What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Surge is extremely agile and able to adapt to changing landscapes. The developers and designers make a great team.
There have been two instances when we’ve had to provide applications to our third-party vendor without testing. In both cases, the applications worked as expected in the delivery systems. Even though that was the first time putting them into practice, the applications functioned seamlessly and quickly. That success demonstrated the developers’ ability to understand our vendor’s application programming interfaces (API) and then implement a solution based on those restrictions.
Currently, we’re finishing assessment testing. Results for the delivery platform changes won’t be available until after its completion, but I’m expecting similar results to the previous two times.
How did Surge Software perform from a project management standpoint?
At first, we had difficulty incorporating scheduling projections into their agile environment. I made it clear at the start that they’d need to re-evaluate their process if they missed certain key dates. However, their quick turnarounds exceeded our expectations and met deadlines. The project manager onboards additional resources as needed to stay on schedule.
They use JIRA and I use Smartsheet to share tracking information and dates. We also have a couple proprietary file transfer systems that we use with Surge. Their willingness to use tools outside their company has been very helpful.
The customer service liaisons are great resources; we’ve had a few different ones. They’re an extra layer of support with a long-term outlook on the project. It also helps financially that the position doesn’t bill hourly.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The developer we work with understands extremely difficult technical issues across a range of IT scenarios: security, coding, networking, and application development. The development team has likewise found previously unknown issues with our third-party vendors’ API. Those discoveries speak to their level of detail, knowledge, and familiarity with development best practices.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They need to improve forecasting delivery dates. That might not be feasible when working in sprints and agile, but more consistent progress updates and adherence to deadline expectations would be helpful.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Have a realistic expectation about the workload because Surge’s agile business model allows resources to be scaled-up. However, Surge may take a person off the team if there isn’t enough work at that moment. Delivery dates are hard to keep if the client doesn’t take an active role in assessing the amount of work and available resources.