“Agile development and a true partnership approach created the right solution for our devolved taxes.”
Elaine Lorimer, CEO, Revenue Scotland
Revenue Scotland was established in 2015 to collect and manage the country’s devolved taxes. So far, this includes the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and the Scottish Landfill Tax.
Knowing their first IT contract would end in August 2019, Revenue Scotland went out to market to find the right replacement. Their overall goal was a digital-first taxation solution that could adapt to new legislation and support future service improvements.
Strategy and Change Manager Alan Martin was involved from the start. He’d helped to set up Revenue Scotland and then worked on the search for the right solution partner:
“We’d had over three years of collecting and managing Scotland’s devolved taxes under our belt, so we knew exactly what we needed. When we ran the full procurement exercise, NPS came out top.”
Revenue Scotland signed a contract with NPS in January 2018 and agreed a phased delivery plan.
“NPS was genuinely invested in the project – there was such a strong sense of team working that it was hard for incoming staff to tell who worked for who.”
This was Revenue Scotland’s first experience with Agile development, and a partnership approach from NPS made a big difference. Data migration posed the biggest challenge, as Alan explains:
“When we started in 2015, we were putting data in an empty box. Now that box was full, so we had to move it with care. Right from the Discovery phase, I was really impressed with the visibility and approach of NPS. They were genuinely invested in the project, which meant we could tackle any risks together rather than get stuck in a blame game.”
From the outset, NPS appreciated that data migration was a major challenge. Finance information needed to be uncoupled from the Scottish Government and then merged with the data in the existing solution. Considerable time and effort, with experts from the client and NPS teams, was spent in ensuring the data migration approach was mapped, agreed, tested and executed securely.
With all data successfully merged and migrated, the new system went live as planned on 24th July 2019. Since then, NPS has delivered three ‘continuous improvement’ releases. These include developments in response to user feedback as well as planned enhancements. An additional release is planned for early 2021, where the attention is firmly on further automation.
Alan believes the strength of the partnership made the difference: “Both partners focused heavily on relationship building, and that’s been a huge part of our success. At all levels, the NPS team has been accessible, flexible and committed to getting it right. As a result, we’re set up well for building on the successful delivery of the new system in the years ahead, and will be well placed to address any challenges that arise.”
“We’re very proud of our work with Revenue Scotland on devolved taxes. We have worked together at all levels across the organisation to deliver a programme that fits the devolved powers of the Scottish Government as well as the people it serves.”
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