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Large Nonprofit Empowers Membership Through App

A large non-profit organization had far outgrown the third-party application that it had licensed. The organization approached WWT to develop a solution that could handle their significantly larger membership. After a period of evaluation of the application, performance bottlenecks were identified using advanced testing and scalability tools. Using iterative agile software development practices, WWT was able to update application to a scalable solution, implementing new user-requested features, while keeping the application functional and available.

Improved application will provide ease of use and empowerment for nonprofit membership

Challenge

A large non-profit organization with over two million members and close to 4 million volunteers was looking to move to a more cohesive digital strategy to better coordinate and empower their membership. The organization had purchased a third-party developed web application to meet this need but since it was originally developed for only 1,000 users, the application was unable to scale to the needs of the organization.

With hopes to scale the application for the organization’s significantly larger membership, the non-profit tapped WWT to evaluate, scale and rebuild the application. In order to meet the needs and keep the interest of their growing user base, the non-profit needed a development team that could not only improve the application foundations, but concurrently develop new features and capabilities for their users.

Solution

WWT specialists evaluated the code base and architecture of the application in a cloud staging environment that mimicked the initial-state application setup. The WWT team then used advanced testing and scalability tool sets to weed out performance bottlenecks caused by code inefficiencies or database architecture impediments before beginning the rewrite.

Once the evaluation period was complete, we began development focused on rewriting and updating legacy code to meet the non-profit’s scalability goals while also implementing new, user-requested features using iterative, agile software development practices. Because of our delivery-driven, integration-focused development practices, we are able to update code while still keeping the Web application functional and running for users.

In addition to the development work, we are providing extensive agile training and coaching to improve the organization’s ability to develop software, such as encouraging Test Driven Development techniques on the organization’s other applications. This training will help the organization accelerate the release of new features and code upgrades in the future.

Conclusion

The project is ongoing, with new features and scaling capabilities added with each iteration. Through our work on the application, the non-profit has realized the amount of data they can gather through the app, and discussions with WWT’s Data Analytics practice have begun to see how this data can be used to grow their membership and provide better services in the future.

Due to the growing relationship between WWT and the non-profit based on demonstrated, iterative successes, WWT has been tapped for additional projects around enterprise architecture discussions and the organization’s identity management systems.