By delivering the portal on time, we knew we would be helping our client demonstrate its credentials and expand in the UK market. Yet the three-week window for completing the work included time to sign all contracts. To onboard the team, agree what to build and build it. As well as test it, gather feedback and launch it to millions of people.
In parallel, we had to ensure the portal was fully integrated with our client’s backend software. This meant localizing the software for use in the UK (adapting language units and APIs). It also meant overcoming obstacles due to the time constraints like having to use virtual machines because part of the data processing software remained on legacy tech.
Following our key principles of Value, Flow, Quality (VFQ) – deliver value early and often, optimize the flow of work end to end, discover quality with fast feedback – we set to work with a compact product team for the initial release. The joint client-Emergn team covered UX/UI, front-end, back-end, DevOps, quality assurance, solution architecture and product management capabilities.
Our team created a cloud-native application portal using the Microsoft Azure suite of tools and components which in also supported us with data residency security, privacy, and scalability requirements. Terraform was chosen to build the infrastructure, as infrastructure as code gave the scalable, safe environment needed at pace; React & .NET to build the portal; CosmosDB for scalable and flexible storage; the Gov.UK Design System to comply with the UK government design guidelines and compatibility with variety of browsers and devices; and PowerBI – to visualize the application data.
Once this release was launched and stabilized, we gathered fast feedback and increased the size of the team to implement the changes for version 2. In the latter stage, we reduced the size of the team again so there were enough people to make small improvements and maintain the portal until the end of the program.
The team worked in 1-week sprints and used daily stand-ups to resolve blockers and answer critical questions. Reviews at the end of each sprint meant the wider stakeholders could see progress and give early feedback. This process also set the direction for the next sprint and ensured buy-in from all involved.