What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Fulcrum had to build the custom UI largely from the ground up and they did a very good job. We’ve had generally good feedback from our users. Nothing has gone wrong that I can attribute to Fulcrum; just the usual learnings as you go through the launch process. There is an odd bug, but it happens.
The previous agency we worked with had virtually no QA process whereas Fulcrum has a really tight QA process and 90% of bugs are picked up and fixed before they roll into production. The ones that aren’t picked up before, are being dealt with as quickly as possibly. Other improvements can probably be made, but I haven’t had a better experience anywhere else.
How did Fulcrum perform from a project management standpoint?
We work very closely with their project managers on a day to day basis. They split the project management into two roles. One handles the day-to-day communication with the clients. The other handles less frequent communication with the clients, but their role is specifically in writing the scope of work which requires making very detailed feature descriptions and having in-depth conversations with the client.
They then translate that to the developer, so they know exactly what they need to build. I hadn’t seen a project structured in this way before. I was quite skeptical in the beginning, but it works extremely well. We don’t actually engage with the developers all that much which, again, I was skeptical about because I quite like talking to them.
However, in the previous agency, it got to a point where they couldn’t be bothered to talk to me and I ended up having weekend conversations with the developer who had no idea what was going on. It was a disaster. Our setup with Fulcrum is much better.
I have bi-weekly discussions with their head of business development who functions as an account manager. He asks me how things have been going, talks through our progress, where we want to go and things like that which has been very helpful. There are no issues. If anything, I think they need to get some rest because they communicate very actively, and we’ve been very impressed.
I think they ought to take weekends off every now and again. In projects, there are always delays caused by things you can’t see, but I would say Fulcrum has been very good at doing their best to make sure we meet deadlines. In the case of any delays that come up or roadblocks that appear, they work as quickly as possible to address them.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their communication skills and the processes they have in place are incredibly well suited to startups. The team really gets what we are trying to do. They understand that we have massive time constraints and that this product is our baby. Their processes are brilliant, and they communicate incredibly actively. Those are their two main strengths.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, I have no suggestions. I would really be scraping the barrel if I answered this question. There are always areas people can improve but, to be honest, I really can’t complain because they’ve done a great job.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Listen to them because they know what they are doing, and work within the processes that they already have set up. CEOs are always very tempted, especially when in an early stage, to skimp on elements like QA and push to reduce things that don’t impact what the end-user is seeing necessarily.
Just listen to Fulcrum and do what they tell you to do and you will be happy. I have personally already referred them to several of my friends who run companies.