What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I’ve been in the technology field for 12 years and it’s the fastest build I’ve ever done. There were hardly any bugs or defects. It was really impressive. Our target was to get 1,000 beneficiaries by the end of the year. We’re at 1,050 and it’s only mid-October. We also got a five-star review in the Google Play Store and a 4.4 in the App Store. Anecdotally, we had a girl write into our office that enjoyed the app. Her mother said the app worked great because her daughter really liked collecting and winning badges, which was what we designed for it. They later did a video testimonial for us.
I received a letter directly from the secretary of the Department of Digital Culture, Media, and Sport, a major backer from our local government department, thanking us for coming to speak at their annual conference. They said how much the app and talk inspired the team.
How did The Distance App Developers perform from a project management standpoint?
We worked in sprints. We used Basecamp as a communication tool. Internally, they used Jira. They did things in a sensible order. Project management is very good. Even though it cost them internally, they changed the code. The business analyst was really useful. He made sure everything was tracked, scoped, and written down correctly. It made the relationship a lot more enjoyable.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They had a good structure of people. The project manager was really attentive and good at helping me tweak things. They had an ops director who would come in and run a review project workshop day. They did it all really smoothly. We’re very happy with them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They could do more of the design sprints upfront. They could communicate the spec and scope document in a more digestible format. It was very text-heavy and hard to work through. It was like a waterfall where you spec everything upfront. From a customer’s point of view, it’d be good to concentrate on that detail and cross every I and line on that stack. They could deliver that in a more dynamic way along with the user interface designs and the different features. They could sort of visually explain those specifications more.
The only thing I had to criticize during the development was an oversight on the spec which was both ours and their oversight. It wasn’t in line with the mission of the app where you got recorded for eating junk food.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Keep talking to them. They’re really good at scoping. You should keep engaging them. Make sure you’re aware that they will control the scope and spec very tightly. Don’t expect to get anything for free or to try and push them for more than they agreed to. They’re a very fair bunch. I recommend working with them.