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Digipilote: a Must-Have Tool for CCI Chambers

Digipilote is a web application that guides French companies in their digital transformation journey by assessing their level of maturity and providing real-time statistics. The APP is meant to be used by CCI advisers and experts, who can manage company profiles and assign questionnaires (audits) according to activity sector and company size.

One of the things that makes Digipilote an interesting product is that it’s able to generate a comprehensive report detailing current company level, performance per subject, priority actions and average score of competitors. This report is sent to the company CEO together with an Action Plan and a list of service providers to help them upgrade to the next level.

Our team undertook the project by order of the French Chambre de Commerce et l’Industrie (CCI) in April, 2019.

The development was divided into 4 phases, explained here below:

Conception & Data Model

This first step was meant to define the ergonomics of the user interface (what we call UX). The work done during this stage played a key role in understanding the use of the app and allowed us to meet the expectations of stakeholders from the beginning of the project.

Using Balsamiq we built a clear picture of the main functionalities involved in each view. A total of 25 prototypes (wireframes) were created around the concepts we had discussed in meetings with CCI experts. Departing from these prototypes, we built the data model of the app, which facilitated technical development by accurately representing the requirements of Digipilote’s information system and by designing the responses needed for those requirements.

 

Design

In order to reinforce the ergonomic choices made in the previous stage and provide an optimal visual experience, we designed the user interface. Figma’s web-based environment and real-time collaboration helped us bring together all parts involved in the creation process (designers, developers, stakeholders).

Major challenges for our design team included the integration of on-the-fly changes along the project and the creation of complex user stories and relations.

 

Technology & Team Formation

Due to the fact that Digipilote is a large-scale web app containing a lot of features and dynamic content, the following technologies were considered a good fit:

Front-end: AngularV6, Chankya Template
Backend: Node v10.13, Nest.Js, PostgreSQL
Deployment: Azure

The team in charge of the project was made of 5 members:

– API & Backend specialist
– Front-end Developer
– Product Owner
– QA Analyst
– UX Designer

This team configuration guaranteed a successful completion of the project on time and within budget.

Management & Development

Our development philosophy is based upon the concept of agility, therefore we released weekly sprints and incorporated new backlogs based on feedback from stakeholders. Of course, this approach poses some challenges for management team since our clients had many ideas and wishes. And every time we delivered a sprint, they would come out with even more ideas and wishes, which resulted into overcrowding in the task queue to be delivered for each sprint. Our resolution to the problem was to establish clear priorities and discard non-relevant requests.

Development team also encountered some obstacles during the life-cycle of the project. For example, it was hard to keep a balance between performance and the number of features we were constantly adding to the APP. Digipilote was starting to demand a lot of resources from the server as more requests were integrated into the system.

Final thoughts

Building a tailor-made application can be cumbersome sometimes. However, the reward is always very gratifying for both clients and developers. The level of customization is second-to-none and everything is suited to meet the specific needs of the client. We believe that Digipilote is a solution fully adapted to the expectations of CCI chambers.

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