What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We haven’t involved the end-client too much into the detail of things. They participated in the brainstorming and made a good impression on the client. We’re fairly close to sending them a final build so unfortunately, I cannot provide any feedback at this point.
We’re not actual programmers, so we haven’t looked at the code. We’ve been working on various iterations of this app for six years. It’s been expanded and developed in that period. We can see when things start going wrong—when the developers are rippling through the app and causing problems. The only issues we’ve had were Saritasa revealing things that were already shaky, then going back and fixing them. There have been no new problems.
How did Saritasa perform from a project management standpoint?
The project is tracked through Jira. We’re able to add comments, bugs, and new tasks, and keep everything on-track. We interact with the developers, but only on a task basis. They also track time on Jira. We don’t use any other tools, except for email.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They stand out in terms of honesty. Our previous developers were very casual with the truth, which is a huge issue, as it made us look the same. It’s a stressful thing to take a delayed project that had already run its budget. We have been funding this redo, and we’ve had some fairly tense discussions with Saritasa about trying to do the right thing, but also reining the budget. These have been productive, adult business conversations with resolutions, which is really worth something.
They took responsibility. Once we hired them to work on this, it became their project. They promised to get in and really understand the project, which they did not only on a technical level, but also a business level—even helping us with our client. Their conflict resolution is mature.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We hit a budget issue in the middle and had a disconnect in terms of managing the budget, tasks, and time. They could be a bit more focused on this area, in terms of project management. They should establish a feedback loop in order to ensure that they are delivering in-line with our budget, time, and tasks. This would be less of an issue on a new project, but it is one for a redo.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Clients have to understand how long these things take. If the client isn’t experienced with app development, they have to understand that it’s a fuzzy process. What we’ve seen with Saritasa is as good as it gets. The process was as regimented and accurate as it was going to be, but we can’t necessarily always work on a budget.
Even when we had budget issues with Saritasa, they tried to do the right thing. They were always trying to get the work done right. This is a necessary level of trust.