What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They created an excellent platform and provided fantastic service. Since launching the app, we haven’t had many issues with the platform. There have been 1–2 minor bugs, but, overall, it’s been very stable functionality-wise.
How did FiveDotTwelve perform from a project management standpoint?
My partner and I came from an IT and project management background, so we didn’t need a huge amount of support on this front. That being said, we did work together to agree on the project approach and in releasing content.
In terms of meeting deadlines, their estimation process had some room for improvement. Because forming estimations is an iterative process, it can be difficult to know how often we’ve changed the project requirements or how they could have improved their estimates. Over time, their estimates had become less reliable, and we’d regularly miss preordained deadlines. It wasn't to the point that we needed to complain about it, but it was a challenge when facing external deadlines.
As for communication, it was always good. We typically had bi-weekly calls with their CEO. This would change depending on where we were with our development. Since they were based in Poland, and we in London, we never met with them in person.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I appreciated their work ethic; it felt like they worked 24 hours a day. If we ever had an issue, even if it was late in the evening, their CEO was more than willing to get online, discuss things, and resolve any problems as needed.
They were more than just an agency; they really felt like a part of our organization. They worked incredibly hard and relished it. They took ownership of the platform, so, if there were any problems, they were as eager as we were to fix them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Building on my previous comments, it would benefit them to refine their estimation process. They needed to define the project requirements to a point where we could establish a concrete deadline. If there were changes to any part of this, there needed to be a way to explicitly mention them, scale them, and then modify the timeline. Having said this, some of the issues with timelines came from the need to adapt code that FiveDotTwelve inherited, especially for the Django backend.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
We're comfortable working with remote teams, so we were happy with our relationship with FiveDotTwelve. However, one of the challenges with outsourcing work is that you can’t just stop by their offices to have a word.
Having said that, FiveDotTwelve has a strong communication process, and their English is very good. Clients who aren’t used to outsourcing work might have some difficulties coordinating with them. But as long as they communicate, it shouldn’t be a problem.