Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The iterative releases that we anticipated would have been at a certain stage, and they were all delivered. That delivery was a point of excitement. There were a few changes that we requested that also got done. When the overall delivery happens, that’s the key point of excitement. Overall, we’re pretty excited from where we started and where we are right now. As one of the key persons in this project, I’m quite excited that we’ve really come quite far considering the complexity of the whole project.
How did Roll’n’Code perform from a project management standpoint?
They’re very methodical. I’m hoping they’re very methodical in their own internal working. As I said, there’s a liaison. It’s a project manager from their side with whom I regularly stay in touch. There have been times when we’ve gone and gotten the developers involved in the discussions as well, just to bounce ideas and clear a few blocks that we had in our mind. As far as project management is concerned, I would say they’re pretty good. They’re really good at the way they run their development work.
I get regular feedback and updates. Most of our conversations have been over Skype, so it’s not that after a week or so I’m getting a surprise message saying, “Hey, look, we are lagging behind.” If we are lagging behind, there is some kind of issue that is happening. Just this last week, they moved their office. They gave me a heads up two days before that on this date they would not be able to respond to the email. These are very small things, but stuff like this keeps me informed. There’s a lot of transparency, which enables both them and me to set our expectations on what will be delivered, and this requires that level of project management as well. Especially the person, Olesya, who is doing the project management on their side, she keeps everything abreast.
What did you find most impressive about Roll’n’Code?
I would really highlight the transparency and the openness. I’ll use an analogy. When we’ve posted freelancing jobs outside, there’s always the doubt about if you are really getting the best or is the freelancer really working hard for your interest? You have to be on top of the project. That’s our job, but when working with Roll’n’Code, I can close my eyes a day or two with the peace that things are happening in the right direction. Their transparency in dealing with stuff has given me a lot of trust in them. This is one of the key things that I would just point-blank give my testimony for them any day.
Are there any areas Roll’n’Code could improve?
They’re very focused on detail, and they ask lots and lots of small questions. Maybe it’s just my personality where I may not pay so much attention to detail, but when such granular-level questions come to me in email or chat, it just puts me in a situation where I realize that I’ve got to answer this as well. What I’m thinking is, if I were the engineer, I would’ve made a call by myself, but they prefer to get the clarity from the client, which is me in this arrangement. They go as far as to ask me, “Tell us whether this is the way it should be done. Are we understanding it correctly?”
Good or bad? In technical terms, it is absolutely a good practice, but on a personal basis, I find it annoying at times. Maybe those times are situations where my mind is engaged elsewhere and not in a position to basically tell you which color the button needs to be and what needs to go on top of it. Maybe they should just to make a call, and if it is wrong, we’ll change it.
They would come with an initial estimate which looks all good, suits my pocket, and seems fair enough, but the discussions then evolved in a way that it looks like they find a basis where they can actually add more billable timing to the timesheet. It appeared a few times, but then because it’s a thing of the past, I let it go. They have this tendency of asking a lot of questions, and based on those questions, they tend to come up with a rationale that this will cost a little more time, which is how they rationalize their billable hours. If I have anything against it, I could straight sort it out with them, but all in all, they’re fair. It’s not that they do something behind you.