“Agile development and a true partnership approach created the right solution for our devolved taxes.” Elaine Lorimer, CEO, Revenue Scotland
Established in 2015, Revenue Scotland collects and manages devolved taxes. So far, this includes the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and the Scottish Landfill Tax.
Their overall goal was a digital-first taxation solution. Established in 2015, they were quite a new department so they were looking for a solution that could adapt to new legislation and support future service improvements.
NEC proposed an end-to-end, user centric, service design with agile development so the client could incorporate any changing legislation while delivering their service to customers seamlessly. We signed the contract with Revenue Scotland in Jan 2018 and agreed a phased delivery plan.
Involved from the start was Strategy and Change Manager Alan Martin. He’d helped to set up Revenue Scotland and then worked on the search for the right solution partner:
“We’d had over three years of collecting and managing Scotland’s devolved taxes under our belt, so we knew exactly what we needed. When we ran the full procurement exercise, NEC came out top.”
“NEC was genuinely invested in the project. There was such a strong sense of team working that it was hard for incoming staff to tell who worked for who.”
This was Revenue Scotland’s first experience with Agile development. Our approach involved working closely with the client from Initiation, Discovery and Alpha through to Beta and Live stages, while testing at every step of the way to ensure that our clients are delivering the best service to their customers.
Our partnership approach made a big difference. Data migration posed the biggest challenge, as Alan explains:
“When we started in 2015, we were putting data in an empty box. Now that box was full, so we had to move it with care. Right from the Discovery phase, I was really impressed with the visibility and approach of NEC. They were genuinely invested in the project, which meant we could tackle any risks together rather than get stuck in a blame game.”
From the outset, we knew that data migration was a major challenge. First, we would have to uncouple finance information from the Scottish Government. Then we had to merge it with the data in the existing solution. Both teams spent considerable time and effort on the approach, ensuring it was mapped, agreed, tested and executed securely.
With all data successfully merged and migrated, the new system went live as planned on 24th July 2019. Since then, with our ‘Agile’ approach, we’ve delivered three ‘continuous improvement’ releases in response to user feedback as well as planned enhancements and further automation.
Alan believes the strength of the partnership made the difference:
“Both partners focused heavily on relationship building, and that’s been a huge part of our success. At all levels, the NEC team has been accessible, flexible and committed to getting it right. As a result, we’re set up well for building on the successful delivery of the new system in the years ahead, and will be well placed to address any challenges that arise.”
“We’re very proud of our work with Revenue Scotland on devolved taxes. We’ve worked together at all levels to deliver a programme that fits the devolved powers of the Scottish Government as well as the people it serves.”