What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We used the apps they delivered in half a dozen investor presentations and had an LOC within a year. The project had its difficulties but, overall, I walked away satisfied as a customer. We were not a simple client, it was not a simple project, and I probably put more demands on them than most of their corporate clients. In dealing with that, they excelled.
How did BiTe Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?
They were well-organized and worked in well-defined sprints based on detailed use-case scenarios, but it appeared that some of the team had conflicts and, between one thing and another, they were late and over budget on almost every sprint because of that. They were also slow to recognize a gap in expectations. I had developed commercial software before I went work for Nestle, so my expectations for what was considered a minimal feature set for a consumer app were different from theirs, something that did not become apparent until we were halfway through development, and that contributed to the delays as well. But, Joe and Brant are honorable businessmen and they absorbed those additional costs in order to fulfill their commitment to work within my budget.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Along with their integrity, I admired the effort they put into understanding the project requirements and both my short and long-term goals. It is very common as a practice now but, at the time, not many people were trying to design and prototype in a forward-thinking way. I kept asking them not to paint me into a corner - I didn’t want to be forced to start over once we were funded. Brant understood that and came up with a stack that gave us enough flexibility to change directions or expand the scope, as needed, without having to reinvent the wheel.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Our work with them was almost five years ago and, as I understand it, they took their experience with us and implemented a number of changes in the way they execute on projects. The agile sprint is a fine model for corporate projects with established technologies, but not so good for developing in emerging technologies. I’m sure that, if they knew then what they know now, they could have delivered more for less and not had to take a financial hit in the process.
We were working in a burgeoning market. I took a risk, and they took it with me. Could it have come out better had they known more before we started? Sure, but I don’t feel bad about it. It did the job. We got the funding commitment we were looking for, and BiTe honored their deal with us. As a client, you cannot really ask for more.