LMI further builds human-centered design offering via acquisition

Courtesy of LMI.

The human element is key to digital transformations being successful with customer experience being top of mind for everyone, as LMI's chief executive describes to us.

LMI planned to be active in 2024 on the acquisition front and has made its first move on that leg of the company's strategy to be a more formidable player in digital transformation.

By purchasing JJR Solutions, LMI is bringing in a team that works with agencies on implementing cloud-based low-code applications to aid in their user experience and agile development initiatives.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but LMI is bringing approximately 120 more employees into its fold via JJR.

Digital and data analytics is a priority growth area for LMI, along with its logistics core, in the current iteration of its strategy with private capital backing now in place for just shy of two years.

LMI is particularly looking to further build out its footing in transformation initiatives at agencies that have human-centered design principles in place from the outset, LMI's chief executive Doug Wagoner said.

The human-centered design methodology seeks to more deeply understand the needs, behaviors and experiences of users in order to more specifically solve their challenges.

"Often times these transformations fail because you don't take in the human element," Wagoner told me. "It's very top of mind, it's very needed, especially as everyone's going through this digital transformation."

The federal government's overarching agenda for agencies to improve the customer experience is also included in that top of mind Wagoner referenced.

In its fiscal year 2025 budget proposal, the Biden administration asked for $500 million to modernize services and pilot new tools in order to streamline how citizens interact with government.

Many of those tools are likely to reside in cloud environments, but Wagoner said the key will be to take advantage of that infrastructure as opposed to merely focusing on cost savings.

JJR's customer set includes the Veterans Affairs Department, Defense Health Agency, Air Force and Space Force. LMI shares much of those clients with JJR in program areas such as customer experience, space, weapon system acquisition and veteran suicide prevention.

Within LMI itself, the Forge technology innovation studio is where a good portion of the creation and iteration work that JJR has focused on will be factored into. JJR developed a proprietary tool it calls Magnify to support ongoing initiatives in human-centered design and transformation.

Wagoner told me that Forge's main goal is to more rapidly prototype repeatable solutions and provide high-fidelity mockups of what a potential solution could be.

"Once they have something in their hands, you can ideate with them versus just reading a white paper or just looking at a PowerPoint," Wagoner said. That's why Forge is in our market-facing group and not in our technical delivery group. We want them co-located with our market leaders who are seeing customers everyday, seeing movement in that direction."

Houlihan Lokey acted as the exclusive financial adviser to JJR Solutions and Macquarie Capital advised LMI.