As part of our work for the Queen’s Awards, we worked with several SMEs and other parties on an online submission application.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are an awards programme for UK businesses and other organisations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. There is also a category for individuals to be nominated for their work in encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurial skills in others.
These awards are the highest official UK awards for British businesses, but applying for them involved an antiquated, email-based submission. During 2011 Eduserv led a consortium of SMEs and other bodies to develop a web-based application that enabled entries for the Queen’s Awards to be made online.
We worked with several SMEs and other parties including Targetbase Claydon Heeley (consultants to BIS / Design Agency), Atrium Group (who managed the pre-existing process), the Central Office of Information and Business Link (before their abolishment). In particular, we worked with TBCH on usability and Atrium Group on design.
The project involved monthly round table Programme Boards, allowing all parties to share updates on progress, discuss issues and agree priorities. These regular meetings ensured a high level of transparency between the partners and the Queen’s Awards Office, particularly around partner contributions, value creation, costs, roles and responsibilities.
In the early stages of the project, the meetings supported a dynamic requirements gathering process, involving all parties. From this we developed a functional specification, but it also allowed requirements to evolve in an agile way over the life of the project. We used collaborative web-based tools such as YouTrack to raise issues during the initial testing phase. The regular round table meetings enabled all project partners the ability to engage with the Queen’s Awards Office, as well as managing their own deliverables, costs and risks.
- Submissions to the Queen’s Awards increased - rising by 10% from 840 entries in 2011 to 920 in 2012.
- User feedback on the experience was very positive.
- Administrative overheads for running the awards were reduced against previous years.