What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
It is hard for me to say anything regarding results yet, because we haven’t marketed the product except to a very exclusive group of people. I would hope to have a more concrete answer to that question in a couple months, but for the moment, the only metrics we use are how much dev work they are completing on a week-to-week basis in our sprints. All of that also depends on the scope of the work and who is assigned to the team at any one point in time, so the relative productivity changes fairly drastically on a regular basis.
So far, the quality of the work is really good, and we have never come across significant problems. Every development project is bound to have some bugs, and any issues that do arise, they fix promptly and effectively. They think carefully through any problem before jumping into a solution.
How did Table XI perform from a project management standpoint?
Table XI has a really good approach to project management. Everybody gets a dedicated project manager on their team, which helps move the work along smoothly. It also frees me personally from having to do a lot of the day-to-day organizational work, allowing me to focus on higher-level strategic tasks, and ensures that the project progresses smoothly. The project manager they assigned to us, Judith Sol-Dyess (Delivery Principal, Table XI), is fantastic. She takes the lead on organizing all of our meetings and sprint planning sessions, and the two of us talk multiple times a day. Our teams have a stand-up meeting three or four days a week, and we have a two-hour planning session every Tuesday to go over the sprint for the following week. Judith helps me organize all of those meetings and keeps us on track if we start going off-topic during one session. She fills a role that we don’t have a single person dedicated to on our in-house team. When they first brought on the outside developer to help with load-testing environment, they were able to onboard him very quickly, and he has been working extremely well with their other developer since January. Table XI provides us with the staff that they think is best suited to tackle any individual task or issue.
They run everything with a very Agile, lean approach, which we really appreciate because it allows them to be both flexible and adaptable, no matter what big changes we throw at them at the last second. Their team members are always happy to accommodate our preferences and schedules, and they do everything they can to make the collaboration as easy as possible on us. They have never balked at anything we have asked of us; instead, they just figure out how to complete what we have requested.
What did you find most impressive about them?
In general, they are just a good, smart group of people to work with. Table XI is great at helping me prioritize what we should be working on that could add value to our business. They are not your typical dev team that just follows orders; they challenge you and make sure that you are thinking about your project in the most effective way, and that you have thought everything through before implementing any changes. Having them challenge us when they feel that it’s necessary has been a refreshing and atypical approach for a dev shop to take. If you still want them to do what you had originally requested, they will do so, but they voice their concerns first. I personally truly appreciate that, because we have a small internal team and our ideas might not be best suited to the project from a development standpoint.
They encourage taking the project one step at a time rather than rushing to the finish line. Because of their measured approach, we are building a much better product. Table XI has done a fantastic job of managing the project and building the platform fairly quickly. They are able to scale up and down on short notice, and have done so for us a number of times and at a fast pace. We are very happy with their work right now, and that is what stands out to me the most.
Are there any areas they could improve?
They are a little pricier than a lot of other vendors, but their level of service and quality of work generally makes up for that differential, and they have occasionally been flexible with our budget.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Be prepared for them to challenge you in order to create the best end product possible. Come into it with the approach that they’re a part of your team.