What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
UNITY started as a small partner for us, delivering one quick integration. After two years, they’ve become one of our most strategic providers in Europe. We’d had some very bad experience with some IT projects in terms of delivering on time and on budget, which is why the US supervisors stepped in some years ago. Everything improved once we started the collaboration with UNITY.
We started a project two years ago with another company, for customizing a Microsoft platform to our needs. We weren’t satisfied with that company, so UNITY is taking over this project now. We can always count on them, and they always deliver on time and with good quality.
How did UNITY Group perform from a project management standpoint?
We’re satisfied with their agile development methodology. UNITY quickly adjusted to our agile methodology, which is slightly different than market standards. We use more reporting and testing after each iteration. They quickly adjusted their Jira to our needs, and the reporting after each iteration was done in a way that we and our US supervisors preferred. I was happy to collaborate with UNITY, and I got the same feedback from our CIO in Chicago.
One of the good things about them is their transparency. I and the rest of the team on my side have access to UNITY’s Jira, where we can see the work registered by each developer and track estimates versus the actual work. I can monitor costs on a constant basis, and I can enter comments easily on tasks if something’s taking too long or there’s another issue. I can also see how much money was spent on a particular meeting and determine whether it was a worthy expense or not.
What did you find most impressive about them?
I visited their headquarters in Wroclaw, and I was impressed by how they’re organized internally between developers, business analysts, and testers. We have a small internal development team for our ERP, and UNITY’s way of working really opened our eyes on what development should look like in terms of merging process, branches, and deployment. Even though our internal team is small, we’ve integrated these approaches into our internal processes.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It could just be my impression, but we’ve faced some uncertain circumstances, and UNITY was less aggressive or didn’t take up the challenge. We’ve had incomplete requirements, and we assumed that UNITY would take the opportunity to develop something, but they refused because they were unsure about the requirements and it would’ve been too risky for them. I don’t know if this is something to bash, but it was the only situation where I was surprised and didn’t understand why they didn’t give it a shot.
I’m really happy with them overall, and, even if there’s a situation where someone in the project isn’t delivering yet or we’re not happy with a personality in the group, they’ll react to it quickly. There’s nothing that was escalated highly and that I could mention as an issue.
Do you have any advice for future clients of theirs?
Collaborate with the business analysts and the project manager closely, and listen to their recommendations, especially the architects’. I believe that every project will be successful then. If the client supports the business analysts with the needed information, everything will be delivered on time.