Leading UK Government Agency - Response to Covid-19

Problem statement

In the difficult times of the Coronavirus pandemic, the UK economy was hugely impacted resulting in many adverse effects to many small and large businesses with many people losing their jobs or being placed on ‘furlough’. The pandemic resulted in lockdown and many self-employed people were unable to work as shops, malls, restaurants and other small businesses were unable to operate. People on sick leave were also suffering salary cuts making day to day life very difficult for all.

The UK’s leading Government agency had to step in immediately to support the economy and the generic public in this time of need. To do this, they worked with the government to devise a series of schemes to support the country – pivotal to the well being of the economy and general public.

Solution

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to provide payments to employers made in respect of incurring costs of employment for ‘furloughed’ employees so they are able to continue employment without actually being able to go to work.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – Government establishes claimant’s trading profits and non-trading income if the person is self-employed or a member of a partnership and had been adversely affected by coronavirus. The claimant could get a taxable grant based on the average trading profit over the 3 tax years: 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, 2018 to 2019.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate (SSPR) - If the employee is self-isolating or staying at home because they are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, they are able to claim £95.85 per week Statutory Sick Pay.

Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) - To kick-start the UK economy again once lockdown had been lifted, the Government came up a unique scheme where the general public can visit participating bars, restaurants and cafés and claim up to 10% of the amount or to a maximum of £10 per person.

How Coforge partnered with the client

Each scheme had to be live within just over a week of being announced. With these stringent timelines, Coforge partnered with the client and leveraged the Pega Platform to provide several working solutions through Design Thinking and the following approaches:

  • Build - Show - Build approach: Since all the business stakeholders were very busy and Pega was not the only system in place, there was a lack of clarity about what/how the product or even the process would look like. Coforge first built a solution based on our understanding of the problem and showed this to the business through build again- demo every day.
  • Agile redefined: There were some S&T suggestions that are implemented while the S&T was in progress to avoid the need to wait for the next S&T to show progress
  • User Interface: Focus was on minimalistic UI, system would only display relevant information in main screen as highlighted and rest would be displayed in different tab as a 360 view of the case, keeping it flexible enough to be changed in a short span.
  • Simple Customer Journey: Looking into the requirements we designed a brand-new process which was very simple and easy to use keeping in mind a simpler customer journey with minimal manual intervention.
  • Infrastructure: All COVID applications: JRS, SEISS and SSPR were build within the Caseflow infrastructure because these applications were to be used by Compliance world, giving us the advantage to deliver the application in comparatively lesser time. Though built was on an existing application, it was kept Independent.
    • to mitigate the risk of impacting the existing application
    • to split the application if required in the future
  • Implementation First and Documentation Next:Short timeframes and changing requirements forced us to implement first and document later, but it worked!
  • Rigorous Testing: The scenarios were drafted and validated efficiently. Rigorous regression testing was completed paying special attention not to invalidate any existing functionality.

Vision for the Future

With the Covid-19 schemes successfully implemented, Coforge have demonstrated unique thought leadership and deep consulting on how clients can leverage Pega capabilities to solve complex business problems in very short timescales.

‘Build for Change’ is now a mantra with this client. Our direct interaction with the business and end users to deliver the solution in a timely manner was highly important and significantly strengthened our relationship with the client. Coforge were delighted to be such an important part of an integral project to help stabilise the economy in a time of crisis.

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