Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We had them come to DC from New York for our kickoff meeting, and they brought 3 or 4 people and had some people on the phone as well. In the multi-hour session, they asked a lot of questions about our members, what we offer, and what problems we saw. They were really trying to understand the business problems we wanted to solve. We were incredibly impressed by the research they had done in advance and the questions they asked during the meeting. It showed they’d done a lot of work, but it also showed how quickly they acclimatized to the needs of our organization. We were very impressed, and the meeting went well.
The second deliverable was the concepts they developed for us. They developed 3 different concepts for an app we could potentially use as a minimum viable product [MVP]. We ultimately liked all 3 concepts, although we favored 1 as the clear leader for us to pursue. Their discovery process kept going through iterations of what that might work for us. In the end, if we’d felt that enough people would have downloaded the concept, we would have done it. We had no problems with the app concept, but we were concerned with how many people would actually use it, as we’re a niche organization.
At no point did I feel like they just told us about this app we had to develop and gave us a price tag. They really worked with us to figure out concepts that could be made into an app, and they didn’t limit themselves. They were very nimble in their thinking.
How did Fueled perform from a project management standpoint?
They used Slack as the team chatroom. We did weekly sprints, which were very Agile, and we had weekly check-in calls. At first, we started with Google Hangouts, but nobody in my office knows how to use that. We moved to another tool, but sometimes the screen would freeze, so we worked on that throughout the process. I wish I had asked in the beginning for a more formal management process.
What did you find most impressive about Fueled?
My impression, and what I heard from reference checks, is that they really excel at the conceptual portion, as well as their emphasis on a minimum viable product. Although we never quite got there, I know that they really stress being able to pick a concept, build an MVP, and then learn from that.
Are there any areas Fueled could improve?
My only complaint about them is that during the check-in calls, they sometimes had a lot of background noise, and sometimes I wasn’t sure about the point of the call. I didn’t really know where my team was supposed to come in and make a decision. That might be because we’re a formal group and needed more structure. We would have liked the weekly check-in calls to feel a little more on-point. I always hung up unsure about what they wanted. Other than that, my team really enjoyed the whole process. We felt like we really had great people thinking about our needs.