What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We didn’t have any performance metrics but being able to launch any version of the app was a big milestone. The proof of concept (POC) for beta helped secure an additional round of funding. The fact that we were able to show that we could get a mobile app launched so quickly was helpful for our investors when deciding to reinvest in the company. With Rubikal we were able to do commercial releases every two to three weeks–at least once monthly. We were also able to do a few fix releases because they were very good at turning bugs around fairly quickly.
How did Rubikal perform from a project management standpoint?
Their team was very flexible so they worked with the tools and processes that we wanted to use. At plays.tv, we used Trello and the Rubikal team was able to work with that tool.
Sometimes we had a lot of internal resources that they were waiting on but they were good at communicating and working in two-week sprints to meet their bill, internal release, and, eventually, commercial release deadlines.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They’re high-integrity individuals who are committed to their client’s success and their own improvement. I traveled to Egypt to work with them in person a couple of times so I got to know their team. When you approach them with tasks that other engineers would consider unreasonable, they listen and they get them done.
All of the engineers that we’ve had on our team have been really strong. They do a good job of recruiting from top universities and screening for good technical skills. Rubikal is also one of the few Egyptian companies that hires women, which impressed me.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It’s tough to say. The one challenge was that their schedule was a little different than other outsourcing firms I’ve worked with. Some of their national holidays and vacations didn’t match up with ours so it was a difficult to train our team to take note of those days in advance.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Communicate your expectations as clearly as you can. They are very direct communicators so they want you to tell them what you want done rather than talk about whether it’s possible or not. They would rather try to do it and then communicate when they run into a hiccup and adjust the plan. Be aggressive with your asks and deadlines from the get-go and then let them adjust as they go. It’s a very effective way to work once you learn it.