What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I have a bit of a hard time quantifying their impact on our business because we are entering a completely new marketplace. How successfully they completed our objectives has little to do with how successful our venture is able to become.
From a quality perspective, I have never seen any reason to doubt the standards of their work. Their team is extremely highly educated and hard-working, and their attention to detail is among the best I’ve ever seen.
It’s very reassuring to deal with someone that highly skilled because you really don’t have to worry about the functionality of the product they’re going to provide. With previous companies, I might spend a day debugging and testing every time they gave us an update, and with Diatom Enterprises I’ve never experienced anything delivered that didn’t work properly.
How did Diatom Enterprises perform from a project management standpoint?
We did struggle a little bit with project management, but I put a lot of the blame for those difficulties on myself rather than on their team. We definitely ran over schedule and budget, but it was simply a matter of experimentation being something that you can’t predict. It’s very rare that you come up with a new idea and it snaps together on the first go.
In terms of their ability to follow instructions, things actually worked out very well. Because of the time difference, we had our whole day to lay out a pile of things for them to work on, and then at the beginning of their day, they could work through it turn around a pile of results or questions for me to work on the next morning. It was a very effective back and forth.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They have also been extremely open and communicative the whole way through our engagement. Even their CEO would take the time to listen to me, which I really appreciated. One of the main reasons we’ve stuck with them is that they go out of the way to demonstrate respect and commitment to your company in the way that they go about the work.
Are there any areas they could improve?
One way I think most software companies could benefit is by focusing more on the learning curve that working with a software company presents to regular business owners like me. If I had known what I know now before going in, I would definitely have had a second project manager just to work with me on managing tasks and priorities from our side of the engagement.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I think it’s just important to be very, very clear on exactly what you want and think about the project. They are very good at building scope documents, so the more you give them on that end of the project the more smoothly the rest of the project is going to go.