Online tools help local communities deliver richer opportunities

Online Community Tools


A government agency has an initiative where communities, service providers and related sector agencies work together locally to create broader and richer opportunities for community members.

This government agency developed online tools to enable local communities and related organisations to work together, pool collective strengths, and provide broader and richer opportunities for their community members.


The government agency wanted to support these local communities further to work and partner together and utilise their collective strengths. They wanted to develop online tools on a common platform to help these communities share information, work together, and deliver rich experiences. The tools needed to be easy and efficient to use to promote uptake.


Using Microsoft Azure’s Platform as a Service, the team developed five web-based tools, which would form part of a full toolkit. Adopting the Lean principle of ‘create customer value’ the team implemented facilities to encourage user feedback.

With Azure they could dynamically stand-up and tear down development and test environments. This enabled them to stage, test and deploy tool changes using DevOps and Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery approaches without needing resource-intensive infrastructure.

The project used a Lean approach to Agile, including Kanban boards and daily standups – a first for the government agency. As part of the project, the agency’s team members were upskilled in these approaches.


Five tools have been successfully deployed onto the online platform and are enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing within the local communities.

Each of the five tools allow community conversations to be documented, results to be shared and ideas to be tested and reported back.

The feedback facilities showed a positive response to the tools’ usability and usefulness in supporting their work.

Equinox IT provided a senior systems delivery manager, a development specialist and a systems analyst for this project and in the process of helping deliver the work these consultants also upskilled the government agency’s team members.

Tim Woollands
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