Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Other than the fact that, as a surgeon working within a team, I have nothing to compare Ascendle to. They assigned a project owner from the beginning, who was completely binary and organized. She has been in communication with me every day, even attending trade shows with us. We've joked about the fact that we have no scope creep, but this is mainly because Ascendle has given me yes-or-no choices, which hits well with my way of working as a surgeon.
Our product owner has a degree in business management and has given us free advice, which I found to be even more important than the app itself. Knowing how to sell the product was the bigger issue, and Ascendle has communicated this very openly. Ascendle was always supportive and excited about our sprints, down to the coders. I've met with our quality technician and 2 developers virtually every 2 weeks.
Ascendle created an alpha version of the site which we could send to users as a sneak peek. We received a lot of feedback from people, and Ascendle took all of those suggestions, prioritizing what we could work on and when.
How did Ascendle perform from a project management standpoint?
Any results that are under budget and ahead of schedule are a good thing. Ascendle has taught me about the process, and everything they've done has had a reason and explanation behind it. We've been able to forge ahead, and Ascendle's principal has been directly involved as one of the architects.
What did you find most impressive about Ascendle?
I've appreciated the fact that Ascendle's approach is centered around business, not IT. We were building a tool for the business, not a high-tech structure that is sophisticated to the point of being non-functional. We've had to solve a problem on 2 sides, for patients and doctors respectively. In my experience, the debacle of medical records is getting increasingly complicated, with companies having no regard for the end user. Going to the doctor has become like going through TSA security. Ascendle kept reminding me about the ultimate purpose of our system and who the end users were. We aren't building art for art's sake. We need the technology to be standalone.
Are there any areas Ascendle could improve?
Ascendle could even move a little slower. I've struggled on the other side to connect with the appropriate team members on the marketing front. There are many healthcare providers who have invested in our project, and I feel obliged not to waste their money.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Ascendle?
I have no particular advice. There's been no stress in this collaboration, which is always important.