Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?
From the business side of things, we're still an early stage company. We're excited to have a final form factor. The product is ready to be deployed at our partner hospital in Uganda, and Ciklum has done a great job of sticking to our timelines and getting it ready before the deadline. We've passed all of our safety tests for the device, which is great. We've submitted our proposals and are currently waiting to hear back from our partners in Uganda.
We are fairly new to the process ourselves. Ciklum had worked in a similar space, but our product is different. They knew the general safety standards but didn't have the expertise to guide us on what testing needed to be done exactly. Ciklum was upfront about this from the beginning, which was good since this was not an area we were willing to compromise. When we did our safety testing, Ciklum was receptive to answering any questions we had about the device and making it compliant with all regulations.
How did Ciklum perform from a project management standpoint?
Ciklum gave us access to JIRA, allowing us to track the hours they spent on tasks. We have fairly regular meetings—around once per week—in order to discuss anything going on. Ciklum's team is always looking for feedback and giving advice on how to make things better. They check with us before making any changes to the allocated hours and give recommendations on whether a task should be done now or later. They're always professional in this sense.
We've been interacting with Ciklum's project manager and also with their tech team. It depends on the discussion topic; on a weekly basis, I've mostly talked with Anton Zemliankin, who has more of a project management role, and Evgeny Volodzko, who has been doing much of the development itself. If there is an issue with our battery, we will be introduced to the person who works on the battery side of things to ensure that it will be addressed. We know Ciklum's whole team, which is great, and I find that they have a wide variety of expertise.
What did you find most impressive about Ciklum?
Understanding our mission, including what we were trying to do and the constraints we had, was the most important factor to us. Cost, power-efficiency, and size were three of the biggest variables we were looking at. This has made things more expensive from a development perspective, but Ciklum has always been supportive in understanding what those constraints were and working within them. I think that this is fairly different compared to other companies that we've talked to. Other groups told us it couldn't be done, but that was simply because they didn't know how to do it. Ciklum has always tried to come up with creative ways for ensuring we achieved our goal.
From a project management perspective, Ciklum has done a great job. We always know what they're doing and how they're doing it. Ciklum is very good at explaining this process to us.
Are there any areas Ciklum could improve?
This is somewhat out of their control, but I wish the product development itself had been cheaper.