision makers don’t see things end-to-end unless you automate data and process flows, and give them data analytics and visualization tools to make better data-driven decisions.” Whether Binary Group is developing new software, managing a large program, or providing a dashboard for analysis and decision-making, they incorporate their agile planning and delivery methodology, ODEA™, to produce results quickly and within budget.
“That’s what we do,” Wang says. “We let the data tell the story.”
More info: binarygroup.com
Besides being Binary Group’s CEO, Rose Wang has a fascinating personal story. Born in China, she immigrated to the U.S. as a college student, completing her education here. To learn more about her, and to read her advice to girls and young women interested in science and technology, click here.