What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
One of my biggest requirements was to create a robust application, and that's what they've delivered. I can confirm that we’ve never had issues. Until now, the website operates perfectly. I also requested that they deliver the product early so that we could use it in one of the largest events for Atlassian. Stepwise successfully delivered the product half a month ahead of schedule.
In the software development industry, it's never a good idea to go to production on a Friday, especially before a bank holiday weekend. Our relationship with Stepwise gave us the confidence to go to production on a Friday, sure that nothing would break over the weekend. Radic and Raphael are high-level software engineers, so we were crazy enough to do that before returning to the office the following Tuesday.
The most exciting thing part was that we got our first client six hours after the new website was launched. We still don't know how that person found ClearHub and how they landed on the website, but they went through the process, signed up, and requested a contractor. We were surprised about how nicely it all went through.
How did Stepwise perform from a project management standpoint?
We were in constant communication, so we knew that we were going to deliver on time. Time is money in the software development world. I don't want to waste anyone's time, and I don't want people to waste my time as well.
We communicated through Slack using three channels: a channel for next steps, a channel for development, and a channel for day-to-day details discussions as a team. We had sprint demos every Friday as well as weekly meetings. Occasionally, we also had important ad hoc conversations. As the product owner, I talked with them about next steps and defined stories, to see if we were going to move ahead with those.
What did you find most impressive about them?
From the beginning, we were impressed by how well they communicated as well as the transparent and direct relationship that we had. They were very helpful and open. It's always amazing when you put people from different backgrounds and languages together. We had great teamwork, and we were aligned professionally.
Stepwise delivered an end result that was better than what we wanted. The final product included stronger features that we didn't have in the initial scope. They also delivered earlier and with smarter features than we expected. We will definitely work with them again in the near future.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They're a startup company, so they don't have a huge capacity or an extreme amount of resources. They definitely need to expand their development team and have some more junior people. It's just a matter of clarifying their vision for their company and what they want to achieve in the near future.