The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is the UK’s agency providing hydrographic and geospatial data to mariners and maritime organisations across the world. Supplying defence and the commercial shipping industry, the UKHO helps ensure Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), protecting the marine environment and supporting the efficiency of global trade.

UKHO established the Marine Information Transformation programme (MInT), to develop the organisation’s data platform using agile methodology. The resulting ‘big data’ capabilities were anticipated to transform the way UKHO develops products and services and brings them to market.

Notbinary undertook a comprehensive performance review and technical assessment of the programme/service to help define their future strategy and to ensure that the teams were given the best opportunity to succeed in delivering the ambitious goals. Areas of focus included aligning the programme backlogs with wider organisational goals, improving the continuous integration and deployment approach, technology choices and their effect on pace of delivery, and placing user needs at core of all work.

Working with UKHO staff our team recommended a radical reboot of the entire initiative. Actioning this required significant influencing of key members of the Executive Committee – including the CTO and COO – and gaining the support of influential non-executive Directors. At the time of writing the majority of the recommendations have been implemented including a shift to public cloud, less rigid approaches to agile, a new Design Authority to prioritise work across the organisation and implementing GDS style assessments.

The Notbinary team also supported the UKHO team with coaching for scrummasters and product owners and worked with the Data Science team to deliver a ‘serverless’ alpha for a product that uses ‘deep learning’ to map mangroves.