Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
I don’t have any real metrics or figures to share. We’re not large enough to really be measuring things in that way.
How did Ascendro perform from a project management standpoint?
We've known their company since 2006, and have worked on several projects together. I have been involved in different capacities in past projects, so I knew exactly what to expect from Ascendro. From a reporting structure, there was a single person ahead of me. Because the division was mine, it was easy to maintain the agreed-upon team structure.
From a project management point of view, they used the documentation that we put together for helping them in their day-to-day activities. We constantly reviewed how good our communication format was for helping their team achieve set goals.
We used an internal communication infrastructure. We tried to be as prescriptive as possible due to lack of time. We used Balsamiq for wireframing, and Skype for exchanging documentation and conference calls for showcasing features. We had both team and single communication sessions.
When the work reached a certain maturity level, we had our team collaborate directly with the developers for any issues.
What distinguishes Ascendro from other providers?
The big difference between Ascendro and other developers is that they understood our limitations and were able to accomplish their work just the same. Another differentiator is their ability to deliver work that wasn't discussed in detail. I asked them for source code quality management functionalities. They provided the necessary information, started automation testing, and so on.
Ascendro was very accommodating throughout the whole engagement; it was very impressive. They don't simply stick to the given engagement, staying out of the way if we need anything else, but rather analyzed what our requirements were and determined what they could do to engage on that level.
Is there anything Ascendro could have improved or done differently?
Because we were stressed for time, some of the features that we requested were less understood that what we would've wanted, which resulted in double iterations. It's hard to qualify this as a limitation of Ascendro. There was not enough time to write a proper user story. Even within these circumstances, they were available to handle anything that went wrong.