Our progress so far and what we’re learning along the way
By Sarah Owen, Product Manager at Triangle
With the bulk of the project kicking off at the start of this year, we now have just under 3 months before the new product will go live for those new to the Star Online (existing accounts will be migrated from the old system to the new between January and March 2020).
During the last 9 months, we’ve made some significant progress:
- Establishing an Agile process – using the iterative, user-focused development approach but in a way that fits with redeveloping an existing, established product already on the market
- Weekly (and sometimes daily) sessions between Triangle and QES, to flesh out the specification and turn it into well over 100 user stories – a simple way of capturing what the system needs to do from the point of view of its users
- A high-level prototype of the key elements of the system, to ensure a shared understanding between everyone working on the development and to iron out key design decisions
- A work in progress site, developed with over 10 sprints so far (a sprint is a two or three week chunk of time with planned goals and tasks) – iterated and improved as we go
- Ongoing input and direction from a Think Tank made up of practitioners, managers and data analysts – reviewing key decisions and the prototype as it developed
You can see screenshots of the work-in-progress prototype dotted throughout this blog – or download our new PDF ‘Coming soon…Introducing the new Outcomes Star Online’ here.
What we’re learning
It has been a fascinating project for us so far. As a social enterprise our expertise is not in software development, but in building tools that help organisations to create change and help people to achieve the outcomes that matter to them. We knew that building an effective relationship with our new partner QES was vital both for the short and long term.
In the early stages, we had to learn how best to communicate our ideas and requirements. Taking the time to do this has paid dividends now that we are in the thick of the detailed development, with greater understanding from both sides. Our experience of working closely with our existing partners, Jellymould and TappetyClick, has also proved invaluable, especially as we balance continuing to support the current system and preparing for the new one.
We are running a period of testing with practitioners, managers and commissioners, as well as our team across Triangle, into October. We’ll then be busy incorporating that feedback and finishing the development up to the end of November.
In parallel, our Helpdesk team will be working closely with organisations already using the Star Online, to share information and plan the migration of each account.
If you have any questions about the new system, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)20 272 8765.