What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They have certainly accomplished quite a lot of work. In general, the engineers that they provided were pretty high-quality, and they did great work. Overall, we’re not terribly satisfied with the engagement. I don’t know that it’s their fault; I think this was probably a bad model for a company of our size. We did a good job of making the best of it, and we don’t hold this against any of the individuals, as they were all high-quality resources.
They were pretty responsive to our issues, but we’re a small company. It was really hard to train six developers and then oversee them in a product that is core to our business. If you have something tangential to your business and can separate it as a distinct thing, that’s a good target for outsourcing. We don’t have anything like that, and if we do, we've already outsourced it.
How did Gorilla Logic perform from a project management standpoint?
We had some issues with the project management. Their scrum master wasn’t a very assertive or communicative individual. They didn’t speak up or push to defend the process when there were process issues. Had we continued in that model, we probably would have tried to address it by replacing the project manager.
They had something called a sprint zero in the beginning. One of their people came on site and looked at our servers. I believe they allocated about a week’s worth of time. We didn’t find that terribly effective or helpful, as it’s not possible to give somebody enough information to work on our products.
The engineers themselves were engaged in an agile team. At some points, we had our own engineers on the team with them, so they had daily standups via Slack video conferencing call or the equivalent. Slack was the primary means of engagement with them. We also used our ticketing system, Jira. I’m sure we used email as well.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They were able to ramp a team relatively quickly. I’m not sure it was quite as fast as advertised, which was that they had a deep bench of people in Costa Rica. We initially got the notion that there were lots of people training at Gorilla Labs, and we could get a big team relatively quickly. It turned out that almost all of the people in Costa Rica were staffed on projects, and they were trying to grow a Colombian presence. I believe that every single engineer we worked with was a new hire for Gorilla Logic in Colombia. That took longer than advertised, but it was certainly faster than we could’ve done.
They did a really good job vetting the people that they brought us. We got a team of qualified engineers relatively rapidly, without a lot of work on our part. Getting those qualified engineers quickly was probably the biggest standout in terms of the service that they provided.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I think they need to vet customers a bit more. They should’ve questioned whether or not we were a good fit for them. I know they want to sell services, but the underlying mismatch was that we just weren’t a great fit for them in terms of the work that we wanted to do with them. At that point, we didn’t have enough experience with this model to know that. It would’ve been nice if somebody like them would know that; however, I do think that Gorilla Logic tends to work with much larger companies, so they might not have had that experience, either.
Any advice for potential customers?
They should try and find something that’s pretty separable from their core business, such as an independent, stand-alone project. I think they’ll function the best if you can just hand it off to them and hold them accountable for delivery.