Custom app prototyping and development
Case study: Medium-sized professional services company
Long-term dependence on a single system that managed customer information was creating tensions across a growing organisation. The application is difficult to use, expensive to licence across the enterprise, time-consuming to train new staff in the correct use of and unable to provide helpful reports, let alone actionable insights.
Generative Solutions were engaged to develop an app centred on task management. Core business processes that linked customer information, third party suppliers and core business systems including structured (database) and unstructured (email, network files) storage were being managed primarily in email and in spread sheets. If an app managed tasks, it should simplify task management as well as providing insight as to organisational activity and opportunities to improve and ideally, automate.
We started the project as a rapid application development project and utilised our Do & Adapt approach. This process has been designed around a 2-speed approach that allows us to move quickly and change rapidly during the innovation/prototyping cycle.
Using low-code rapid development environments for the prototyping stage can be extremely valuable and substantially reduce development costs. Low-code environments allow business users to be more involved and make minor changes to the apps themselves. In many cases the low-code apps are robust enough and able to scale to full production. However, even if the scaling of the app requires rebuilding the app in a more robust environment, the process time and cost savings in the prototyping stage will be substantial.
In this case we utilised Microsoft Power Apps (part of Office365) as our low-code tool to build, prototype and rapidly iterate on features and design. The client was already using Office365 which meant that connectors into email (Outlook) and file management (SharePoint) were immediately used, while Flow was also utilised to build in automated workflows.
The app provided a quick way to replicate (and in some cases improve) existing processes into a centralised app, facilitated the move away from the previous system and enabled simpler management.
“The project kept us on our toes, we not only discovered insights on how to leverage technology and get the most out of Office 365, we also learned so much about our own processes and operations. Keep up the great work guys!”