The client in question was a dot-com that we have worked with for a number of years, in both a strategic and a technical capacity. Throughout this time their business requirement has been characterised by the need to deploy new feature sets on their online offering at increasingly regular intervals.
The software development work that we have carried out for them has often been fairly complex. In particular the solutions we have implemented have needed to draw large amounts of data from a wide variety of public and private sources and integrate this data into a single application.
Some of the development work was nevertheless of a more routine nature. It was in the course of this more routine work that we identified a particular situation in which we were able to effect a substantial efficiency gain for the client.
The following was the existing process for uploading pages on the client's website:
The creative department was producing HTML pages to illustrate the desired look and feel of new additions to the site. These pages contained only sample data. In order for them to produce templates with the real data that actually needed to appear on the site, they would have needed to be familiar with PHP, a scripting language. The pages were therefore handed to the technical department.
The client's technical department would disassemble them and then integrate them into the code of the site using PHP.
This process entailed the following inefficiencies:
When changes were made to the HTML pages these had to be re-integrated by the technology team. This applied even to minor changes to wording.
Developer time in the technology department was being diverted from other areas with a negative impact on the client's ability to roll-out new features.
Solution implemented by Internet Vision
Our software developers implemented the following simple solution:
We noticed that because the creative team were familiar with the nested structure of HTML, they were able to relatively quickly learn the PHP code required to produce actual web page templates.
We therefore trained the client's creative team in PHP, and taught them to divide the pages up into functions and re-use their code.
This solution delivered the following benefits to the client's business:
User friendly and re-usable software code and know-how was given to the group within the client organisation that could make most efficient use of it.
There was more effective communication between creative and technical groups within client organisation.
Deployment of new web pages was now quicker.
Developer resource was freed up within the client's technical department to concentrate on roll-out of new features.