And we used this process to successfully deliver all client facing products alongside a new custodial management platform developed by the backend team. Our deliverables included a responsive and customisable white label sign up funnel and a fully featured self service client portal used to manage all aspects of a self directed US retirement account. After gaining traction with investment provider partnerships and growing rapidly to service around a half a million new accounts, we built an employee facing product on top of this foundation to replace the legacy back office system.
Steps taken to elicit, understand and document requirements helped us to fathom the complex domain and business processes associated with custodial services and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
The learned domain and process knowledge was also paramount in enabling us to take effective ownership of product focused decision making and operate efficiently in the absence of an internal product owner within the business.
Building a relevant agile development process influenced by scrum and kanban and supporting this with a solid infrastructure to facilitate regular independent front and back end releases, product demonstrations and user acceptance testing helped us to efficiently modernise the software and replace outdated workflows.
Regularly communicating with stakeholders and educating users on a per-feature basis enabled us to breakdown any resistance to change and encourage advocation of the new system.
Adopting an enterprise approach to application development was key in maintaining a high quality and cohesive codebase, allowing us to scale quickly and easily when required, minimise bugs and limit technical debt.
Increasing the number of customer accounts
The software we created for IRA Services Trust has allowed them to increase the number of customer accounts in their system by over seventeen times the amount held before to 750,000 accounts at time of writing and this continues to grow by around 3,000 new accounts each day.
Enlarging the valuation for the sale of the company
The software we created for IRA Services Trust has helped to make the company more attractive to buyers and has contributed to enlarging the valuation for the recent sale agreed at $55 million to Forge Global as reported in April 2019 by TechCruch.
We were very good at quickly identifying what was required from a solution point of view. However if we’d identified potential problem areas such as the absence of product direction and the limited internal system knowledge at IRA Services Trust sooner, we could have mitigated bottlenecks by resourcing to fill those skills within our team. We’ll know to look out for this next time.
Our development process eventually worked very well, but as is common in agile practice our process was not perfect at first and took some time to be refined through regular reflection. We now have a more rounded process to take onto our next large scale enterprise project and we know how to quicker mould this if it’s not perfectly suited from the outset.