What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The application is completed, but we haven’t launched it yet. We’re still making some adjustments. It’s slated to launch before the end of the year.
In terms of feedback, everyone says that the look and feel are great. JetBridge was able to match every wireframe and deliver every feature that we asked for. They also helped us resolve some issues with a third-party vendor.
How did JetBridge perform from a project management standpoint?
I was extremely happy with Adam’s approach. He’s very experienced, but also extremely patient and understanding. Because of his knowledge, he was able to make accurate estimates for work hours and timelines.
He even took that a step further and helped to optimize some of our processes. Whenever we were going over wireframes, he would make helpful suggestions. A web designer created our first wireframes, and most of the UI/UX elements were web-centric. Adam walked us through how to translate those designs to a native mobile app, all while sticking to our schedule.
We did have a relatively rushed timeline, and, unfortunately, our internal project planning was not great. They had to work around our deficiencies there, and they were always helpful and patient, even with the short timelines that we gave them.
We had to make plenty of adjustments along the way, mainly because of the indecisiveness of our internal team. Even when it caused delays, JetBridge was always willing to listen and make changes to the original wireframe.
We used JIRA at the beginning, but eventually, we moved to direct communication via Slack. JIRA added overhead, and Slack was better suited for our fast-paced environment. Also, Adam oversaw the engineers, and I was happy to let them handle the project management themselves. We started with weekly reports, through calls and our Slack channel, and those become more frequent as the project went on. By the end, we were talking almost every day.
JetBridge was extremely responsive during the last few weeks. There were some small bugs, but that’s to be expected, especially with a rushed timeline. Every few days, we would test the app and send them a list of issues, and JetBridge would fix them within a day or two.
What did you find most impressive about them?
What makes them stand out from the many other remote development teams that I've worked with—or still work with—is their integrity. All along the way, they've been extremely honest about pricing, their ability, and the promises that they make. Initially, I was skeptical, because I’ve worked with teams in the past who would overpromise and underdeliver, both in terms of what they knew and what they could build. JetBridge delivered exactly what they promised within the timeframe that they set.
Also, other software agencies I’ve worked with would push back when I came to them with bugs. JetBridge never did that. They would always acknowledge issues and fix them. Adaptability is critical, because every development project is going to have problems, and JetBridge was flexible throughout the project. Other teams get stuck and decide to stop working.
JetBridge was able to take so much off my hands. All I had to do was check-in with them from time to time. Other firms need a ton of guidance. Even when they ran into problems, they would come to me with multiple solutions, rather than just ask me for direction. That made my life so much easier and really differentiated them from others that I’ve worked with.
Another thing that impressed me was their ability to deliver on all of our designs. The video player feature was very complicated, and they made it work perfectly. With so many moving pieces, I was expecting something to force us to compromise. JetBridge got it done.
Towards the very end, we ran a little overboard because of some of the bugs, and they offered to resolve them for free. I thought that level of integrity was very impressive. Personally, I think building both a native iOS and a native Android app within three months—with very little prototyping and wireframing— is pretty remarkable.
Are there any areas they could improve?
The communication structure could have been improved a bit. That’s partially my fault, because I nudged them in the direction of having a more ad hoc approach. Having some kind of milestone reporting would have helped me in meetings with non-technical partners.
In the end, I’m glad we took the route we took because it allowed us to move quickly. Adding project management tools will often slow projects down. That being said, we eventually had to give more detailed breakdowns of the project, due to requests from my business partner. With a larger company, JetBridge might fall short in the reporting department, but I thought it was sufficient for a small, agile startup.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Trust that they know what’s best for the project. In many ways, I felt like Adam, Mischa, and John genuinely cared about the project. They seemed to want to put their knowledge to use. I know there’s a temptation as a client to stick to the initial design, but try and keep an open mind.
JetBridge is a team of experts, and they’ll offer some excellent ideas and suggestions. Don’t be afraid to let them guide you, especially if you don’t have as a deep of an understanding of technology. I think that will result in a very smooth process.