BEIS - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy A large scale integration project for a ministerial department was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget.

Posted 28 June 2021

A large scale integration project for a ministerial department was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget.

The Scenario

BEIS is a ministerial department, supported by 47 agencies and public bodies, and was set up following Teresa May’s introduction to office. She merged both the Department for Energy and Climate Change with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to create one department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This aimed to bring together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change.

The Challenge

What had been the BIS (Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) side of the organisation already had some knowledge and experience in agile delivery, although there was a communication breakdown between the former DECC (Department for Energy and Climate Change) and BIS digital teams. The body that had been DECC needed guidance on how to embark on a agile journey of discovery, through to the development of two brand new applications, and how a common platform could be pulled together to utilise re-usable technologies. Agile delivery in itself was a brand new concept to their workforce, and to the prospective end users of their services.

We* conducted some initial stakeholder conversations and essentially information gathered around what the partner believed their requirements were. From this, we deployed an initial discovery team to take them through a 10 week discovery phase and an initial prototype build. Throughout this phase we conducted a large amount of user research, and analysed a breadth of policies, laws and business needs in order to fully inform our design and build.

Our discovery phase led us to understand and map out the user journey. We learned:

  • Who the users were
  • The users' needs and how they were meeting them, or any needs they were not meeting
  • Which services were meeting their users’ needs
  • Whether these services were government services or private sector
  • The skills make up of the team for the alpha phase
  • What the user journey for someone using the proposed service might look like
  • How we could build a technical solution, given the constraints of BEIS’ legacy systems
  • The policy that relates to the service and how it might have prevented us from delivering a good service to the users
  • Potential risks for alpha and beta phases

The Outcome

We were able to demonstrate value through our prototypes, and then take BEIS through to alpha, beta and go live finishing within 7 months, ahead of schedule and under budget. This meant that our saving, initially estimated at £150k, was increased to £180k from this project delivery.

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