What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I can say that a large percentage of our clients are downloading the app and using it. About 25% of our user base is made up of weekly active users. And there have been no crashes; the product has been solid. There haven't been any issues with the actual build. It has been positive.
How did ROLIQUE perform from a project management standpoint?
Project management-wise, I feel they did a great job. They were communicative, they let us know what was going on, and there were no surprises. When we ran into issues, they clearly articulated them, and they were never combative or defensive. They were a good company to work with.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I'm definitely happy with the result that ROLIQUE provided. However, the function spec issue kept us from having a proper deadline and the proper scope. Anything that was scope-related, they've covered. We were also developing our public API at the same time to meet their ends, because we didn't have a public API at the beginning of this; we developed it in tandem.
There were a couple of times where we had to change some fundamental building blocks of the API due to various reasons. They had to restructure some of their backend to accommodate this. That's where the extra bill came from, which was totally understandable. They handled it extremely well. I felt like I was listened to. It was very affordable and we got a solid product.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I only have that one fault with them, which is not getting a really good function spec on the outset that in turn affected the timeline management. When you're building a large project, you want to make sure that everything is accounted for, so that you don't have a surprise that costs you a month and a half.
The function spec that we delivered to them didn’t have the use cases completely written out, and the user stories weren't all clearly defined. They created their quote based on that. We ran into some issues where it was like, "That's not included;" and we said, "Well, actually, that is included. We were under the assumption that it was." They were really kind, and we did receive another bill because they added features to it.
But overall, at the end of the process during the exit call, I talked to them about really nailing down the function spec before they do anything and making sure that they clearly document everything rather than holding assumptions. It's not our responsibility as a client to do that, but it's their responsibility as a service provider—I used to work in that space.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I do know that we've talked about a couple of larger additions to the app, and they were adamant about making sure that all the use cases were done first. They were communicating in a way that showed they were not going to fall in the same trap they fell in the first time.