What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
They’ve significantly reduced the development time for new functionalities for our products, which has been a big improvement over our previous vendor. Now that the mobile app has launched, we’ve also received lots of positive feedback about its usability. Since we deal with mental health professionals, our users are a bit on the older side, but they’ve reported that the app is intuitive and user-friendly.
Going forward, we have at least another year’s worth of improvements and new features to roll out. Softnauts has done good work, and we’re especially appreciative of the backend developer they hired specifically to meet our needs. That’s sped up our development process a lot.
How did Softnauts perform from a project management standpoint?
We work in two-week sprints and manage them with weekly calls. Our in-house project manager coordinates with theirs via Slack most of the time. We can also use Slack to get in touch with the developers if we need to, but their project manager usually handles everything. Besides that, we use Jira and Confluence to keep track of project tasks and use GoToMeeting for voice calls with screen-sharing. We also visit their office in person at least four times a year.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Whenever we make a trip to their offices, the CEO invites us to have lunch with him and always makes it feel like we’re a top priority. He’ll spend two or three full days listening in on meetings with our team. It helps us feel like we’re all part of a unified team and that he really understands what’s going on with our account. It’s a big risk to have all development done by a single party, for continuity reasons. But they make it clear that they’re invested in our business from top to bottom. Having the ability to sit down and discuss our issues with the CEO directly is a great comfort, especially after feeling like we were lost in the shuffle with our previous vendor.
Are there any areas they could improve?
There’s always room to improve, but I don’t really have anything to complain about. There are always some bugs that appear after you release new functionalities in an app, and with Softnauts it doesn’t happen very often. Their QA tester does a good job.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
It’s important to maintain constant contact when outsourcing, both by using Slack and also by organizing weekly phone calls at a fixed time so the whole team can meet. Even if there’s nothing to discuss, it’s still beneficial to spend five or ten minutes touching base with the team in order to build stronger rapport and team spirit.