Who is Sports Leaders ?
Sports Leaders is the operating name of The British Sports Trust, a registered Charity who work with over 2000 centres and tutors to deliver awards and qualifications that equip young people with employability skills for life improving motivation, self-esteem, communication, teamwork and confidence. Sports Leadership qualifications have been achieved by over 1.2m young people in the UK.
What challenges did Sports Leaders face?
Sports Leaders required the development of a new application targeting course learners and tutors that enabled learners to self-reflect on their skill development and provided tutors with the ability to obtain valuable insights through dynamic analytic dashboards.
The application needed to:
- capture and present the necessary evidence to demonstrate the development of learners so Ofsted can evaluate tutor success;
- monitor the progress and impact of the courses so the course material/delivery could be adapted where required;
- reduce the time required to complete an assessment;
- be accessible from all types of devices and locations;
- provide a channel for Sports Leaders to engage and support learners;
- improve learner retention on course completion;
- enable centres and tutors to demonstrate the benefits and effectiveness of Sports Leaders
- improve brand recognition and lead generation.
What did GrowCreate need to deliver?
With Skills Tracker being one part of an extensive Sports Leaders web offering it was important to align existing platforms with future ambition. GrowCreate recommended an architecture built on 4 layers: Experience, Access (SSO), Services and Persistence. Residing on Azure the new architecture targeted the following benefits:
1. Outstanding User Experience
Using a Single Sign On (SSO) service and utilising modern web technologies will deliver an exceptional user experience, keeping user interactions simple and seamless.
2. Future proof architecture
Repurposing existing components allowing extensions to be built easily and efficiently. A microservice architecture allowing further reuse and a future-proof systems environment.
3. Data integrity
Encapsulating access via microservices, ensuring security and safeguarding the integrity of the data.
The proposed architecture touched on multiple systems and described an ambition that would require significant time and resources to deliver. In order to quickly validate the approach and trial the application, a Skills Tracker MVP needed to be delivered.
The skills tracker application provided the following functionality:
- Registration and Log In
- Tutor and Learner invitations
- Learner reflection workflow
- Tutor and Centre analytics dashboards
How did GrowCreate resolve Sports Leaders challenges?
GrowCreate and Sports Leaders fully embraced the Agile methodology to deliver the project at a rapid pace.
In the initial phase the project backlog was formed and prioritised using MoSCoW prioritisation through consultation with senior stakeholders. Wireframes were also produced, refined and then fleshed out into conceptual designs. A collaborative approach engaged senior management and forged a common understanding, the passion for the project was infectious. The designs proved to be a big success securing further buy-in and excitement/anticipation from senior management.
The second phase followed which delivered the front end framework utilising Vue JS, a modern framework that enables quick and cost-effective delivery. To maintain momentum the delivery team focused on implementing the front end components without customisation at this stage. A dummy API was created using JSON files which provided the data required for development. The approach and choice of framework produced the desired results with the front end being completed in full in preparation for the next phase.
The third phase was focussed on fully building out the functionality and integrating this with the front end. API endpoints where created so Vue could fetch the data. With the application now feature complete it was deployed to a staging environment for detailed review and testing. It was then a case of further refinement and adding polish. Feedback was collated from key stakeholders, prioritised and actioned.
With representatives from Sports Leaders involved throughout the project and participating in scrum rituals we were able to efficiently adapt to change and manage priorities to ensure effort was utilised where it mattered.