The OK app: from fixed-scope projects to a dedicated 16-person team

Case studies

Nowadays, OK is an established Dutch brand, with over a million downloads and satisfied, active users. But this tremendously useful mobile app that keeps consumers’ loyalty cards, gift cards and coupons at their fingertips began life as a small startup looking to turn a vision for a ‘smart wallet‘ into reality… and Maxcode was there to do it from day one.

When we first had contact with OK, there was a small technical team taking care of everything software-related. From visual design all the way to infrastructure management, the group was able to handle the relatively small endeavor. However, plans to accelerate parts of their backlog meant that they were looking for a tech partner with both the necessary skills and the flexibility to pioneer the solution with them. More specifically, they required assistance with ad-hoc fixed-scope requests or ‘small projects’ relating to the mobile apps, web apps, and cloud infrastructure.

We realized that Level 1: Pivotal Core of our engagement model was the ideal way to meet OK’s need. For us, this meant understanding each request, defining its scope, and providing a cost estimate. After receiving the go-ahead, we then agreed a delivery timeline and got to work.

The relationship progressed well, with the people at OK quickly discovering that Maxcode teams typically under-promise and over-deliver. We delivered a growing number of fixed-scope projects, and we soon got to a point where we were influencing many of the components within the OK software ecosystem. This, combined with the increased level of trust, led us to rethink our longer-term collaboration in search of mutual benefits.


Continuous work? Time for a dedicated and flexible team!

That was when we decided to take our relationship to the next level and advance to Level 2: Versatile Capability. In this setup, we created a dedicated team for OK, focusing completely on their business and their software. Moreover, thanks to OK’s commitment to provide continuous work for this team, OK benefited from more flexibility and more cost certainty.

At first, our dedicated OK team comprised just 2 people working on developing the OK ecosystem’s web components: application and infrastructure. The OK app had not yet been publicly released, which meant priorities were internally driven and could be easily handled by the team. Together, we were pioneering the MVP.

After launch, when the user feedback began pouring in, it became clear that the required velocity could only be achieved by increasing the team. So we brought in web and mobile software engineers, testers and UX designers, expanding the team to 16 members. Needless to say, we continuously adjusted the operational design of the group, splitting them into smaller teams, and setting roles and responsibilities.

Ownership option for extra peace of mind

With the 16-person team, things were going great – delivery speed was exceeding expectations, people were drawing on their experience from other past projects, applying various success stories to the OK context, and addressing the group and project requirements well. As the workload continued to increase, even more tech specialists were needed. In line with our promises in Level 3: Sustainable Capacity, we partnered up with another software vendor to meet the extra demand.

Nevertheless, on the OK side there was a slight sense of unease about having the entire development activities handled by a third party. Even though the relationship was strong and the Maxcode team was reliable, predictable, and fully committed to the project, the team had become so big that the OK investors and shareholders started to perceive an element of business risk.


It is precisely for situations like these that we created a next level of the Maxcode engagement model. It includes an additional option for clients to transfer their Maxcode team to a separate legal entity (shifting the collaboration into Level 4: Strategic Ownership). This option assures the client that the development history and knowledge can be retained within their company, whatever happens.

Ultimately, OK remained at Level 3 and never actually activated the option. Its mere existence was enough to give peace of mind to not only their management team, but also to investors and shareholders. In the meantime, the Maxcode team continued to work and deliver value as the well-oiled machine they had become.


Conclusion: a collaboration characterized by flexibility and strategic engagement

OK’s journey with Maxcode showcases how tailored tech support and adaptability can help a small startup to turn its vision into reality. From handling fixed-scope requests relating to mobile apps, web apps, and cloud infrastructure, to offering the option for full ownership of the team, we played a crucial role in each phase of OK’s growth. The velocity with which the development activities could be scaled up highlights the importance of flexible, responsive collaboration models in today’s fast-paced digital economy.

Is your fintech company ready to accelerate its growth? Let’s explore how Maxcode’s unique engagement model can support your business at each stage of your maturity journey.

About Maxcode

Our continued success in helping businesses shape their tech and grow it to the next level is built on our ability to keep pace with the market and listen closely to our clients’ needs. Rather than seeing collaboration between companies as a constant, static agreement, we believe it is an ever-evolving lifecycle with 4 engagement levels:

Level 1: Pivotal Core – project-based, fixed-scope collaboration

Level 2: Versatile Capability – agile team with flexible capabilities, joint backlog management

Level 3: Sustainable Capacity – dedicated team integrated into client’s tech capacity

Level 4: Strategic Ownership – full control with team employed in client’s own, facilitated legal entity

These levels of engagement enable us to right-size our collaboration during all stages of a company’s lifecycle.

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