What problems arose during the engagement?
They only assigned one resource to the project when the scope and documentation requirements called for two people. Consequently, I raised concerns about the project plan, but they responded in a brash manner with a last-minute outline. The plan only had one phase – which didn’t align with the initial scope – and incongruent deadlines. Flynaut’s leadership said they would resolve the inconsistencies, but never did so in a satisfactory manner.
Even though I provided the prototype, their designs didn’t reflect the accompanying files and style sheets. I requested to meet after the team submitted poorly constructed designs. Their managers agreed with my assessment, but their proposed fixes phased out after only two days. Concurrently, the team had most likely turned off the function I assigned for the prototype; it completely stopped working.
How did the relationship with Flynaut LLC evolve?
The senior leadership was welcoming in the beginning, but became less responsive as the problems accumulated. In many cases, they didn’t respond via email, phone, or social media. The quality of service declined after I submitted the initial payment. We were supposed to review the prototype after this payment, which preceded the design phase in the agreed timeline. However, the team started writing requirements before I had the chance to introduce the prototype.
I created a calculation to assess the project using a scale similar to school grades; 60 meant failing and 80 indicated good performance with room for improvement. The team earned a 65 when I inputted their information. We had been in constant contact, but I still didn’t know why they weren’t succeeding – whether it was lack of experience or resources. However, I was certain they weren’t solving the problem.
At this time, the team added third-party resources to the requirements documentation process, but management neither knew who these people were or how to reach them. The team’s actions unclear and most likely violated our non-disclosure agreement. The partnership declined from that point. The two-week documentation process stretched to two months. Despite the ambiguous hires, Flynaut still didn’t have enough resources to complete the documentation.
Additionally, the team never met a delivery date. I finally fired them. After spending $7,300, I had no design, no product, and no usable code.
Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
They made their server public, which exposed my project to hackers. I emailed them about the issue and requested they make the server, or at least my project, private. The team thanked me for letting them know, but never followed up.
Now, I’m planning to re-engage the previous vendor. My budget constraints are still a hurdle, but some key prototype improvements are feasible. Although this experience impeded an ongoing project’s progress, it helped me grow as a person. My equation’s functionality portended well for future success. Firing Flynaut limited the overall damage.
How was project management handled?
The code became unreliable near the end of work. They said the server caused the code to break. As a result, testing between Friday–Sunday didn’t work. I lost significant time.
We used Jira, but the tool didn’t enhance effectiveness or productivity. The management moved tickets to “done” within the tool without executing any meaningful changes. I only received unnecessary requests to approve modules, not updates about resolutions.
Jira was unnecessary because the scope’s collaborative plan made the tool redundant. Relatedly, the team told me some scope items were actually additional requests that necessitated additional fees. After submitting 101 Jira tickets in a very short period of time, I finally requested that Flynaut remove the development team from my project.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
No. Their behavior suggested indifference to this project and my vision. Now, I feel better that I’m not working with them anymore.
In what specific areas can they improve?
Time management was their greatest weakness. I was supposed to pay one more installment after the product’s completion, but they never moved out of the design phase.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
While other clients may have had better experiences, I felt mine was a worst-case scenario. Think carefully before hiring them. I hired them based on price alone when I should have factored in other considerations. I don’t want this to happen to someone else.