Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
We had some initial metrics which we aimed to improve. We don't want people to stay on the site for very long since it's for a utility company. One of the mantras for the project was to have customers come to the site, find or do what they needed to, and get on with their lives. The aim was to reduce the amount of time that a user required in order to do what they needed to do. We have seen a 34% reduction in the number of pages used by people for their goals, like viewing or paying bills. There was a 12% reduction in the total amount of time spent on the site. These were good measures for us.
We also wanted to increase our testing coverage for applications, and we were able to do it by a significant amount. This was an internal metric for the development team.
How did Sparkbox perform from a project management standpoint?
We have used every known communication tool during our collaboration. There were many channels within the early stages of the project, and we realized that we were tool junkies. We did identify this as an issue, given that information could be in several places. Sparkbox corrected it, narrowing our usage down to an appropriate number of communication channels. That helped move the project along a lot faster. We were a remotely dispersed team, so the communication needed to be very good and clear.
What did you find most impressive about Sparkbox?
Firstly, Sparkbox's technical skills are unrivaled. I am a fan of their talent, and of the way in which Sparkbox's team can build responsive and beautiful websites. They can create a refined and elegant UI [user interface] experience.
The other thing is more of a soft skill: Sparkbox is a very empathetic and humble group of people. They're an absolute pleasure to work with 100% of the time. There were heated discussions about different topics, but it never got out of line. Sparkbox had every right not to be humble, yet they were.
Are there any areas Sparkbox could improve?
As I mentioned, we used so many communication tools in the beginning. That was one thing which I asked Sparkbox to correct. They did it, and things went smoothly from there on.
Sparkbox quoted us low, medium, and high estimates for the different things that we would be doing. Almost without exception, we ended up in the high range. Some of this was our fault since we put up roadblocks, time constraints, and changes. The value was still there, and we have made a note of this issue.