M&C Saatchi was founded in 1995 and is now the biggest Independence Creative Agency Network in the world. ITRM were initially contacted by M&C Saatchi in 2012 and were commissioned in 2013 to build a replacement internal travel booking system, which had reached end of life.
To ensure ITRM’s senior developers fully understood M&C Saatchi’s objectives, a detailed facilitated workshop was completed with representatives from all stakeholder groups. This enabled ITRM to capture all requirements and identify potential challenges in the build as well as understand M&C Saatchi’s long-term plans.
The key objectives for the new systems included:
- Drawing together all data into a centralised platform
- Ensuring that the application reflected and accommodated several amendments and updates to M&C Saatchi’s business rules
- Provided better clarity around the cost of internal travel bookings
- Integrated fully with the internal systems of a new travel service provider
With several developments planned for the future, including the introduction of other modes of transport, it was essential that the build was agile and allowed the flexibility to ensure that future developments could be implemented easily.
Improvements to user experience is a high priority in all ITRM development projects. This was extremely important to M&C Saatchi as the system is used by employees at all levels, from first time users booking transport through to the Finance team completing performance analysis, and reporting. It was therefore essential that the booking system integrated fully with all back office systems seamlessly and efficiently. Furthermore, to accomodate M&C Saatchi’s long-term needs it became important to build a flexible modular architecture for future use.
Having captured M&C Saatchi’s requirements a set of interactive wireframe models were built, enabling users to test out critical workflows and get a feel for how the finished application would operate.
Proactive communication between all organisations involved in the build was extremely important throughout the project, as such all parties agreed a communication governance model and information was shared using cloud based project management resources.
The success of the build also required ITRM’s development team to work with M&C Saatchi’s current service providers to discover and understand the capability of their current API and to be a partner in extending and developing this to accommodate their needs.
Components of the build were released in phases in accordance with the agreed project management framework, to ensure that the functionality was correct at each stage and ITRM was able to implement changes throughout the build, where necessary, to ensure the application met all of M&C Saatchi’s stakeholder requirements. To support users further, ITRM developers conducted on-site training sessions and spent time working alongside them during each release.
At the release of the initial build, a comprehensive support and maintenance agreement commenced, ensuring that the application would remain secure, efficient and continue to deliver the evolving business requirements, including the addition of further travel providers featuring in system, providing M&C Saatchi with the opportunity to run cost comparisons and delivering cost saving capability.
ITRM have consistently delivered and supported us throughout our project over the 4 years of working together. When we have had urgent requests to change functionality or changes to third party integration, they have always helped manage expectations and delivered in a timely and professional manner. Myself and my team highly commend ITRM for their excellent results and tenacity
IT Project Manager, M&C Saatchi