Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
The RCPCH website serves an audience spanning their professional membership, the public and many smaller yet important audiences such as international visitors. It provides information, advice, and is a hub for membership management, CPD, examinations and events.
Recreating the site from scratch was part of a full Digital Transformation across the whole organisation and project kick-off was in 2016, with the new site going live 18 months later. Our promise to RCPCH was an end to costly and time-consuming future rebuilds - a platform that would evolve with their needs reliably and at low cost.
Some five years later, the site still looks fresh and relevant and our partnership with RCPCH continues.
The site featured many integrations, including one with their Care CRM system. These were difficult to maintain and limited their ability to evolve their member services.
In addition to the issue with integrations, their team had other challenges:
- Dated look and feel, with unwieldy site architecture and user journeys
- Content published as word docs instead of web pages, due to frustration with the CMS
- Challenges with the site becoming unresponsive at peak traffic times during exam booking periods
With a large number of client-side stakeholder groups involved at different points in the project, we needed a plan that ensured engagement and delivered in a timely and reliable way.
- Project divided into 15 discrete work packages, with clear inputs and outputs
- Timeline divided into Agile discovery phase and Waterfall delivery sequence
- Integration work by pair-programming team with daily oversight and real-time reporting back to the client
Our emphasis on delivering a 'platform for change', a site that was designed for continuing innovation in service delivery across its life-span, was as important as reliable project delivery.
- Comprehensive user research conducted up front, before planning began
- Bi-weekly client workshops to discuss options, challenges and decisions
- Careful observation of Drupal and OOP best-practice in configuration and code
Project governance was steered by ‘Digital Board’, convened every two months. This included representatives of all RCPCH stakeholder teams and key members of our production team.
A key part of the integration was the creation of a middleware library and test harness to simplify the job of connecting to the CARE CRM.
With this in place, building the Membership Management system that lies at the heart of the new site was significantly easier. Whereas a direct integration would have to fire multiple requests for a simple action, the middleware allows the integration to make a single request and achieve the same result.
This middleware library has evolved into a microservices layer, allowing other members services applications to use the same simplified connection into CARE.
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