This review was updated on April 30, 2019, by the client. The original star ratings were: Overall –5, Quality – 5, Schedule – 4, Cost – 5, NPS – 5. New content is below:
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the CEO of Text a Lawyer, Inc. We have a duo of mobile applications that enable users to connect with lawyers in real time and obtain advice.
What challenge were you trying to address with Groove Development, LLC?
We initially engaged Groove Development, LLC to execute a four-month app completion contract.
What is the team composition?
The team grew from six people, which included two full-time resources and two part-time resources.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent $92,700.
How did your relationship with the vendor evolve?
I was already worried about the engagement in April 2018. However, I gave a good rating because I hoped they would figure it out. Yet that is when the work started going downhill.
Groove Development, LLC used our internal resources for QA, which wasn’t in our contract. The team then delivered four different builds, but none of them was stable. They kept asking for more money above the contract price without delivering on their promises. We made milestone payments during this time partially due to the owner’s claim they were necessary to maintain payroll. However, Groove Development, LLC has refused any refund since the partnership ended.
Ultimately, our team hired a new vendor that completed development in approximately two months—a task Groove Development, LLC never finished in about 18 months.
Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
We have incurred $700,000 in damages and been unable to launch. That has demolished our reputation in the legal tech industry, which is very difficult to build in the first place.
How was project management handled?
The founder was personable, but that didn’t make up for the lack of skills on his team. Contrary to the promises on Groove Development, LLC’s website, they didn’t meet every deadline.
In what specific areas can they improve?
Basic coding competency stood out in this regard. Communication between teams then compounded the issue. I was unable to interact directly with their development team. Groove Development, LLC’s management did not relay our requests with full accurate detail. Furthermore, the team did not conduct quality checks or simulations before merging code. That was one example of how they didn’t comply with industry best practices.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
Customers should pick an hourly vendor that enables direct communication with each resource. The hourly contract would enable clients to stop work at any time. What’s more, clients should foster a close rapport with the project manager—better still if that resource is local. Finally, I recommend that founders without technical backgrounds get a CTO early in the process.