A platform to streamline the audit process
They’ve been very responsive throughout the entire process, and they’ve kept us informed every step of the way. They’ve been great at setting expectations and delivering them.
CTO & Founder, Illumbra Group
The Client & The App
The client is a group of three individuals: a pilot, a compliance manager, and an auditor, all with aviation-related roles within the industry.
Their goal was to develop a platform that streamlines the audit process in the aviation sector. This platform would not only provide essential materials and documentation necessary for audits but also would facilitate the smooth execution of aviation audits and allow for tracking progress in terms of improvements.
The client’s initiative significantly improves operational efficiency for users involved in aviation, particularly those managing a fleet of aircraft for a smaller airline. European regulations impose specific requirements, and the client’s platform addresses these. Their platform eases the burden of audit preparations and conduct, ensuring compliance with aviation regulations. Additionally, they offer expertise through their team of experts and lawyers to guide businesses in meeting the necessary standards.
Our role and involvement
Our role was to develop a web app to streamline the audit process, aiming to assist customers by digitising and simplifying audits, along with offering legal insights. The lack of such a tool on the market prompted the client’s initiative to enhance audit facilitation.
To address the crucial aspects of audit management and execution in the aviation industry, together with the client, we identified two key functionalities.
To address the crucial aspects of audit management and execution in the aviation industry, together with the client, we identified two key functionalities. The platform needed to enable compliance schedule and manage audits efficiently. This involved determining when audits should occur and what specific areas or topics they should cover. Then the platform would dynamically generate tailored audit questionnaires based on the type of company and relevant industry requirements.
The client came to us with a ready-made idea, seeking a specific scope and cost estimate. We needed to align the concept with the intended functionality and purpose to address the challenges faced in the aviation audit domain effectively.
The client discovered our company on the Upwork platform and chose to collaborate with us because we aligned with their needs and budget. According to the client, they appreciated our approach to developing the platform, ensuring it was built with them, not just for them.
Instead of creating a single platform with varying access levels, we developed three distinct platforms: an admin panel, an expert domain panel, and a compliance manager panel with each panel serving a specialised function.
We developed an admin panel to streamline user access management, encompassing domain experts, compliance managers, and clients representing audited companies. The admin dashboard simplifies adding, organising, and supervising external users.
The question database was structured around specific topics to reflect European aviation regulations. Each area had designated domain experts who managed the question pool, being able to approve, add, or modify them. As the administrators are experts themselves, they can also interfere with the content of the question, ensuring controlled question management and compliance with regulatory standards. They can request corrections if needed, maintaining an interactive workflow and a high standard of question quality.
When creating an audit topic, the admin defines the specifics: sources and number of questions, as well as the percentage of questions from each category, resulting in diverse question pools for each audit. To prevent duplication of questions, the system intelligently prioritises unseen questions in audits. It’s essential to avoid a mechanical checklist approach and instead encourage a selective review to ensure thorough assessment.
The admin panel also includes an analytical section to evaluate question adequacy across various topics. This feature correlates topic numbers with associated organisations, allowing admins to proactively manage question availability and prevent question repetition for audit recipients.
Domain Expert Panel
Within the domain expert panel, the expert’s visibility is limited to the categories with questions assigned by the admin. The process involves the expert adding a question, specifying its category, linking to the relevant legislation, providing a title, and formulating the question. Subsequently, the question is sent to the admin for review, who can either approve it, request corrections, or reject it.
Compliance Manager Panel
The compliance manager panel allows for the scheduling and supervision of audits, and displaying a comprehensive list of past audits. When scheduling an audit, the compliance manager acts on behalf of the company, determining the date, title and description, and selecting specific audit topics, aligning with the company’s profile.
The compliance manager’s role doesn’t involve direct participation in the audit process but includes adding both the auditor and the auditee. Once added, they receive email invitations notifying them of the scheduled audit. As the audit date approaches, reminders are sent to both parties.
Upon accessing the provided link, the auditor views a list of all questions. The auditee responds to each question, and the auditor evaluates whether the responses are adequate or not. If all responses meet the criteria, the evaluation phase begins, during which the auditor assesses compliance with established procedures. If compliance is confirmed, the audit proceeds smoothly. However, if issues are identified, the auditor documents them. The auditee can view and address them, detailing how they intend to prevent such findings in the future. The auditor must accept these proposed remedies as adequate. Upon the auditor’s acceptance of all remedies, the audit concludes for both parties.
However, the process doesn’t end here, as the compliance manager, responsible for all audits within the company, has further responsibilities. This includes formulating an action plan based on the identified remedies, ensuring implementation and adherence. Additionally, the compliance manager can use a library function to generate audit reports. These reports serve as documentation that can be shared with regulatory authorities or relevant bodies in case of inspections or requests related to aviation compliance.
The platform was developed in about a year, targeting a release in the fourth quarter of 2023, with several potential clients already interested.
At the beginning, we needed to understand the client’s objectives and challenges. Initially, the client had a clear idea of the app’s scope but lacked a comprehensive understanding of the product’s viability and functionality.
Through intensive workshops, we guided the client back to the project’s discovery phase, emphasising the necessity to evaluate the product’s overall coherence and utility. We delved into understanding the target customers and the entire industry, laying the foundation for the next steps.
Once we had a comprehensive understanding, we began crafting wireframe-based prototypes using Figma. These prototypes were shared with potential clients, allowing for crucial feedback. Wireframes helped us determine the scope and outline all the functionalities. After a month of following this analytical and workshop-driven phase, we moved forward to the estimation and development phases.
Crucially, throughout the collaboration, we focused on ensuring the client could extract value from each stage. This value-centric approach included summarising product requirements after the analysis phase, ensuring a clear product vision and defined product goals. Additionally, it involved presenting a detailed prototype to gather potential clients and a transparent cost estimate. This allowed the client the flexibility to assess and compare costs and timelines with other software development companies, emphasising the significance of a well-defined product vision and clear prototype.