This review was updated on October 10th, 2019, by the client. New content is below.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m the product manager at a testing company.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with Koombea?
Koombea has worked on several things within our company, but I’ve worked directly with them on an open source web-based application that helps us manage students’ competencies.
What was the scope of their involvement?
We started with this project about three years ago and has had different forms and that kind of thing. But one thing has been really interesting is that other companies have taken different branches or forks of the application that we've developed and done different things with it.
Since starting this project about three years ago, we’ve watched our product evolve into different forms. What’s interesting is that other companies have taken different parts of the application and customized it to suit their needs.
There was a product that launched in March 2019 that functioned as a national clearinghouse of academic competency frameworks. It was a solution to host federal standards for all 50 states and more.
Even though we didn’t directly contribute to that product, that product wouldn’t be possible without our and Koobea’s work. It’s a slightly modified version of our software.
What is the team composition?
I worked with two full-time developers.
How did you come to work with Koombea?
Before my current position, I was working for a startup that already had a relationship with Koombea. Between then and now, I’ve worked with Koombea for at least five years.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent between $1 million—$5 million so far.
What is the status of this engagement?
The main development was actually from June 2016–March 2019. We’re currently on a break as we work to secure more funding, but I’m trying to get Koombea back on more projects.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
The national clearinghouse product is gaining prominence as an interoperable case specification tool that allows organizations to publish via the case API. Several states are now publishing natively through that solution.
Our organization is also using the base solution as a way to represent competency frameworks in a digital form. Koombea’s work was integral to that.
In terms of their performance, our sprint velocities were usually very good, and the rate of completion was above 85% most of the time. Their development and development forecasts were always accurate, too.
How did Koombea perform from a project management standpoint?
They’ve performed well, especially back in March 2019 when we had to do a major redesign of one of our front pages.
They were able to get us from mock-up to development to production push within a week. Despite the short turnaround, they understood that it was really important for us to get it done and completed the task, even though they knew we were losing funding for them soon.
Logistically, we did daily stand-ups and spoke mostly through Slack. They're very communicative—always let me know if there were roadblocks and asked questions at the appropriate times.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They're a little bit more expensive than other offshore consulting companies, but they’re worth it in quality.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, not that I could say.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Come in with a clear scope, but be open to their expertise and suggestions.