Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
We are testing the work provided by Code & Pepper. If anything happens to be inadequate for my users' needs, this is more my problem than Code & Pepper's. They've stuck to my specifications closely. I set up the documentation and we've had discussions about how it would ultimately look. Code & Pepper had many constructive criticisms and they've solved numerous problems for us. Anything missing at this point is more my fault than theirs.
How did Code & Pepper perform from a project management standpoint?
The first phases of our work were completed on time. The current stage is subject to conclude by the end of the month, which seems likely at this point.
We communicated through weekly emails and phone calls with one of my two contact persons at Code & Pepper in order to manage the work. The project was initially handled by one person, but as we went deeper into the development phase, I started talking to the lead developer at Code & Pepper as well. We agreed on what the next steps should be using email and nothing else.
What distinguishes Code & Pepper from other providers?
My experience is not great in this field, but judging from our other bids, Code & Pepper stood out as a very involved group. Even though they had a short period of time for it, they put a lot of thought into the proposal. We could tell that Code & Pepper understood what we were about and had researched our existing site and the nature of its activity. Also, they had addressed the problems which we had with the original drafts of our contract in terms of timing and scope.
Early on, Code & Pepper made us understand the process and provided a workshop session during the last phase of the selection when they were one of two contestants left. UX design was offered as the first stage, which was not the case for some of their competition, who proposed developing the code first. Code & Pepper had a practical approach from the start, which is what made us choose them in the end. While discussing this topic with colleagues of mine who are knowledgeable of programming, I was told what I should look for in requirements. Code & Pepper ticked all the boxes.
Is there anything Code & Pepper could have improved or done differently?
At the moment, we are sailing smoothly. During another project which ran on my watch, we actually had to part ways with the supplier. They hadn't kept us in the loop and the communication was quite bad. Maybe because of the fact that we alerted Code & Pepper of our previous supplier change, they were more alert than normal. Whatever the case, we've had no issues so far. My working relationship with their two contacts is very good, and Code & Pepper has been very flexible. I don't know how often this comes up with a client, but we've had to adjust some database items in the beginning, making a compromise in order to reduce development time. They adapted perfectly and found a solution for us. We've always had discussions instead of conflicts.
Even though English is not their native language, this hasn't been an impediment in our work. There are occasional typos, but this hasn't been a problem.