Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
What Chain.Reaction has been able to accomplish within these short few months speaks for them. Anyone who has seen their work was pretty much amazed. All the functionalities I requested are in place. The bugs we had were few and minor and were fixed right after their discovery.
How did Chain.Reaction perform from a project management standpoint?
It was a very informal process. I did not have an assigned project manager, so the senior developer/team leader took it upon himself. During all planning and demo meetings, we had a quick and informal process, unlike what I’ve seen in other places. Chain.Reaction was behind the original deadline we set. This was one of my issues with them, but they were good in terms of communication, although not excellent. This is the biggest challenge when working with IT teams unless there is a designated project manager in place.
What did you find most impressive about Chain.Reaction?
They had great technical knowledge and presented strong solutions for my requests. Chain.Reaction’s team has experience from previous engagements, and they were efficient in general. They knew what they were doing, and everything was handled almost flawlessly. With other teams I used, when something new was implemented, something else broke. With Chain.Reaction, everything simply worked.
Are there any areas Chain.Reaction could improve?
I mentioned to them that their timesheet transparency wasn’t the greatest. I wasn’t given enough insight into how much time was spent on certain tasks. Now that a new team is working on this project on a lower scale, the process is more transparent, and I’m able to see the minutes being spent on each task and the hours spent each day. This way, I can judge where too much time is being spent. With Chain.Reaction, it felt like I was being kept in the dark. It was not necessarily intentional, but they didn’t seem to prioritize sharing their real timesheets. It made me uncomfortable at times. I had an issue of being overbilled by a couple of days when a resource was not working but was still kept in the log. It was fixed, but I still cannot confidently say that I was billed for the completed job. I don’t think this is because Chain.Reaction wanted to cheat me, but they simply didn’t try to prove that the hours put in the timesheet were really completed. They always put in full hours, and it’s obvious that no one works exactly 8 hours per day.
When working on an hourly basis, we have to look for 2 numbers: how much is spent per hour, and how many hours a person puts in. I knew the former, but I didn’t have a clear understanding of how many hours are being put in. When I explained it to Peter, the CEO of the company, he listened to me, understood it, and mentioned that they had already changed the system. I’m glad to hear this, if it has indeed happened.
Overall, I love Chain.Reaction, and I look up to them as great people. I don’t think that this timing issue was intentional. As a professional group of people, they are fantastic.