Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
Before the update, we were averaging about 6,000 hits a month, and since the update, we’re closer to 10,000 hits a month. I think a big reason for that is the guidance manual being actual web content. Previously, our audience would just download a PDF and likely access it locally off their computer. Whereas now, I think we’re seeing the users just visit the site to get the content through there, which is a great change. A downloaded PDF is static information. If we change our requirements or add additional clarity in that document as web content, the people that are accessing it through the site are going to see the most current information, thus minimizing the chance of them using outdated static guidance.
How did The Tactile Group perform from a project management standpoint?
For communication, we would have weekly phone calls at more of a management level. There were a lot of emails. Especially for some design pieces, we would have meetings at their office to articulate some of the comments or the goals we were seeking. We also did a lot of comment tracking for testing and things of that kind through a Google spreadsheet. We were able to have multiple staff in it at once, especially as we geared it up for the release and the launch of the site. There were a lot of moving pieces at once, so we utilized that tool to be able to have multiple people looking at something while still looking at the newest information.
In terms of deadlines and schedules, we had a very critical release date. They were able to meet that pretty cleanly. That wasn’t an issue at all.
What did you find most impressive about The Tactile Group?
I think their ability to understand the objectives of their clients is impressive. We are not web programmers, but we tried to articulate as best as we could what we were looking for. Since we’re not in the field, it’s not the easiest of things for us to communicate, but they were really effective at understanding the objectives we were going for and able to translate that into a product.
Are there any areas The Tactile Group could improve?
There were certainly opportunities for a little bit better project management. However, they were a sub-consultant on the contract, so a lot of the things got funneled through the prime vendor. I’m reluctant to say that that was wholly representative of Tactile. I think the prime vendor played a role there.
There also could have been a little bit more clarity on the costs up front. It’s not that the project went over budget, but it’s sometimes difficult to ensure we’re all on the same page of what the budget for something of that scale would be.
What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with The Tactile Group?
I would give a full recommendation for this type of work. They understood some of the characteristics of working with a government entity very quickly. We have certain rules and certain requirements that we have to follow. You can tell that they had worked with government entities before. I would especially recommend them for a public entity.