Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
When we started working with Icreon, our company had 5 employees. We used one of their full-time resources for overflow work. Over the years, that one resource has turned into 24 people from Icreon rounding out our team. They handle the deep day-to-day project management. I don't have a specific success story, but the proof is in the pudding. Our company has grown and our interaction with Icreon has grown. They've become an important part of our ability to deliver reliable software to customers.
How did Icreon perform from a project management standpoint?
We had to communicate software skills across multiple teams, projects, and resources. Not only did we need to deliver software on time and within budget, but we also needed to integrate our project management with theirs. We're an Agile shop which uses scrum methodologies, and we're heavy users of Jira. We're not using any specific project management tools to oversee our relationship with Icreon. Rather, we use the tools to develop good software.
Icreon participates in our daily scrum calls and standup meetings. They're working with the same project management tools and are partnered with our internal developers. We have a team in our office and a team outside of our office. These teams have to manage projects together using good Agile practices. Icreon also provides 24/7 support when there is a need to track issues, fix bugs, and so on. Having a New York shift and an India shift has been an advantage.
What did you find most impressive about Icreon?
When working with any vendor or partner, there needs to be a trusting relationship. Trying to find the sweet spot between a huge company that would treat us as a number, and a tiny one which isn't qualified, was a challenge. Icreon was in a very particular sweet spot, and they continue to remain there. They have a combination of experience and a large-enough dev shop that allows them to effectively cover many different disciplines. Icreon also has mid-range pricing, on par with the level of expertise brought to the table.
This sweet spot was critical to creating a successful project, in my point of view. Icreon is large and experienced enough to meet our very complicated needs. At the same time, they are also small enough to have c-level executives reachable by phone. We have conversations about specific project concerns and we also have great conversations from one executive to another. This made Icreon feel like a family. We're able to go beyond day-to-day interactions and work with their management team.
Are there any areas Icreon could improve?
There’s a constant area of improvement over which we've had discussions with Icreon. It’s not because they do a bad job, it's just a general part of engineering success. They need to improve the way large software teams across 2 different companies can communicate and collaborate.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Icreon?
Here’s my advice to other people who are embarking on projects using dev shops. Make sure that they dot their i's, cross their t's, and constantly focus on how to connect the dots. They have to provide as much information, planning, and expectation alignment as possible. Icreon has been extremely receptive to being my partner, in this regard. I'm definitely a hands-on client, and Icreon has welcomed this.