Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?
This partnership fell far below my expectations, and has set me back in terms of my goals for my business. It also caused me a great deal of stress, as I was unable to focus on other areas of product strategy.
How was project management arranged and how effective was it?
Our original goal for the project was to complete development in six weeks, with two additional weeks set aside as buffer. After four months, the product was nowhere near being finished. They used a bug tracker system to manage the code, though it quickly became obsolete. I remember viewing the tracker one day and seeing over 50 unresolved issues.
Looking back, there should have been more definitive milestones, with payment and dates clearly marked. When I realized scheduling was becoming an issue, I reached out to my project manager and the CEO asking for a more realistic and detailed timeline. Nothing was done to resolve this problem.
How did your relationship with the vendor evolve?
In the beginning, their project manager was active and responsive, frequently reaching out to discuss server details and set-up concerns. As the timeline progressed, they became less involved, and most of our conversations revolved around payment.
They assigned an experienced developer to my project, who was initially very dedicated. Eventually, due to their commitments to other clients, the developer became less focused on my product. At one point, almost two weeks went by without any deadlines being met.
The designer and UX consultant were also involved at the outset. They were attentive during my project brief, and assured me that work was being done on their end. I never saw any designs.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
My impression is that the code they developed is usable, although I haven’t been able to implement it yet. They do seem to have experience working with start-ups, and will prioritize firms with significant financial backing. They also seem to be willing to work with clients from different time zones.
In what specific areas can they improve?
Design seems to be a weakness for them. They also seemed to have a difficult time communicating between their teams. Part of this may be because their staff is overstretched, and they’re aware of this. Their leadership seems to be uninformed regarding the majority of their projects. Also, they could do better to meet deadlines and provide regular updates.