Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
There was a two-pronged approach to the work we did with them. There was a lot of UI, frontend, and database work, but there was also this artificial intelligence work we were doing with them. That was a bit more experimental and more difficult to track by just metrics. It was pretty innovative stuff that we were figuring out as we went along.
On the frontend UI side, it was primarily measured against specific sprint goals. If the team estimated they would be able to do a certain amount of work in a given timeframe, we’d measure if they were able to hit it. For the most part, we usually hit our goals. We had good success on that front. Everything was very reliable. The web design and frontend work look really strong. The work was always solid; we never had any complaints.
How did Itexus perform from a project management standpoint?
They were good. My primary contact for the team was Ilya, who I believe is one of Itexus’ founders. Because our project was so complicated, with the AI element and some surrounding things, he took over the project management role and he was great. We worked together extremely closely, and I got to meet him a couple times in person, which was cool. He was great about communication to us and back to the dev team, working through issues with me as a product manager.
When there was a gap in the requirements, he worked through those issues with us, prioritizing things differently because of the level of effort or overhead cost to get something up and running, compared to client value and being honest about deadlines and capacity. He was very good at all the normal project management stuff. We primarily used JIRA to track the project, and we used InVision and Balsamiq for mockups and to approve designs. I think he may have used some other tools to create Gantt charts and stuff like that, but I don’t know exactly.
What did you find most impressive about Itexus?
Although it was a contracted development team based in Europe and we weren’t always in the room with them, they were extremely responsive. It sort of felt like they were founders or early employees just like us. It never felt like they were some kind of auxiliary team. I’ve heard of other startups who have gone the same route of hiring an outside development team and felt pretty disconnected from the work they’re doing. Itexus was extremely responsive. They visited us a few times, and some of us went to visit them. They were extremely open and easy to work with, very collaborative, and supportive of us. It was definitely a strong relationship. It wasn’t at all like they were just some contracted team.
Are there any areas Itexus could improve?
No, I don’t think so.