Back in the summer of 2014 I struggled through the procurement process and after one aborted attempt to use the original ‘Digital Services Framework’ ended up letting a contract via ‘GCloud’.
What I was looking for was a small, multidisciplinary team that we could ‘in-source’ for a few weeks to build an Alpha prototype for the new ONS website.
A team from Methods Digital — at the time a relatively small player in a field dominated by Thoughtworks, Kainos and Valtech back then — were successful and those few weeks ended up being something nearer 17 months for some of that original team!
Our Alpha project was a real experience. Fast moving, user centric to the extreme and designed to prove a multitude of points — not least that we could actually deliver something useful quickly! Alongside the more tangible deliverables (we did get the site out on time and on budget. It did pass the GDS Service Assessment. It was well received by stakeholders and critics.) it laid the foundation of a working relationship with the Methods team that almost immediately went beyond any them/us barriers and created a shared vision of what we wanted to achieve that served us well over the course of all those months.
In the end David, Pastor and Bren were veterans of the entire year plus project. With support from Aaron, Ian, Myles and Andrew during the Alpha and then Tom, Onkar, Carl and for a while Kane on the Beta. There is no way we could have done it without them and the extent to which they completely embedded themselves in the culture we were seeking to build was fantastic. Especially as during the Alpha they were hopping from budget hotel to budget hotel during the weeks and the Beta were playing house at serviced apartments 🙂
There were occasional hospital visits, run ins with officers of the law, some creative cooking, a romantic interlude or two, some invoice hiccups and a lot of late night coding — it has been a great experience working alongside them all and while some haven’t moved far it is sad to see the team break up. I’m very proud of the work and the culture we built — and I’m impressed we did it all without crumbling (completely) under the pressure. So thank you to the Teal machine. Good luck with future projects and you are welcome back in Newport anytime 🙂