Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Our property app has around 2,000 users.
How did Dotsquares perform from a project management standpoint?
Dotsquares has several different operation models. I had been working with our Philippines team, and didn’t have a good grasp of the differences with Dotsquares’ team. We started with a developers-only approach, but I needed a project manager as well, someone who could make sure that things were understood, so we included one in our model. It’s around 20% more expensive, but it’s far superior to only working with developers. When working with a team like this, I am looking for overall the skills of a group of people. I was given a balance of support and understanding of what the concept of a project was, mixed with the development services.
We started a very large project with Dotsquares three or four months ago, double the size of what we’d done previously. It’s using four developers, a tester, and a project manager, and it has been running quite well. The key to any project is to get the team working well, and have good interactions. The early phase will always need a bit more finessing, and we’ve had to find our groove a bit, but the last month and a half has been smooth sailing. I feel that the blended project manager/developer model is the one clients should be going for.
We use the Agile methodology, and I’ve appreciated Dotsquares’ ability to scale, adding more developers as-needed. We were running one or two weeks behind, but we’ve managed to overtake that lag by getting good assets on the job.
As with any team, whether internal or hired, we need to find our groove. This is as much my own responsibility as it is Dotsquares’. I’ve needed to pick up my game and deliver things to them more quickly so that we’d meet our deadlines.
What did you find most impressive about Dotsquares?
The main reason for shutting down the office in the Philippines was communication. That was just as important as development itself to me, since anyone can develop things, but if we’re not communicating, the work isn’t done. Dotsquares’ biggest pro is that the communication is right up there. At no point have I felt like I was in limbo, and this has definitely been the key criterion which got me hooked and kept me there. Even if things aren’t working right, for whatever reason, there’s still communication. Dotsquares has always been clear on what is going on, either through Skype calls or email.
Are there any areas Dotsquares could improve?
Unless we kept on top of things, developers tended to report that something was done, when it wasn’t. I would say that Dotsquares’ project management, although not flawless, is very good, but, when we get to the developers’ level, we see the same issue as with all freelance development, namely being told that something had been done and tested, when it wasn’t. Things can be rectified, but it’s annoying, and it requires me to allocate additional time and energy to a task.