What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Our projects have run smoothly. They do what they say they will and they get the work done on time. We tell our clients when we externalize parts of projects, and they have always been happy with Two Tall Totems’ involvement.
All software will have bugs, but they’ve been on top of fixing things right away. We have a 30–60-day window after launching projects, during which they will make fixes as part of the initial contract. This is a matter of software maintenance. They’ve been transparent about anything needing to be done.
How did Two Tall Totems perform from a project management standpoint?
We have monthly sprints for maintenance and incremental app work. Those are not as short as in the case of in-house development, where we would have weekly sprints. We make a list of features, bug fixes and updates that we want, and loop through those throughout the month, pushing a new app update at the end of the sprint. For bigger projects, they spec everything upfront and build based on those specs.
Most of our communication is done through email. Our client communicates with us through a system called Rally. We pass the information on to Two Tall Totems, but we’re not connected in a mutual project management system with them. They’re easy to get hold of and we have a shared Slack channel.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their principals are honest about what they can and cannot do. Things are not overly-inflated and they're able to provide the simplest answer for every project. They have a wide range of skillsets and experience, so I know that when I bring something to the table, they'll be able to get it done. They're able to give us a budget and a list of what they can and can’t do, rather than taking on projects they can’t actually handle.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Every now and then, the communication with developers had some issues, but those things have all been ironed out. There’s nothing major that I can mention.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
I advise clients to get some sort of idea of what they want building before sitting down in a meeting, even if it's only loose specifications. A conceptual idea alone will not make for a very fruitful conversation with a developer, compared to actually taking the time to outline what we want an application to do, and what the needs behind it are.