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CASE STUDY

Bringing purposeful businesses, volunteers and community projects together.

    Overview

    Semble is a platform which connects community groups and businesses with the aim of driving positive change. Often incredible grassroots projects are under-funded, under-resourced and overlooked. Semble’s goal is to change this through finding the right business to support their work. Community groups that sign up to the network can share ideas and connect with businesses looking to make a difference.Semble is BCorp Certified, and has so far worked on more than 3,500 projects, and distributed more than £1,500,000. They have met the highest social and environmental standards in all areas.

    Project Name

    Semble

    Services

    MVP, community platform, web development

    Type

    Web App

    Industry

    social

    Our challenge

    Semble came to us for support with building ActionFunder, a platform focussed on grant funding. It found that there is a growing funding gap for under-the-radar community groups, which desperately need funding to survive and thrive. At the same time there is a desire for purposeful, responsible businesses to demonstrate their commitment to supporting local communities and getting buy-in for their brands. ActionFunder’s purpose was to use matchmaking for businesses to find and fund community projects, and then capture and celebrate the impact and value that’s generated - all in one place.

    Semble had an existing grant funding model in place, but it was very labour-intensive. The aim was to digitize it. A seamless platform was needed which made it quick, easy and cost-effective for:

    • companies and funders to support grassroots projects that fit with their criteria/shared goals
    • community groups to apply for and receive funding for their projects
    • both to report on progress and evidence impact

    Semble had a limited budget for ActionFunder and a short desired time to market (3-4 months).

    How we made it happen

    Limiting the scope

    In the first workshop we worked to limit the scope of the ActionFunder product at MVP phase.

    We wanted to really hone in on the core functionality that would deliver the biggest value to users. We established that this was the matchmaking feature, which acts like a virtual ‘funding agent’.

    Funders save time by only receiving those applications that the system automatically deems to be right for them based on set criteria.

    Managing secondary functionalities

    There were two secondary functionalities which we decided not to include in the first release. We planned to leave them until after the product validation stage. The idea was that we would first observe how users reacted to the core product after they’ve been onboarded. We would then manage the other features in the roadmap based on user feedback. There were four distinct user groups defined for the product: the groups seeking funding, the funders, the wider community (offering support), and the internal team managing the funds.

    Smooth Agile delivery

    The 10Clouds Team consisted of a team of specialists with a broad range of skills to allow for smooth Agile delivery.

    The Product Delivery Manager and Tech Leads were responsible for product delivery planning to align the business roadmap with the selected technology, and to allow for instant change of scope if requested by stakeholders.

    The development team included a designer, two frontend and two backend developers, a QA specialist and a DevOps engineer. They were responsible for the delivery of high-quality features in line with Sprint plannings.

    We worked using Scrum methodology, supported by Jira, Confluence and GitHub as our code repository. Our selected tech stack included React.JS, and Django.

    The greatest challenge was to deliver the main user flow defined in MVP on time. To achieve this, we focused on high-level solution planning and then adjusted the plan and scope iteratively. Following the public release the main goal was to continue the delivery of the planned features while improving the product based on the user feedback. To do so we introduced backlog prioritisation techniques and created two well-organised delivery streams.
    Marcin Stępniak
    Marcin Stępniak
    Product Delivery Manager
    10Clouds

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