Simplify the process of approving additional work requests from contractors by providing relevant information that’s easy to access and use.
A redesigned user interface on the front end and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in the back end to enable fast, informed decision-making.
Reduced time spent on financial approvals by delivering relevant information on one screen (previously, users accessed up to 20 screens to get this data).
Management of the DIO’s facilities is subcontracted to industry partners. The DIO has to approve their requests for funding work outside the agreed budget – a process that was complicated by the way information is stored in the underlying system.
Part of the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) plans, builds and maintains key infrastructure for the UK’s armed forces. Europe’s largest property-owner, the DIO manages some 165,000 buildings (including houses) as well as roads, runways and harbours within and outside the UK.
Management of these facilities is subcontracted to industry partners that perform a range of services within an agreed budget. When funding is needed for repairs or maintenance outside the scope of the budget, these third-party suppliers submit an ‘additional work service’ request to the DIO for approval.
All information relating to the request is stored in IBM TRIRIGA®. But getting this information was proving difficult and time-consuming, with users sometimes accessing up to 20 different screens to find what they needed to make a decision.
6point6 was appointed to simplify the process by providing relevant information on each request in a way that was easy for DIO approvers to access and use.
In addition to redesigning the user interface on the front end of the approval system, we built Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that worked in the back end to enable fast, informed decision-making.
The DIO uses IBM TRIRIGA® as the underlying system for storing information relating to additional work requests – who submitted the request, the reason for the request, documentation relating to the request (quotes, for example), and the status of the request.
Accessing this information was difficult, though, as the system stored this information in a number of different places in the TRIRIGA user interface. Users therefore had to scroll through a number of screens to find what they were looking for, simply because the system didn’t ‘understand’ the business process.
We designed and implemented APIs to manage the flow of information between the system and the new user interface and deliver all relevant information in one place.
Focusing on business capabilities rather than system capabilities enabled us to architect a service that would deliver information in a clear, accessible way.
Our starting point was not the system’s specific functionality, but what the business needed: to deliver accurate data, quickly, in a way that made sense to the person using it.
We undertook user research to track which pieces of information were most valuable to the DIO’s approvers. We then defined a process for identifying and describing business capabilities, and realising these as APIs.
Establishing the required business capabilities first allowed us to design a business and solution architecture that would make the process easier and more efficient – and set the foundation for developing APIs in a similar fashion for future projects.
Creating standards for describing business capabilities at both a business and application level has significantly improved the DIO’s approach to capacity modelling, supporting financial investment decisions and driving down costs.
Defining a different, business-focused approach to delivering APIs has changed the way the DIO views architecture, from system-driven to user-centric. This approach has several benefits for the DIO: