Holaspirit: maintaining the web platform while accelerating work on the new version placeholder

Holaspirit: maintaining the web platform while accelerating work on the new version

Holaspirit is a French company that created a platform to support organizations with implementation of self-managed methodologies, including holacracy. The idea to create such an app arose when owners of Talkspirit, the sister-company of holaspirit, were struggling with efficient implementation of such a system of self-organization their own company. They realised they were lacking a tool that would allow an easy, transparent and efficient shift towards the holacracy methodology and would help to organize their work on a daily basis.

Holaspirit Logo 900 X 500

holaspirit

The platform for self-managed organizations

Client review

Their team was the perfect fit for the project—they were friendly and professional throughout.

Philippe Pinault, CEO

The holaspirit platform makes it easier to work with holacracy or other self-organization/ self-management methodologies. It can be used to visualize an organization’s structure, employees and the so-called “roles” they’re representing and help facilitate meetings. Holaspirit helps maintain the company structure and support its employees to effectively work and manage their duties with the highest efficiency.

The web app was launched in 2015. The platform grew quickly, becoming an important tool for a number of customers. Today holaspirit is extensively used by an engaged group of users who have built a vivid community that is coming forward with ideas and improvements to make the app better.

In 2018, holaspirit stakeholders decided to modernize the platform. To maintain the high level of customers satisfaction, holaspirit had to deal with some of the following issues:

  • Ongoing maintenance,
  • High demand for new features coming from inside the community,
  • The modernization of the platform and its user interface.

Product

web platform

Deliverables

improvements, new features, UI, new technology

Timespan

6 months, 14 sprints (2 weeks each)

Cost

Confidential

Client testimonial

We chose Boldare, because we needed more power to accelerate our development.

Philippe Pinault, CEO at holaspirit

The challenge

To deal with those issues, the company needed an external development partner. Their development team of five developers was simply too small to address all of the needs.

At the same time, holaspirit, just like other organizations from various industries and different maturity levels, was struggling against a talent shortage, the high prices of employment, and a lack of experts with specific technical knowledge. It was clear that to maintain the high level of customer satisfaction and to start the optimization process, the company would need experienced support.

Holaspirit: maintaining the web platform while accelerating work on the new version - Boldare in Media

The company stakeholders wanted an experienced team to work on the current version of holaspirit but also to start and accelerate the development of a new version that would require changing its engine from AngularJS to ReactJS.

Additionally, holaspirit users were very actively demanding specific features and the in-house development team was unable to process so many tasks and maintain the whole platform at the same time. Plus the stakeholder requirements were not only about finding a partner who can provide valuable work, but also to share a similar business vision.

Holaspirit: maintaining the web platform while accelerating work on the new version - Boldare Team

The first encounter

Holaspirit and Boldare met for the first time during a holacracy meetup held in our Warsaw office. There was an instant mutual feeling, a meeting of two companies with a similar vision, and Boldare was the perfect fit for the design and development works that holaspirit stakeholders needed.

Solution

To manage all the necessary changes in the platform, Boldare offered a dedicated team **consisting of a product designer, two frontend developers and a scrum master. The team was supported by a business analyst and customer success guide.

Setting up

The work began in June 2018. We started with setting up and looking for a common ground. Here at Boldare, we understand that communication is everything. This is why we always start a collaboration with a kick-off product discovery workshop. It was the first meeting of our dedicated team, our business analyst, and holaspirit initial product owner and CEO of the company - Philippe Pinault.

The workshop lasted for two days and was very fruitful for both parties. During that time, our team explored the reasons behind the whole idea of the platform. We understood the need for change and the importance of the community of users and their engagement with the platform.

We were looking for companies that understand software, SaaS and digital transformation

Philippe Pinault, CEO at holaspirit

We organized another workshop three months later, devoted to more detailed planning for the development of a new, modernized version of the platform.

In order to organize the work in a smart way, we divided the whole process into two stages:

The goal of the first one was to improve the existing app, add new features, make essential and urgent UI improvements and boost its performance.

The goal of the second stage was to change the main engine of the app from AngularJS to React.js and create a new UI.

One of the first initial challenges was to find an efficient way of working. At Boldare, we use the scrum framework to lead development efforts. It helps us to structure the work, influences the communication and keeps all processes transparent.

While scrum is common in for some companies, others are using different methodologies. And this was the case for holaspirit - the company was working with an external company, an external team and the scrum framework, all for the very first time.

“Scrum helped us to develop the product so well” Philippe Pinault, CEO at holaspirit

The introduction to scrum was conducted mainly through the role of scrum master, responsible for showing the real value coming from scrum and for its implementation in the team. It helped both sides to keep the collaboration in order and proceed in a structured way. Philippe Pinault, the CEO of holaspirit, highlights usage of the scrum framework as one of the most important benefits of our collaboration.

Now holaspirit uses different elements of the scrum framework in their work on a regular basis.

Holaspirit Product Designs

The first stage: fixes and improvements

In the first stage of our partnership, our dedicated team was focused on improving the quality of the platform. The works were focused mainly on bug fixing and improvements in performance. This was extremely important due to the growing number of customers and their demands.

After dealing with most of the fixes, our team focused on delivering new features. Ideas for new functionalities came mainly from two sources:

  • the daily conversation the company have with their customers,
  • the public Trello board where holaspirit users could add own ideas.

Thanks to this approach, we were able to answer real customers needs. And as frequent holaspirit users, our team was especially motivated. During a period of three months we managed to create several features that can now be found in the app. Some of them are:

  • Letting users answer team members’ proposals via a dedicated page (previously only possible via e-mail).
  • Editing projects, by adding personal assignments.
  • Adding and uploading attachments from disk space or Google Drive.

Summary of the first stage:

Our team improved the performance and overall functionality of the platform, by enhancing site navigation, page layouts, graphics and other visual and functional elements of the web platform.

Several important features were added, some of them answering specific needs raised by users.

The second stage: the new engine

The second stage started very soon after dealing with the most crucial bug fixes and new features. The main goal was to modernize the holaspirit platform: change it’s main engine from AngularJS to ReactJS and refresh the UI design.

Our developers started rewriting the code, and it was soon clear that our team needed more experience. At this stage, we tackled some technical issues that were influencing the project. One of the problems was the fact that the previous holaspirit API was not compatible with the new engine created in Redux. To push things forward we offered a solution, and soon two additional React senior developers joined the dedicated holaspirit team. They were able to not only improve the quality of development works, but also speed up the process. The new UI was designed as well.

The technology stack included:

  • React
  • Redux
  • Redux-saga
  • JSS
  • Material UI

Summary of the second stage:

Up until the end of the collaboration at the end of 2018 we helped to rewrite the app to ReactJS and create a new, refreshed UX. The holaspirit team had access to the materials and code, giving the in-house team the ability to use all of the produced content and make the shift on their own, taking into consideration the pace of the company’s growth. During our collaboration, holaspirit augmented their own development team so they could continue the work internally.

Holaspirit: maintaining the web platform while accelerating work on the new version - Boldare Solution

Through the end of 2018, holaspirit gained new features, performance improvements and UI amendments. The new UX was designed and the new ReactJS based engine was given to internal development team for further work. Thanks to this, we helped holaspirit to take care of the most current and urgent needs and accelerated the development of the upcoming new version of the platform.

In overall we helped holaspirit with:

  • Keeping the platform functional and accessible.
  • Improving its overall performance.
  • The demand for new features coming from the user community.
  • Support with implementing elements of scrum to the company’s workflows.
  • Accelerating the transition from AngularJS to ReactJS.
  • Refreshing the design.

The new beta version of holaspirit will be available for selected customers of the platform in Q4 of 2019.