What was the scope of their involvement?
Codibly was engaged to convert our Excel tool to a cloud-hosted solution. We gave them our existing Excel spreadsheet—which was focused at a practice level—as a starting point. It was well-trodden and well-developed, having matured through the process. Codibly could look at the business rules, workings, and requirements in an existing spreadsheet and convert it into something that did exactly what that Excel tool did, but looked like a software application. We wanted to build something worthy of a license fee, rather than a one-time payment for an Excel tool.
In doing so, Codibly had to work out how to transfer that tool. Switching from an Excel system to a database, query-based solution with a frontend presented its own challenges. The team determined how the look and feel should change to respond to the current requirements, and they made it look like a high-quality web tool rather than an online Excel spreadsheet.
We also work with several practices which often want to amalgamate their databases together. We would essentially combine 30 sets of spreadsheets to come up with a single total number. We wanted that functionality in the online tool, and it introduced a set of business rules that we lacked experience with. The Codibly team helped us work through the crystallization of our understanding of our business rules. In some cases, they determined how we could still get a degree of flexibility while maintaining some integrity in the proposal. It would work consistently, but it would recognize some of the local variants.
These functionalities made the build quite complicated, and we’re still going through the process of articulating our own business rules and encoding them in the software. We felt we understood the system more than we did, and Codibly added value in thinking around it. We gave them simple articulations, and they were quick to bring up new situations and exceptions. The tool evolved purely by converting something that we thought had worked well, into an online tool.
What is the team composition?
The team varies depending on the challenge we were facing. Overall, we’ve worked with 10–15 people. At any one point in time, we’ve been working with 6–8 people.
A mix of technical architects helped us convert our business rules into the right technical infrastructure. Backend database developers came up with a data model and data structure and did the coding around the logic being applied.
Codibly assigned a front-end team that handled the look and feel, flow, and usability of the platform, and how those integrated with the backend functions. We had a testing team as well, which varied from 1–4 people.
How did you come to work with Codibly?
I believe we first encountered them when we were making a similar tool. We internally discussed options for getting our Excel tool converted into an online tool. A senior colleague in the health world had gone through this software cycle and decided to use the Codibly team. We had conversations about the trade-offs between the reduced cost of outsourcing and retaining quality by doing it internally.
Our colleague was satisfied with the work done for them, and the combination of value for money, quality, balance, and control made Codibly seem like a good offer. Their team also knew our business requirements particularly well. We had documented them in a mature spreadsheet used by numerous client organizations. Had it been less clear, we might’ve been more reticent to outsource our project at that point.
With the satisfaction from their first piece of work, it was an easy decision to continue with them into the second phase, where we knew we didn’t have a full understanding of our business requirements.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent $250,000–$500,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in April 2018, and the collaboration is ongoing. Their current projects are shifting to operational support rather than new development work.