What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We don’t have any hard measures of use because we were building from scratch. The only way we can measure success is through whether they met timelines and delivered the functionality that we wanted, both of which they did. They’ve made sure the apps do what we want them to do.
Their developers are generally very good. Their work is especially good at the design stage. We’re not designers, and I was happy that we didn’t just get a pure implementation of what we asked for; they actually gave us ideas around how to improve what we were doing, or pointed out issues that would come up with the original way we envisioned things. That’s what you want a professional for.
How did Riseapps perform from a project management standpoint?
Communication was good. It was a reasonable, good working relationship. They’re remote, so all of our communication was over Google Hangouts, Zoom, Slack, and email. Toward the end of the build, when we were fixing bugs and finishing everything up, we were communicating daily. The minimum amount of communication we had throughout the lifecycle was once a week, when they were implementing first versions of things. It ranged from there.
The timelines were adjusted, but it was reasonable. We missed the initial deadline because we asked for several changes as the product was developed. Our agreement wasn’t fully spec’d out initially because we wanted to get going quickly, so everything was an estimate, and then things got fleshed out as we were building. We were delayed about a month or two from the initial estimate, but I found that to be reasonable, as it was due to changes that we requested.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They were very professional throughout the whole project. For example, they provided roadmaps, used technologies for development like Jira, communicated through Slack, and were responsive to changes and asks – all of those things paint a picture of people who have done this before and have done it well.
Are there any areas they could improve?
A little bit more communication toward the end would have been helpful. We were having daily meetings, but it was sometimes hard to pin down exactly where we were at on certain tasks. We would’ve liked some more transparency toward the final steps of the project.
Any advice for potential customers?
Invest in communication upfront, which is advice I’d give to anyone working with any kind of development shop. It’s better to over-communicate in the beginning than to have issues come up later.