What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They’re testing our core platform, and any defect that escapes their attention is something that keeps us in production longer. The more defects they discover, the faster they execute test cases, the better the coverage, and the fewer the escaping defects, the better the quality of the service.
The number of test cases, the test coverage, and the number of escaping defects are the key metrics for DataArt’s performance.
How did DataArt perform from a project management standpoint?
I was very happy with it. It was one area of the project that we didn’t need to worry about. There was an adjustment period, but they quickly responded to my comments and modified the team structure accordingly. It was smooth sailing after the initial period.
Specifically for the carding business, there are deadlines imposed by players like Mastercard and other major card providers, which are absolutely immovable. We’ve been able to successfully meet those at least twice a year. There are two releases annually, and, if we can’t meet them, we can’t continue doing business with VISA or Mastercard. DataArt has a proven history of meeting project deadlines over the course of five years.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’d say there were three core things, one accidental and three substantial. The accidental one was that they actually had people on staff who were familiar with the system we were going to test and deploy, which gave them an initial head start. They pulled those people into the project and leveraged them properly. The substantial parts are that they’re really transparent and responsive. I never had an issue that wasn’t resolved to our satisfaction, whether it was with the team, the structure, or something else.
The same goes for the hiring process, which is another. We were part of the hiring process for the team, even though it wasn’t the kind of engagement where we were buying heads. Their selection process was quite good.
Card management and acquiring is a very specific business, and there aren’t many people familiar with it. We did some on-the-job training and provided whatever materials we could. On DataArt’s side, they leveraged whatever was given to them, so that any new team members were trained to the maximum. It included things as simple as recording knowledge transfer presentations given by me and sending new members to me only after they’d seen those presentations.
They adjust to the specifics of the business quite fast, and the work has been very professional.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I don’t think they have a major disadvantage that I could pinpoint. They’ve already improved everything I’ve asked them to improve, so I don’t want to make up things.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
It’s important to get deeply involved at the beginning of the project. I don’t know whether or not this is an approach that DataArt provides to everyone by default, but what worked for us was to get involved with the personnel and training processes from the very start.
We gave it the necessary attention, so that the members would get all the training they needed to be efficient, and we openly discussed any issues before they became an issue for the project. The communication is very open, and they’re easy to work with. If we’re explicit with them, they respond and adjust very fast and to our satisfaction.