What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’ve been working on one project at a time with the understanding that we can stop doing new sprints whenever we see the need. They consistently provide functional deliverables, so we’ve continued moving forward with sprints. So far, their work has been well done and has met our expectations.
Even though the product is not fully built and doesn’t have all the features, we’ve been able to show our site’s new layout and structure. Our customers know that we’re moving forward from these developments, which has helped with their retention. These developments may have helped us land some new accounts as well, so overall this engagement has been valuable.
How did Django Stars perform from a project management standpoint?
They have been open and communicative throughout this collaboration. They’ve been clear about work and project assignments, delivering estimates, and project plans. They’ve shared progress and provided explanations every step of the way. Any time we’ve had questions about the budget or schedule, they’ve provided us with clear answers and explanations. They typically brought up possible issues before they could happen, which helped our process.
We mainly use email to communicate, and we use Google Hangouts for meetings because we’re in different time zones. Whenever we’ve met it has been late in their day and early in our day, which has worked well for both of us.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Initially, our time difference was a concern. After we started working together, it actually became a benefit. When they’ve finished their day, we start ours. Our days have some overlap, but they basically work a full day, and then we have a full day to review, add, or change anything and get it in the pipeline for their next workday. This process has helped move the project forward.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Estimates are currently hard to make. We’re going to further review and analyze results to understand why aspects of the project are overestimated or underestimated in different ways. In general, everything has been pretty good. There is a language barrier at times, but we usually overcome it.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
It’s been nice to have a rate that is split depending on the employee working. In-house, you are required to have people for frontend work, backend work, and quality assurance in addition to having a designer. With a contractor, you can let them handle which resource takes priority at a given time, so you don’t have to worry about excess or unnecessary employee overhead when you don’t have work for a particular employee. Generally, contracting out web development has worked well for us.