Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We are very pleased with the final product. The cost was definitely lower than if I was working with an agency in the United States. Communicating with them was easy and I appreciated working with a small team as opposed to having to guard against the team being overstaffed and being overcharged. They were great thought partners for the project and its implementation is something I’m really pleased with. I’m going to continue working with them moving forward.
How did Bixlabs perform from a project management standpoint?
We used email and Skype to communicate. They had me use JIRA so I could see the user stories and the backlog and provide feedback. That was sufficient since it wasn’t a terribly complex project.
Their communication was good and the project manager was a valuable addition. They kept the big picture of the project in mind. Under other circumstances, I suppose an entrepreneur or company could provide the project manager role themselves and interface directly with developers. In my case, it was something that allowed me to focus on other things while the project manager helped research the APIs that we needed to interact with, think about the logical flow of the app, and bridge the gap between the division and the technical implementation.
What did you find most impressive about Bixlabs?
I don’t have much to compare them to. They seemed to be very technically competent without an overly formalized process. I feel like I was dealing with people that would produce something of high quality in a lean way.
Are there any areas Bixlabs could improve?
There were aspects of working with the Facebook API that complicated the project and created the need for some unexpected iterations. I think more rigorous planning up front might have saved us time and money.
There were also some frequent typos in the app. To a certain extent, it’s a limitation of the iOS developer platform, but the workflow for discovering those errors and having them corrected was challenging because I had to download a new version of the app on TestFlight and then play with it to notice the typos. Then, I had to communicate with the project manager who would tell the developer to get them fixed in an upcoming sprint. Later, I would have to download the new app to try it again.
Ideally, there should be a way to form a tighter feedback loop there. It’s probably a challenge with the language barrier since English is not everyone’s first language. Some additional care and oversight around the copy for the application would save time and money.