Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
On the consumer end, I would probably have to have permission to give someone that data. From the development end, their productivity rates are pretty high when I look at some of their reports. Their burn rate was pretty low. There was a project that we estimated from a different vendor in our internal team. It was going to be a four- to five-week project, and they got it done in three.
When we have internal testing, the failure rate never went past 27 percent, out of an average 78 tickets a week. We have what we call value added and non-value added bug lists. A value-added bug list is if they find it in the core cycle of development before it gets into a customer's hand, and then a non-value added is if it was pushed to live. Their non-value added, the one that we basically do not like, has stayed at less than 27 percent. Of course, value added is whenever they're developing the first time, and that was at 38 percent.
They average 210 hours a week for us. This is for an average sprint. Their burn rate was really good. They kept it within 210 hours a week.
Testing is something that they do well – building unit tests to automate it. They're good at understanding the infrastructure. They do not have really any updated Web design team, which would be great. Even though they did front-end work, we had to do the cutwork and send it to them. Even though they have that, it is not efficient. Back-end work – yes. A lot of the front-end design work – you may want to outsource that to someone else.
How did FreezePro Software perform from a project management standpoint?
They're good at making sure all the requirements are there before they start on any work. By the time you did get them all the information, they can crank it out pretty quick, but if you do not have any requirements or anything that is super detailed, that could be a problem. That was probably the only thing. A lot of that could be on our end, too. I had to get on our design team to make sure they have everything that they need. But, that's probably the only bit of information I'll say that is definitely needed whenever you outsource.
What distinguishes FreezePro Software from other providers?
I'm here in Silicon Valley, so I work with a lot of developers, and we debate about this a lot. There are times that you need more of the creative team to hash out ideas, go through the technology, and learn it. One thing I have to say when it comes to outsourcing – it's something that I do not like to do. If I always have a choice, I would rather just hire a developer. One thing I have to give solid credit for, especially with Ukrainian developers who I've worked with, is their ability to definitely learn things very fast and implement them. It seems like they have an endless number of hours.
Here in America, I have to keep the developers engaged a lot more. There are a lot of things that happen outside of the office, and you have to make sure they have things prepared inside so that they don't have to run everywhere. I would say that they are very organized when it comes down to being at the meetings on time, even though there is a time difference. Whenever it was time for me to meet with them or work with them, they were already there, and they are very consistent.
Not only that, I introduced a lot of operational things to them. Development operations is to me one of our bread-and-butter activities. We do consulting for different development companies that are out here. If they can't learn how to do any type of continuous integration, or even adapt and use different tools, I feel that it's at a loss. Their CEO is heavily intrigued with the CI world, so he is very educated in knowing all the tools, and he pushes the team to learn that. I think overall that will probably be one of the differentiators that I would look at first. We can find a coder anywhere, or a programmer, or someone that is just creative. But, at the end of the day, you just need someone to crank it out on a consistent basis
One thing about FreezePro Software is that they have a consistent and reliable team. There were teams I've seen in the past with turnover rate issues, but they're pretty solid.
In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?
I have to project manage a lot with FreezePro, and that's probably one of their improvement opportunities. Even though they do have project management among them, there's been times that I would ask to have a project manager work in for about two or three months, and I haven't found a decent project manager on their end. What I mean by that is a person that doesn't get too deep into any type of coding or anything; I need someone to stand back and do the daily scrums and the daily reports that we have. I wasn't able to find that from them.