An award-winning app optimised for the field worker

An aerial view of a dam in Tasmania

The Challenge

TasWater is Tasmania's water and sewage utility. It is responsible for providing drinking water across the state as well as collecting and treating sewage owned by Tasmania's 29 Local Governments. It manages over 200,000 water connections and over 180,000 sewerage connections, across 6,385 kilometres of water mains.

All this critical infrastructure was being held up by a legacy app meant to help manage work in the field, data and work order status. Unfortunately, it was performing subpar and in dire need of a modern transformation to not only resolve multiple issues but to better its functionality.The core issues with the app, impacting their entire field workforce, were mainly around data unreliability, low connectivity and inconsistency with work order status, as well as:

  • poor online/offline data handling in an environment where mobile reception was unreliable
  • no clear understanding of what was going on in the field at any point
  • data upload issues
  • poor user experience not optimised for its workers, and dirty operational environments
  • data entry screens were difficult to find, navigate, and interact with.

As the app was a data entry gateway to TasWater’s Enterprise Asset Management System (EAMS), the data integrity of their EAMS was becoming more and more compromised.It was clearly time to modernise the app to enable the TasWater workforce to be more efficient, fast.

The Solution

A field worker uses the solution on an iPad

We realised this critical project needed to be addressed with the OutSystems platform in a two-stage approach. First, to deliver a foundational mobility platform and second, to move away completely from the legacy app and deliver the remaining functionality required.

Kiandra performed a detailed user discovery and experience design in the field with the TasWater workforce. With OutSystems, we were able to showcase the solution within a few weeks and more than tripled the end-user involvement and positive feedback.

Kiandra Project Manager Damien Rundell explained gaining this quick feedback through the use of prototypes made it clear TasWater’s field workers needed a tailored approach to the mobile app.

“We noticed a lot of the workers had large hands, and parts of their fingers didn’t register with the touch screens in wet and dirty environments. Given that, we opted for big buttons, spaced apart controls and high contrast address accessibility.”

The focal point of the app is around work orders, so its primary features were front and centre, easily providing the ability to enter crew labour hours, task completion, meter reading and outage recording.

To minimise the time required performing data entry, we implemented functionality that automatically captured the individual crew members and their shift time worked, so that the crew lead could adjust any exceptions with minimal interactions when closing the work order.

Although we completely redesigned the user experience, to ensure there was some familiarity, we maintained the same iconography. This aided change management and training for the workforce.

The Outcome

Using OutSystems, Kiandra built a new TasWater H2GO mobile app for the iPad, completely redesigned from the ground up - optimised for the worker experience, data capture and integrity needs of the business.

TasWater's staff can now work efficiently and without interruption in the field, and data accuracy has been enabled. TasWater now has full stakeholder support to move forward with their greater ‘Mobility Programme’ of work, which capitalises on their OutSystems investment and the strong relationship built between TasWater, OutSystems and Kiandra.

We were also able to “change the culture around change”. Instead of improvement requests being seen as always ‘too hard’, we flipped the organisations perception of change and demonstrated just how easy it was to perform ongoing change and improvement with OutSystems.

Since implementation, Kiandra were able to rapidly implement a digitisation paper-based job safety process and embed it into the H2GO app. Instead of filling out paper forms, we’ve implemented features to enable the crew lead to enter the results of a Job Safety Environmental Analysis, so each crew member sees pictures of any hazards with the descriptions and precautions, then signs with their finger to accept them. Previously the crew would have to read long, handwritten forms and not have the aid of images to identify hazards.

TasWater’s new modernised mobile app, has increased functionality allowing for reliable data downloads and increased connectivity to match up with work order status.

Winner of ‘Best Project’ TasICT Excellence Awards 2020
Stacey Woods, Digital Transformation Program Manager, TasWater
Stacey Woods
Digital Transformation Program Manager, TasWater
Low code, high impact. Using the OutSystems low-code platform we were able to go from concept-to-delivery that met end user needs in a matter of months. It provides us an agile approach to addressing enhancement requests that can be quickly deployed to deliver a user-friendly experience to our essential workers.
Managing tasks screen on the TasWater H2GO mobile app for the iPad
Task manager - tablet
A field worker holds up his iPad and reviews the TasWater H2GO mobile app
My work - tablet
A field worker reviews his task list on the TasWater H2GO mobile app
Task manager - tablet
A close up of a user logging time for a task on the TasWater H2GO mobile app
Job manager - tablet
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