Skills development and mentoring software aimed at retaining talent by connecting colleagues and enriching their engagement.


The challenge

Employees thrive in an environment where their talents are nurtured. Workplaces where staff are given the opportunity to grow and develop their skillsets have far higher staff retaintion rates than those without such programmes.

Existing problem

Retaining staff is hard these days, and larger organisations rarely have a mentoring programme in place that can provide valuable and experienced mentoring to fellow colleagues.

Proposed solution

Develop a MVP platform that allows users to connect the people in their organisation including, managers, leaders and mentors to help high-performing employees develop their careers. The pilot will be used to demonstrate the added value available for businesses by nurturing talent their own talent accross the financial services, engineering and IT consultancy sectors.

Workshop sessions

Skillstep approached us to build their initial MVP to be used as a pilot for their first customers. Most importantly, they needed to gain insight into the direction they needed to take their product and whether there was any apetite for it in the marketplace. Ryan came to us with his idea of how to solve this problem, as well as some early stage wireframes of how he believed the application should work.

We held workshops with Ryan to really dig deep into his idea and gain a full understanding of exactly what his product is all about, and we decided together which components would form the initial MVP.

Kyle Whittington, Director, Bad Dinosaur

Kyle Whittington, Director, Bad Dinosaur

Bad Dinosaur transformed my thinking from ‘Here's a brief, now let’s build it’ to another way of working which puts emphasis on key tasks, features and ignoring the fluff that does not add value to the product or business using it.

Ryan Falconer, Founder, SkillStep

Ryan Falconer, Founder, SkillStep


After running through wireframes and user journeys we were able to extract a list of nearly 100 user stories which would form the basis of the development work required. Throughout the development process we held weekly show-and-tell meetings with Ryan, allowing him to see progress and give feedback on builds each week.

This agile approach meant that when some items appeared to be of a higher priority than others, we rearranged the backlog accordingly, giving them the best possible use of their time and money for the MVP.

Product demo

The MVP was delivered on time and to budget, and we were invited to run conference call demonstrations of the software to Skillstep's early customers. This was a great example of how we love to support the entrepreneurs who are often not as technical as us software developers - it should never prevent you from turning your great ideas into reality.

Kyle won me my first paying customer. He built the prototype and delivered an excellent live product demo to two key stakeholders. They were equally impressed. You could say Bad Dinosaur helped me start a commercial business.

Ryan Falconer, Founder of SkillStep
Ryan Falconer, Founder of SkillStep

The future

After the MVP was built, Skillstep went out to get more funding and after feedback from the pilot they gained a better idea of the path that the product needed to follow. Building an MVP was crucial in gaining an understanding of how their final product would be architected and how it would work. Skillstep has gone from strength to strength since the launch of their product and we are proud to have been part of their early development.

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