Transforming a Digital Agency: Overcoming Technical Debt, Staff Development, and AWS Migration

We partnered with a digital agency driven by a vision for excellence. However, concerns arose regarding the agency's ability to deliver on their ambitious goals. To address these challenges, we provided a full-time consultant who worked closely with the agency for six months to streamline their operations, enhance staff capabilities, and improve technical infrastructure.

Identifying Challenges:

The agency faced significant hurdles, including a history of digital projects plagued by technical debt. This accumulation of unresolved issues resulted in projects running over budget, poorly built websites, and difficulties in servicing clients. Staff turnover was high, and the lack of digital expertise were causing frustration and sleepless nights for the team.


Technical Debt Management:

Recognising the agency's specialisation in WordPress websites, we focused on resolving technical debt within their existing projects. Many of these sites were overly complex, built with outdated plugins, and posed security risks. We collaborated with the agency's developers to establish a new standard for development and systematically addressed the backlog of projects. Within a year, we successfully converted all legacy projects to the new standard, which not only improved code quality but also leveraged continuous integration and continuous delivery practices.


Recruitment & Staff Development:

To reinforce the agency's team, we assisted in multiple rounds of recruitment for temporary contractors, full-time staff, and junior positions. We meticulously screened CVs and conducted interviews to identify candidates who possessed both technical skills and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced digital agency environment. Once onboarded, we prioritised the professional development of the staff, implementing ongoing training programs to rapidly elevate their skills to meet the agency's high standards.


Stakeholder Mentoring:

Recognising the need for improved collaboration between the digital team and non-technical staff, we worked closely with both sides to establish effective communication channels. Through mentoring and guidance, we facilitated a smoother interaction process, ensuring that non-technical team members could articulate their needs and requirements without causing undue stress for the digital team.


AWS Migration:

As part of our engagement, we successfully led the agency through a comprehensive migration from a shared hosting environment to a robust cloud infrastructure using AWS. This migration allowed the agency to leverage the scalability, reliability, and security offered by the cloud, positioning them for future growth and flexibility.


Deliverables and Documentation:

Throughout the engagement, we assisted the agency in implementing crucial documents and processes, including digital terms of service, scoping questionnaires, functional specifications, technical specifications, and handover documents. These documents ensured clear communication and alignment between the agency and its clients, resulting in improved project outcomes and client satisfaction.


Services Provided:

In this engagement, we provided the following services:

Technical Debt Management:

Identifying, prioritising, and strategically addressing accumulated suboptimal code or design decisions in software development to ensure long-term maintainability and system sustainability.

Recruitment, Onboarding and Mentoring:

Advising on recruitment strategy, developing onboarding processes and mentoring developers.

AWS Architecting:

Implementing and adhering to AWS best practices to ensure a resilient and highly available system architecture within the AWS Cloud.

Stakeholder Mentoring:

Providing guidance and support to non-technical individuals, helping them gain a better understanding of technical concepts and decisions to make informed choices in projects and initiatives.

Conclusion:

Through our collaborative efforts, the digital agency overcame their technical debt, enhanced staff capabilities, and migrated to a resilient AWS cloud infrastructure. By introducing best practices, streamlining processes, and fostering effective stakeholder communication, we transformed the agency's operations and established a solid foundation for their future success. The agency now operates with greater efficiency, increased client satisfaction, and a culture of continuous improvement.

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Praise.

Carnedd were one of 5 successful companies to be awarded a contract as part of our SBRI Project aimed at improving communications for patients and their loved ones. SBRI is all about collaboration and it was an absolute pleasure to work with Megan and Edd who showed their enthusiasm and impressive technical expertise throughout this short project.

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Contact.

Carnedd
Menai Science Park
Gaerwen
Ynys Mon
LL60 6AG