Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
They're very proactive about closing tickets. Even if I need to have a conversation on Skype or over the phone, they're very good about taking the task I describe verbally, creating a ticket from my description and tracking the progress. It is very easy to see what's being done, and that's quite nice.
In one case, we had a developer who didn't work out. ITRex quickly took care of that and did a good job. They gave us some free time to make up for that problem, so everything worked out for the best. That sounds like a negative, but I think the way the problem was handled worked out well. That's exactly the kind of problem that mitigates any issues working with someone remote.
That's probably the biggest selling point – knowing that when you hire them, you're actually going to get something valuable. You can use the deliverables and not be stuck with something that doesn't give you anything.
How did the ITRex Group perform from a project management standpoint?
In some cases, they'll do the project management. They'll be more hands-on, create tickets and manage details. In our case, we do the project management ourselves because we know what we want. We're involved in creating our tickets and breaking everything down. We don't use them much in terms of their project management. I think we only talk to the management side if we have an issue. We try to minimize that as much as possible.
What did you find most impressive about the ITRex Group?
I think it's the accountability. I've worked in other companies where we've had a consultant come in and do work for us, the work was generally quite bad but there was no accountability for the code quality. We never knew who was doing the work. We never had any contact with the individuals doing the work, and it was all run through a couple of layers. We'd wish we could just talk to the developers and actually communicate with them, get them to understand what we're asking for. We would just end up with something we didn't want and have to rewrite 80 percent of the code anyway. Those were poor experiences.
I think the difference here is we can talk directly to the developers, have daily Skype calls, have them on Slack, communicate with them, and create tickets. It's like working with an individual we know. They just happen to be somewhere else. I think that's why it works. We can keep talking to that person. That person can learn about our business and what we're trying to build. I think that's the only reason it does work. In general, this kind of thing is difficult to pull off successfully.
Are there any areas the ITRex Group could improve?
I think the organization in Belarus isn't quite as accountable or responsive to issues as the group here is. My review is about our group and how they are doing business here. I think they have a sister company in Belarus, and they are a little bit less helpful responding to things. If it came down to just them being over there and us not having any kind of local support, I don't think we'd be able to make it work. It's good enough because they have the team leader here, and that's what makes it work. When we did have that one issue with the developer, Belarus wasn't especially helpful until he actually stepped in and fixed the problem for us.