Aware of Rainmaker’s broad experience providing digital solutions within Government departments, DIT approached us with a problem: how can we create a digital service that helps UK businesses grow internationally?

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is a UK government department responsible for striking and extending trade agreements between the UK and non-EU states. The Department was created in July 2016, shortly after the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Client’s challenge

The new Department had a rough idea of what it wanted and a big vision: to create the UK’s biggest exporter directory. But they had lots of questions: what do our users need? How can we build it? And how can we meet our public commitment to launch the service in just three months?

Tom Cornwall, explains how Rainmaker designed the new service:

Rainmaker’s solution

We provided, at short notice, a small, multi-disciplinary team, combining user research, service design, technical architecture and delivery management experience, to integrate with DIT’s internal team and run an initial six-week discovery phase. Working collaboratively with DIT’s key stakeholders, we designed a solution focused on both the needs of UK businesses and international buyers but also the competencies and capabilities of DIT.

We conducted interviews with over 200 UK businesses, 25 international buyers in the UK’s priority overseas markets and dozens of DIT staff in the UK and around the world. We developed user personas that communicated priority needs; we mapped a draft technical landscape to enable integration of the new service with existing systems; and we worked out loud to build internal skills and organisational capability.

We worked end-to-end from concept to launch, including the provision of front-end support, meeting aggressive timescales. The engagement helped DIT clarify its vision for an innovative digital service that would help UK businesses learn how to do business internationally, connect with potential customers and find new opportunities to grow.

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After presenting our findings the Sponsor said, “A lot more than I was expecting.”

As a result of our initial engagement, we were asked to continue working with the Department to help them build and launch the digital service.

Working with us, DIT was able to define an accurate overarching view of the technical architecture, reassess its approach to the risk management of cyber security threats and complete a comprehensive technical risk assessment.

With our support, DIT was able to design, develop and launch the first ever digital service, built from user needs, to help UK connect with potential customers around the world and support the UK’s economic prosperity.

The Senior Responsible Owner said, “We’d love to keep you here forever.”