Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
We’ve currently shifted our energy to another project that has some venture capital backing, as this one was neither delivered on time nor correctly. We spent quite a lot of time and money on it with very poor returns. The lost time was the most frustrating part, as that set back our plans.
We’re working with a new company now and it’s become obvious that the management and oversight at Intelbit were poor even though the coders were decent. Since we’re a small company that outsources our development, we need a partner who’s responsible and can effectively manage the coding and QA.
How was project management handled?
Communication was a struggle. If I reached out to them, I’d get a response within the same day, but they wouldn’t contact me otherwise. If I wasn’t available, they’d go for days without touching base. Consequently, they didn’t deliver on time. We had small sprints and small milestones that were laid out clearly, but everything went over the deadline by at least 10 days to two weeks.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
I can’t really think of any strengths.
In what specific areas can they improve?
The billing and invoicing were really confusing. There were times we’d be told we owed them more money or we’d receive an estimate for a component of the project that exceeded what was laid out on the original contract. It was a problem because, according to the contract, there weren’t supposed to be overages. Every time we had to reconcile the difference, it felt like haggling. We ultimately paid more than expected at each milestone.
In the end, it felt like the only way to make progress was to pay for more work, so it felt like we were throwing money away. We kept asking where their QA was, as well as other things, and they kept saying it cost extra when we simply asked them to fix errors that they’d coded themselves.
From a business standpoint, they should improve their invoicing and the way they keep track of records. There was no invoicing process throughout and they had no invoicing software, which made things very confusing. They asked us to provide them with the history of payments we sent them, which I found strange since we were the customer. Someone on their side should have been keeping track of that.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
Make an effort to view a potential firm’s portfolio or even research their track record for launching projects that might be related to your particular goals. It’s also important to evaluate the quality of the management team in addition to the developers. Aside from that, be sure to get the contract and invoicing with Intelbit squared away up front in order to avoid confusion.