Testing services to streamline fund allocation to colleges and schools across the UK.
As a continuation of the process of bringing the public services to the masses using innovative digital solutions both within and outside the Crown and Government operations, the UK Govt was looking at digital solutions to manage the schools and colleges across the country.
In an age where efficiency and accuracy are paramount, the UK Govt faced a formidable challenge: refining and optimising their digital service for the allocation, tracking, and auditing of funds across various educational schools and colleges in the UK.
The task wasn't just about improving an existing system; it was about creating a fail-safe solution that could gracefully navigate the complex landscape of policies, regulations, and potential technical hitches that can arise over a system's long lifecycle.
To build a robust system that can scale to nation wide operations while also ensuring data accuracy, uptime and adaptability.
Key Challenges to reach our Objectives
The hurdles were significant and multifaceted, requiring innovative thinking and a comprehensive approach:
Complex Policy Environment : One of the foremost hurdles was the ever-changing policy landscape. Legislative shifts and evolving funding rules demanded a system that could seamlessly adapt, ensuring accurate fund allocation without missing a beat.
Quality and Service Quagmire : The existing systems were plagued by a myriad of issues, from defects to inconsistent data and frequent outages. A solution was needed that could not only address these concerns but also pave the way for a more reliable and robust platform.
Correcting Past Quick Fixes : In previous iterations of the system, quick fixes had been the go-to solution for issues that arose. However, these patches rarely stood the test of time due to inadequate testing. A paradigm shift was required, moving away from short-term fixes and embracing long-term solutions that could withstand the test of time.
Scrumconnect’s Innovative Solution
The proposed solution to overcome these challenges with high code quality, system efficiency and good user satisfaction levels, multiple innovative solutions were proposed by the Scrumconnect Team.
The basic idea around which the solution revolved around making use of the latest processes and automation tools to move away from manual testing, reduce the development cycle time by introducing those testing tools at different points in the process and drive a test first approach in the team to prepare for various edge cases that maybe missed out in the existing legacy system. These efforts were then coupled with comprehensive management techniques to tag and solve the errors found during the testing phase that resulted in a more efficient, higher quality and robust digital solution.
As the journey toward transformation began, it was clear that a conventional approach wouldn't suffice. A comprehensive overhaul of strategies and methodologies was needed, resulting in the following strategies:
Shift-Left, and Beyond : Early testing wasn't just added to the process – it became the core of the DevOps strategy. By catching and addressing bugs in their nascent stages, the team ensured that they were dealt with when they were easiest to fix and at minimal cost.
Automation for Empowerment : The team transitioned from manual, error-prone testing to an automated framework that worked tirelessly around the clock. This change ensured that every conceivable scenario underwent testing, bolstering reliability and reducing the risk of oversights.
Test-Driven Philosophy: A pivotal aspect of the transformation was the embrace of test-driven development. This approach not only helped in identifying potential issues early on but also promoted a user-focused evaluation by integrating behavior-driven development.
Continuously Testing, Always Improving: By weaving continuous testing into the CI/CD pipeline, immediate feedback became the norm with every code commit. This iterative approach not only expedited the development process but also maintained a high standard of quality.
Comprehensive Testing Landscape: The testing process was divided into four quadrants: automated, manual, functional, and non-functional. This meticulous division ensured that every aspect of the system underwent a 360-degree evaluation, leaving no stone unturned.
Fostering a Community of Practice: A culture of knowledge-sharing blossomed within the testing community, encompassing team members and client representatives alike. This collaboration not only enriched the testing process but also led to holistic insights.
A Revolution in Issue Management: The team employed advanced triaging techniques and real-time dashboards to address live issues swiftly and accurately. This approach minimised disruptions and demonstrated an unprecedented level of efficiency.
Benefits and Outcomes
Efforts of Scrumconnect team to implement innovative solutions and implement strict managerial control to implement those solutions resulted in outcomes that far exceeded the expectation set by the objectives.
With the development cycles being reduced from a 5 days time frame to one-hour time frames, and strict testing automation implemented the project saved the UK Tax payer an impressive £1.7 million, a cost saving of 99%. These remarkable results had a cascading effect that further gave tangible benefits and remarkable outcomes:
Cost-saving Genius: The project reaped a significant financial advantage, with total savings amounting to an impressive £1.7 million. This financial efficiency demonstrated the team's commitment to both excellence and prudent resource management.
Resource Mastery: Despite a reduction in team size, innovative strategies resulted in an astonishing cost saving of 99%.
User Delight: The positive impact of Scrumconnect's transformational journey extended to end-users. This resulted in a remarkable boost in the system's performance leading to a dramatic increase in user satisfaction metrics.
Time Mastery: Through strategic shifts in testing methodologies and processes, Scrumconnect achieved a remarkable feat – a reduction in testing time from a traditional 5-day span to a mere one-hour timeframe. This resulted in dramatically streamlining the development operations without compromising on quality.
Scale Excellence: The digital service's scalability received a substantial boost due to Scrumconnect's efforts in architecting systems that can accommodate a growing user load without sacrificing performance. The system now seamlessly accommodates over 13,000 daily users without a hitch.
Defect Diminishment: Scrumconnect's methodical approach to testing and quality assurance delivered impressive results, manifesting in a substantial 55% reduction in defects.
Ahead of Time: Leveraging superior knowledge transfer techniques, and skillful project management, the team delivered the project weeks ahead of schedule.
Unshakable Systems: The Scrumconnect team eliminated all “Single Points Failure” within the system architecture through multi-faceted testing strategies, ensuring the system's unshakable reliability.
In conclusion, Scrumconnect's transformative solutions grounded in meticulous testing, and holistic human centric approach has redefined the digital service landscape when it comes to fund allocation and tracking to its schools and colleges across the nation. Despite the challenges of the legacy system, the Scrumconnect team has given some remarkable successes. Reducing testing time from 5 days to hours, increasing user satisfaction metrics for 13000 daily active users and saving £1.7 million for the UK Taxpayer.