What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
One of Sibers’ key strengths is that they’re quite technically-proficient. All the clients who were onboarded onto the platforms have stayed. There’s been zero attrition across the products. One customer has processed 58,170 documents through the system, with thousands of associates. Each job has a number of documents assigned to it—they’re currently getting close to 5,500 jobs processes through the system with 100% uptime. This is a testament to Sibers’ work.
We’ve had a wonderful relationship: I’d be lost without them. All the updates have been completed after hours since we are Sydney while they are based in Novosibirsk, Russia. When my workday finishes, I can start doing all the backups and preproduction planning. We do full backups, production rollout, and production verification testing. It’s all very structured and occurs with no business interruption. In seven years, the customers have had no business interruptions from the products due to Sibers' efficient design work.
They also take accountability for the end-to-end technical delivery. After I conceptualize a component, they will come back with several implementation options, and we can then decide collaboratively on the optimal solution. They’re really good at understanding the effort required for each implementation. They make recommendations, I make some decisions, and we can then implement those components.
How did Sibers perform from a project management standpoint?
The workflow is highly collaborative. We use Atlassian products, Confluence and Jira, from a briefing and document management perspective. We use an agile methodology to iterate through various sprints. The model employed by Sibers is actually quite empowering. They have a customer care representative for every account, which is designed to ensure the few issues we have are resolved on an ongoing basis.
They’re committed to a high degree of focus and attention to the customer. In addition to the customer care representative, they typically appoint a technical project manager, who’s typically got a really strong technical background.
There’s open, transparent communication between the team and myself. We’ve established a Skype group, and, if they have any questions, I can deal with them directly with the developers. Vadim is always in the background sprinkling insights across the conversation. He helps moderate and coordinate everything, and always comes up with sensible solutions.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their responsiveness, communication, and thoroughness from project management and traceability standpoint are all impressive. For example, all of the comms are tracked on Basecamp, and I get a report from the project manager on a daily basis, without fail. It tells me what happened, what was developed, and what issues and constraints that need to be addressed.
Another thing I really like about Sibers is that they’re all highly qualified specialists that typically have multiple degrees. They’re smart, highly capable, and able to find a creative solution for any problem I throw at them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I’m extremely satisfied with how Sibers works. The only friction point would be when a developer leaves. Because of the maturity of their organization and the level of documentation and diligence they have in terms of tracking everything, there’s typically a bit of a lag time when transitioning to a new developer. Everything is business as usual within a few weeks.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Just trust the process. Sibers has done this for many, many years, and they’re seasoned professionals. They will do right by the client, but the important thing is to make sure you get the requirements right. Sibers works on an iterative basis. If the client squirrels down the wrong rabbit hole in terms of making a wrong design decision, they will implement that. Sibers will counsel the client where required, but, if they haven’t got the right requirements, they could iterate things quite a number of times, and it can be cost-prohibitive.
Fortunately, I don’t have that issue, in the sense that I’m hyper-focused on developing clear and concise requirements for the developers. They get everything on a silver platter, including detailed functional specifications, marked up wireframes, and detailed user stories with acceptance criteria. Before we write a single line of code, they know exactly what the solution is doing and what it needs to do, which enables them to build properly.
However, even with fast-moving projects, Sibers excels. In one case we had to do parallel development on a three-week timeline. We had four concurrent developers on the job. Sibers will always tell me what resources are available. He knows exactly to what degree he can manage parallel development.