What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’re processing a lot of images for a particular client. They’re still sticking to their photographers but also starting to understand that this approach will die shortly, and people will only use apps to transmit photos.
The client is using traditional means of transmitting photos (e.g., FTP, Dropbox) without any process for checking files. The images are forwarded to their own customers or service providers, and we only find out that some of the images are missing when the end-clients mention it. This is not a process I could have full confidence in.
This has completely changed now—we have total transparency with Orca and Octopus. We will finish Piranha at the and of this month and start selling it. It’s been a success story.
How did Salt & Pepper perform from a project management standpoint?
We gather requirements and they give us time estimates which we approve or reject. I can contact their team members directly without going through a project manager.
In terms of project management, they do more than I expect. They send me a summary every Friday. We usually work over Trello and also have a Skype chat room for every project. On the biggest one, there are 10 people present, including some from the management. As soon as something is decided on Skype, we enter it into Trello. I’ve worked with a lot of project trackers over time, including Jira, but the current one is working nicely. We also have regular Skype calls.
We didn’t use any QA testers from their team initially, but this was a necessary part of the project. I mentioned it to their CTO and he took care of it. I’ve come to be very good friends with him. He’s a clever person who I can rely on 100% to accept the feedback I provide.
The lead backend developer left the company. This can be a project killer from my experience, especially when just starting. Every new programmer who comes in will look at the code and decide that we have to start from zero. I was a bit worried about it, but we only experienced a two-day delay.
Realistically, the new backend coder was a bit slower for the first two weeks, but he worked day and night and provided the perfect mixture between a traditional relationship and a startup flair. It’s important for people to really understand what they’re building, and that’s what happened here.
We’re currently working based on a fixed monthly retainer. We have a good feeling about the value we’re getting, which has never been the case with other companies. Across the relationship, I’ve only opened the time-tracking sheet once. It feels like having in-house IT.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I appreciate their clear and structured mentality. They take ownership of mistakes even when they don’t have to. If something happens, Salt & Pepper’s team will look into it, fix it, analyze what happened, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I appreciate the professionalism and objectivity.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I have no comments.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I don’t know what projects other clients would be interested in. Ours is a bit out of the ordinary.
If there are no workflow or project management tools in-house, you should jump on what the developer has and follow their processes. It all depends on what kind of company someone is running. The process may be different for an IT company with existing structures, while a traditional company starting its online business may find Salt & Pepper to be a valuable partner.
I’ve never worked with them on a limited, project basis. Their CTO was interested in our idea and facilitated an entry into the Russian market for us. This was a big value for us that made us feel like family.