Beating the Odds

A case study about pwc

Your client has given you a deadline so difficult that bets are being placed as to whether it will be met. You need a development partner that can keep you happy, keep your client happy, and deliver the goods on time.

PwC is both the world's largest professional services firm and the world's largest accounting firm, employing over 180,000 people in 159 countries. The company prides itself on putting the needs of its clients first, and delivers business and technology advice to clients in a wide range of industries.

Our Process

How we made the impossible possible.

The Right Partner

Eoin Russell is a director at PwC, the global consulting powerhouse. His focus on social media, mobile, and cloud projects frequently brings him into situations where clients need to act rapidly. One recent project for a Fortune 1000 financial institution cements this point. In order to kickstart its new developer program, Russell's client needed to roll out an online contest that would entice developers to join the program and come up with creative ideas for new applications. This all had to be done under a tight deadline.

Russell knew that in order to make a successful contest, he would need the right development partner. He needed access to a team that could take a high level requirement, analyze it, fill in the blanks, and iterate rapidly.

"A team that could take a high level requirement and iterate rapidly"

Business Savvy

Having partnered with productOps on previous projects, Russell knew productOps had the blend of business savvy and product development skills he needed. "Even so," he recalls, "I was astounded at how quickly they leaped into action." The productOps team rapidly rolled out iterations, working with Russell and the client, turning broadly defined functionality into working prototypes, then into a staged production rollout.

The contest portal incorporated features that allowed participants to sign up, submit their ideas, vote for their favorite entries, and comment on submissions from other participants. Contest managers could easily add content and review usage statistics, view the most active accounts, and manage the progress of the contest.

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The Results

The results more than impressed the client. "They were stunned," says Russell. "Not only did we get the product out the door in time, it actually had more capabilities than what we all initially expected. I attribute that to the way productOps releases software early and often and is continually refining, checking back to be sure they're on the right track."

After launch, productOps continued to add new functionality on a scheduled timeline. Russell knew he had scored a big win when he discovered that there were a few players up the management chain at the client that had actually wagered with each other whether the project would release on time with such an aggressive schedule. When it launched ahead of the deadline, he was suddenly a hero.

"Not only did we get the product out the door in time, it actually had more capabilities than what we all initially expected"

Project Overview



  • The Drupal development framework was used to create the portal, which worked on all modern web browsers.


  • The portal was built using Agile methodology.
  • Functionality was demonstrated early and often in the development process.


  • productOps managed the deployment, maintenance, and upgrading of the portal from project start to the conclusion of the contest.