What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Ticket following is the best metric we have. Using Jira, we have found that our velocity and sprint cadence have been higher and a bit more organized than normal. AgileEngine’s project manager has maintained that high volume and kept things under control. Some of the documentation she provided has been invaluable for our communication with upper management and the other development teams. The volume of tickets they’ve tested has definitely been above normal. Aside from that, we’ve appreciated their experience in working with other teams and integrating into the work environment.
How did AgileEngine perform from a project management standpoint?
Some of the tasks we gave them were challenging, but they’ve handled everything well. I opened the door to project management communication on both sides. We coordinated our efforts with the understanding that we’d have to play it by ear, for lack of a better expression.
We didn’t have fully fleshed-out documentation, design specifications, or product requirements. Sometimes we had a paragraph where there should have been 12 pages, so we’d have to work through that and build requirements as we went. Even on the QA side, we identified proper test requirements as we went. It was an extremely difficult challenge, but they did a good job.
We are running a Jira instance in the cloud. They were invited into that process for development and QA. The team helped identify and review the stories and move tickets through our workflows. We also depended heavily on Confluence for our communication.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Compared to the other third-parties that I’ve dealt with, AgileEngine’s quality of candidates has been high. If I ask them for a certain set of people, they intuitively understand what I’m looking for and actually find those qualities. Their level of experience on the project management side allows them to identify valuable skills in candidates.
AgileEngine is also flexible in terms of availability, especially when it comes to important releases. They’ve made their team available even late at night on their time zone.
Are there any areas they could improve?
The English level of certain candidates has been a challenge on the development side. There have also been a few gaps in sourcing developers, which have caused us to wait a month instead of two weeks for them to find a resource. I’ve been willing to wait if that means finding a quality person since low-quality developers can be an even bigger time sink.
I’ve been happy with them overall. They’ve been attentive when setting up meetings and ensuring that communication was completed within the proper timeframes. When there was frustration on AgileEngine’s end, we’ve tried to improve it.
We’re a growing company, having gone from 60 to 400 employees in the last year. This has caused a lot of process changes, but AgileEngine has adapted to us. They are aware of our limitations and have built bridges to address them.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Know what you’re asking for when you go to them, and be as clear as possible about the candidates’ qualifications.