Building digital skills and capability


Helping to improve in software engineering and wider digital practices, in the product delivery model, and in individual and team capabilities

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Camelot team - 600px

Brief

Camelot Global is a leading technology and professional services provider to lotteries around the world, including to Camelot Group who have run the UK National Lottery since 1994. They engaged us to help them instigate quality and reliability in their consumer mobile app.

Challenge

Shifting to digital meant finding new ways of issuing and monitoring lottery tickets such as with smart phone apps. In 2016 Camelot experienced a number of very public high profile issues with their official mobile app "Sky News - Lottery app fault" where the ticket scanner was misreading barcodes, meaning some winning tickets were stated as losing, and some losing tickets were stated as winning.

Solution

We flew experts into be embedded with the offshore technical team. They reviewed and assessed numerous aspects of the operation: the code, the teams, the individual skills, the delivery model, and technical capabilities, to gain insight into the problem.

Looking at the code enabled us to build up a picture of how the entire team was performing. We could see patterns in the work that highlighted abilities and areas for improvement. Using examples of the team’s code it was possible for us to take them on a journey and show real life examples of what had happened, rather than abstract suggestions of what may or may not have. This was extremely powerful and allowed the team to identify with the story being told.

By creating a map of actions and activities together and following the flow of activity, we could see precisely where quality was being compromised. And this was a symptom: how the team worked together was the driving problem.

A lack of detail in user stories, a consistent lack of time to scope and refine features, a lack of communication between interdependent teams of product and engineering, a lack of individual empowerment and ownership, and poor psychological safety all acted to create an environment in which the delivery of consistent high quality product code could not be expected.

Outcome

Our work with the team exposing and discussing these issues along with the resulting recommendations helped Camelot to deliver high quality products consistently.

They were able to rebuild their capability, to rethink how they structured and managed their teams and individuals, and were able to change the team culture to one of open and clear communication. These changes enabled them to introduce shared goals for a consistent high quality product.

We’re happy to have helped Camelot to improve their digital skills and capability as in the UK alone they ensure an average of £30 million per week is given to good causes.