What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Treselle has done some cutting-edge programming over the years, using machine-learning technology typically seen in big data.
As an idea of what we process, our Discern data model for all the data in the system has over 2 billion points in it at the moment. Our daily ingestion is over 1 million points of data.
How did Treselle Systems perform from a project management standpoint?
As a startup, we’ve appreciated their flexibility in changing the team size. They seem to have a lot of developer turnover, so it can take a few days to find the right person, and at times we’ve had to adjust priorities accordingly. This is only an issue for one-off tasks; they’re perfect in terms of everyday routine. In terms of breadth of work, we’ve given Treselle a huge variety of things to do, and they’ve always been able to find someone who could get it done.
I like that I can talk directly to the tech leads, the management, and the actual developers. I am an engineer at heart, so I want to go to the source and get it done. Treselle is OK with this, unlike other companies I’ve used. I’m connected with all of their employees on Skype, and we use JIRA to track problems and requirements. The team submits comments and questions for me via the platform.
We have 2-week development cycles, with a points system assigned to each task. They assign the points at the beginning, based on the requirements we write. We prioritize tasks accordingly, and they start a sprint. We may disagree about the numbers, but not very often. After all these years, we’ve come to understand what it takes. We receive daily updates on their progress for each sprint.
I interface with one of my two main contacts every night. When we get into problems, resolutions, bugs, or requirements, they set up a conference with us and the technical lead for the group we’re working with, in order to eliminate phone-chain problems.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Recently, we needed an entirely new demo on an emergency timeline. They made that happen, despite the fact that there was a cyclone in their part of the world and public transportation was down.
They handle communication well. At no point in our sprints have I been left wondering what they were working on or if they had a problem. That contributes to peace of mind, especially since they’re on the other side of the world. When I have to report on a feature or customer to our CEO, I can give him exact data. If it’s not what we want, I can tell the team and alter priorities to get what we need.
Another strength is that I can give them generic requirements and trust them to tease out the important details. They help me get it right the first time and get to the root of what we want, largely because of their leadership. Both of my contacts have worked in the States before and they know what it takes to build a product.
Are there any areas they could improve?
I have a good working relationship with them, but I do remember one low point. I had spent a lot of time mentoring one of their new QA team members on our process. She became very thorough and one of the best QA people I’ve ever worked with. After 6 months, she relocated and had to leave the company. There was nothing Treselle could do, but it was very unfortunate to lose that time I invested.