Crunch is an award-winning online accounting software company providing an exceptional level of advice and expert support to its customers. Crunch is trusted by more than 11,000 freelancers, contractors, and small businesses across the UK to deliver accounting services, with support from experts who are accessible, knowledgeable and passionate about helping businesses grow.
As a growing company, Crunch wanted to deliver continuous improvements to its web-based software platform at a fast pace. So, it sought a software development partner who could work alongside its own in-house teams and provide skills for both the front-end user interface and the back-end re-architecture of its accountancy software. Crunch chose Godel as its strategic partner to help deliver the work.
The first challenge consisted of rebuilding an existing business domain within the application in a microservices architecture using ReactJS and decoupling the front-end and back-end via a REST API. To provide a seamless experience and constant access for Crunch’s customers, the database schema had to remain unchanged enabling both the classic and new beta systems to run in parallel.
Godel delivered a dedicated Scrum team to build the new module as a lightweight application. At the outset, the Godel team took time to understand the complexities of UK accounting systems and regulations, and how this would impact development for Crunch. With this knowledge in mind, the team completely rebuilt the front-end UI as React components, ensuring that all new elements were added to Crunch’s component library to accelerate the rebuild of the wider suite by enabling their re-use in the future. For the back-end development, Godel employed a continuous deployment approach which delivered faster delivery times and more capacity to develop new features.
The partnership has not just been about rebuilding the module – along the way, Crunch received direct customer feedback through its ongoing software beta program, and Godel has continuously been adding new features to the functionality based on these end-user requests to build the best user experience possible. The team has added many valuable new features in less than one year.
Godel has hit all its agreed development milestones – the first major release was a month earlier than scheduled and was a success. Initially, the functionality was rolled out to seven Crunch clients, but that gradually increased and there are now around 500 clients using the new module.
One of the most important achievements in the partnership is the trust built between Crunch and the Godel team – as a result, the engagement is already in its second phase. The teams have quickly formed a mutual respect for each other’s opinions – the strength of their communication proven by their first major release having happened in a short six-month time frame. Daily communication is the key: retrospectives, sprint planning sessions, backlog refinement, and swift responses to each other makes for an agile, ‘one-team’ environment. Both Godel and Crunch share the same commitment to the role and task at hand.
“It’s not been a job of simply rebuilding the old application, we’ve looked for opportunities to improve the features available – clients can now drag and drop and add multiple files at the same time when transferring documents to the application. We’re constantly improving the user experience,” said Volha Maruchok, Agile Delivery Co-Ordinator for Crunch, Godel Technologies.
Knowledge sharing happens in both directions between the teams and the Godel team has been completely immersed in the UK accountancy laws; – regulatory compliance formed a vital and core part of the development work. Overall, this shared mindset helps the partnered team stay aligned to Crunch’s mission and values, combining into a truly unified partnership.
Volha said, “Every day there were small achievements; the development team are growing and learning new things all the time, but we’ve moved from calling Crunch a ‘customer’ to a ‘partner’. It’s a very friendly and easy-going atmosphere between us,”.
Jamie Hollis, Crunch’s Development Manager, said “Godel and Crunch have forged a very productive relationship in a short amount of time – leading to the successful delivery of a major part of the rebuild of the Crunch core accountancy application. What’s impressed me most about Godel is its great communication, and its flexibility to adapt to constantly evolving requirements and priorities. Godel’s work has received great feedback from our clients who have welcomed the increased pace in the evolution of our application.”
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