USD 4B+ corporation

USD 4B+ corporation and Speed & Function

The Challenge

A $4b+ corporation that provides consulting and engineering solutions to US-based commercial and governmental clients, hired Speed & Function to redesign their web-based app for hazard mitigation planning.

They already had a solution built and initially approached S&F to scale it. However, due to software architecture issues and technical debt, it was hard to expand the app’s functionality and therefore almost impossible to scale. Speed & Function recommended a complete redesign of the application, rather than attempting to build out problematic architecture.

A strict deadline and limited budget intensified the challenge this project presented. In addition, as S&F learned more about the audience, the business priorities shifted slightly throughout the process of development. Being adaptable in the face of changing needs was important.

The Approach

The client’s assessment tool is aimed at helping communities manage their risk mitigation actions and track the completion of these actions to be better protected from natural disasters. The app has to be flexible enough to comply with each jurisdiction’s mitigation strategy and capture all critical elements that have to be reported. 

To ensure alignment with the client’s needs and the nuances of hazard mitigation plans, S&F developed the product by involving the client’s project manager in regular Scrum meetings. The project had to be paused a few times due to budgetary constraints; nevertheless, S&F delivered the product in the way stakeholders from the corporation  envisioned it.

To speed up the process of development without compromising on quality and functionality, the S&F team also incorporated many helpful tools with ready-to-use components like the front-end framework Ant D and the back-end tool Sidekiq for event scheduling.

The Outcome

Speed & Function delivered an MVP of the product in less than eight months, with the ability to serve dozens of different jurisdictions and provide different types of access to view and edit mitigation planning information.

The tool provides the following functionality:

  • Statistics on completed actions for a given jurisdiction
  • Role-based access to data and editing, with read-only users as well as reviewers who can document mitigation actions
  • Functionality to search by jurisdiction or specific hazard management plan
  • Automatically generated reports for regular plan reviews (weekly, monthly, or annual) adjusted to the jurisdiction of any level (federal, state, county, tribe)
  • Report templates with manual editing options
  • Email reminders to users and automatic report emails sent to points of contact
  • Data backups for future access.

Currently, the team is working on implementing additional features such as additional entry fields or statistics export to .xls.

The Secret Sauce

Digital products such as this – those designed for a very specific and narrow use and which are regulated by different jurisdictions – often have cluttered interfaces and incomprehensible UX. However, it is possible to make them easy-to-use and intuitive. 

Thanks to the effective technological decisions made by the Speed & Function team, the web app can now solve the pain points of disaster management for many US communities. The tool is flexible and secure, with role-based access to data and the function to create comprehensible and customizable reports.

The company has since engaged Speed & Function to extend the number of features and make the app even more convenient to end-users.

Tech stack: Ruby/Ruby on Rails, GrapeAPI, Sidekiq, ActiveAdmin, React, Ant Design

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