What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
I’m a very honest and straightforward communicator, but not everybody can take it. What I really like about TechMagic is that I’ve been able to have an open conversation with everyone on their team.
It takes a while, and we had to push them to do it, but they do come back and tell us when they find a problem or something to improve. They think together with me, which I really appreciate. The team tells me when a certain approach will be faster or cheaper, and so forth, which is what I appreciate the most. They think about our costs as well.
How did TechMagic perform from a project management standpoint?
Interacting directly with the developers was quite challenging for me since I was caught up in other things as well. What I liked about Igor was that I could always have an open discussion with him, and I’m sure the feeling is reciprocal.
At some point, we told him that we needed more coordination and structure. It was hard for me to work with the developers, in terms of making sure they understood all the requirements. I had an open conversation with Igor about it, and he told me he didn’t have the time to manage this.
They then brought the coordinator on to support the delivery manager, and she’s doing a fantastic job. It’s a lot easier and smoother. There’s still room for improvement, but it’s gone significantly better.
Then, there was the question of payment. They told me that they could get me a coordinator, but I’d have to pay extra. I refused because if the delivery manager couldn’t do his job and he was already being paid, and he needed some help, that was fine, but I wasn’t going to pay for it.
We had an open and honest conversation about that as well, and now they don’t charge extra for the coordinator. She’s dedicating 50% of her time to our project. She also has QA experience, so I’d love to involve her more on that part, which I’ll have to pay for since it’s an extra service.
The project management got a lot better when their coordinator came in. To be quite honest, it’s not entirely their fault. We were still in the exploration phase of our product, having to figure out some stuff.
We had some problems prioritizing on our end. I’m not going to hold everything against them. We could’ve worked faster, but that’s on our side as well.
I think it’s more of a communication issue than anything else. The coordinator only started working with us a month or so ago, so we’re very much still in the acquaintance period. Those are just small frustrations.
I may sound negative, but other than that, I’m quite happy with them. I’m very happy with their lead developer. He’s a quick thinker, he tries to proactively look for solutions with us, and he comes up with improvements.
That’s why I pay a bit of a premium for TechMagic. This team comes back and tells us what we could improve, or they come up with workarounds.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I’ve worked with large companies that give you exactly what you ask for. With TechMagic, they’re on the clock, so it works differently, but at least we can make changes. They’ll push back sometimes, and they’ll agree other times, but they understand that it’s business first, and that’s good.
That means that sometimes we’ll have to make decisions that might not seem logical from a development point of view, but make absolute sense from a business point of view, and the team will execute them anyway because it’s important for the business.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I’m a very structured person, but I’m not always organized. There’s a difference between the two in that I can always break down structure and work very boxed, but I’m not the kind of person who’ll spend their time making charts and so forth.
It would be beneficial if we found ways of doing that, and it’s something I’ve been discussing with TechMagic. There are tools for that. We use Jira for ticketing, and we can start making epics, put in start and end dates, and make roadmaps.