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Lifely logo
Ministry of Defence

We safeguard those who safeguard others.

Bringing innovation to the Ministry of Defence is no short order, but we were humbled by the opportunity. Facilitating the maintenance effort of their vehicles through digitisation, we designed and developed the “DO-MAINT” app. In simple terms, we turned a filing cabinet of pink slips into a digital tool for tracking and maintaining their fleet. Starting from scratch, we facilitated a team wide adoption of this new technology and the eventual internal ownership over it’s continued development.

 

Innovation idea of the year.

Our work was considered “Innovation idea of the year” by the State Secretary of Defence.  The brief was clear from the get go: “How can we digitalise the book keeping process of weapons’ systems maintenance”? Turning data on paper into data on the computer was simple and straightforward. We saw the possibilities straight away. However, it was very important to us that the users – drivers, soldiers, gunners, and maintenance technicians – also saw the advantages. We worked out and validated the concept together.

“Lifely employs young people and their language matches ours. This results in a free spirit.” – Product owner Stephan Wildenberg

Taking ownership first, building later.

By involving everyone working on this project, a true sense ownership was created. The result is an application design everyone still supports. The aim was to first create a design everyone would accept and finetune to their wishes and requirements. The technical and budgetary considerations came second. We developed a working prototype that was tested with the users. It was great to see that the design was a success. Users reacted very positively and they weren’t the only ones. Everyone, from technicians to top level staff, was equally excited.

“The paper version has all the rules, such as ‘Check the tyres’. In another document you’ll find how to do that exactly. The DO-MAINT app gives you everything at a glance.” – Soldier with the Ministry of Defence

Clear value.

The users within the Ministry of Defence consider the support they get during vehicle maintenance the most valuable aspect of the app. Because of the DO-MAINT app they don’t need to use any paper anymore, or look up the needed information or ask the commander what users have previously noted. They’re also very happy about the ease of use of the app. It’s very intuitive. They don’t need to write down hundreds of lines with a pen anymore. Because of its adoption and clear set of benefits, the Ministry of Defence started producing the app for themselves. A transition we helped them with.

Hybrid technology, GraphQL, and React Native.

Every (weapons) system consists of many parts to be checked. The resulting data structure of the pink maintance card is very large and complex. The only way to replace this pink card is to link the app to the current software used by the Ministry of Defence. We were able to achieve this by using GraphQL and React Native as flexible technologies.

“Lifely has shown the MoD how using new technologies can meet the needs of users. MoD has learned very much in the process.”

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