What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’ve kept statistics, for example, on the number of bugs, fixing times, and any delays. There were many factors which made my general view on the project not as optimistic as I would have liked. On the client side, we also had issues which contributed to the outcome, such as requirement changes from new business areas, and not delivering agreements and specific requirements descriptions on time. These are small things which made the real-life project different from the theoretical one.
What did make the project successful was the level of collaboration, and the willingness of both sides to compromise in order to move things along. There are no specific statistics I can provide, but I consider their approach to our relationship to be a success factor. From this point of view, they were willing to do more than other partners I’ve worked with, when the budget and time were limited and strictly monitored. But sometimes they made mistakes that demand excessive levels of compromise, which might disqualify them to be a professional client, but, when there was no tension, the collaboration was very good.
How did Altkom perform from a project management standpoint?
We communicated using different means, including email, phone, and a ticketing system. We only used video conferencing when it was necessary. We set up a knowledge base for the requirements side using a wiki solution and worked on it collaboratively.
In terms of technology and delivery time, I would not judge their performance based on this project. Our budget limitations and scale of work were rather disproportionate. A system of our size should cost around $3 million, but they had an internal interest in our project.
From a professional viewpoint, the time and scope did not match the cost of the project. They delivered a bit less than we hoped, and a bit later. Some would say that this is normal.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They are open to mentioning where a problem lies. I appreciated their honesty and approach to our relationship.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Based on my experience, I would recommend they improve the tool side of development. The systems they used could be better from an analytical point of view. They should especially invest in testing and documentation. Currently, our project specifications number 3,000 pages, and that’s not even all of it. We expected to receive this documentation much earlier than we did. They gave it to us after the software delivery, which is not a good way to cope with a large scope.
From a project management viewpoint, they performed well, but, in terms of delivering what the client wanted and maintaining a discussion on the budget and time, I would have wanted more understanding.