This review was updated by the client on March 23, 2020. The original star ratings were: Overall - 4.5, Quality - 4.5, Schedule - 4.5, Cost - 4.5, NPS - 5. New content is below:
Introduce your business and what you do there.
Our business revolves around our financial wellness platform, LifeCents. I am in charge of all product development for LifeCents and am supporting applications and services.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenge were you trying to address with VentureDevs?
Initially, we engaged with VentureDevs to redesign our web application UI. Over time, we slowly built out our entire development team through VentureDevs, including supporting roles such as quality assurance, scrum master, etc.
What was the scope of their involvement?
VentureDevs took over all development of the LifeCents ecosystem — backend, frontend, automated testing, DevOps, etc.
What is the team dynamic?
The team dynamic is/was fantastic. Excellent communication among all team members, constant support when needed, and developers don’t dislike code reviews (in fact, they insist on it). The atmosphere is casual, yet professional. Each developer takes pride in their own work, as well as the overall project.
How did you come to work with VentureDevs?
Our investor had a previous relationship with VentureDevs and referred us.
How much have you invested with them?
Close to $1,000,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We just completed our final week with VentureDevs. Our product is in a strong place, and we are now planning to grow a small development team internally. We left on very good terms, and will likely work with them again in the future.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
How did your relationship with the vendor evolve?
We worked with VentureDevs over a period of 3 years. At first, the team operated on more of a ‘project’ basis, and we planned to end our contract much sooner. Over time, however, we recognized that they were doing excellent work, so we expanded the team to become our primary developers over a longer term.
At LifeCents, we began to recognize them as “our own” team rather than an external service provider. I believe they felt (and still feel) the same way.
How did VentureDevs address the challenges that arose?
Both the individual team members and VentureDevs management stepped up anytime an issue arose, especially as we grew our relationship with them. In particular, we had a significant financial crisis internally for a period of about 6 months.
VentureDevs took every possible step to help us resolve the issue without reducing or terminating our service. This very possibly saved our business, and the crisis was averted thanks to their willingness to work with us rather than cut us off.
Note: This is one of the biggest reasons why VentureDevs deserves to have a five-star rating.
Describe the impact this engagement has had on your business.
VentureDevs is the most important vendor LifeCents has had. They allowed us to mature our product from entry to enterprise-level, allowing us to similarly grow our business.
How was project management handled?
Very well. At the top level, we were in direct contact with the CEO from the beginning of the engagement. Anytime we started a new project, they provided a solutions architect to work with us (in depth) free of charge. I had a dedicated relationship manager (“head of customer success”) who sent frequent updates and stayed in constant communication with VentureDevs leadership and our development team.
Finally and most importantly, we were assigned a dedicated Product Owner, who coordinated everything between the two teams (LifeCents product and VentureDevs developers). She alone allowed us to work more successfully with a remote development team than any in the past.
Is there anything that the vendor did well or that you would consider a strength?
I could create a long list, but one of their biggest strengths, aside from performing exceptionally well as developers, was their desire to build a long-lasting partnership. At every turn, their goal was to make us successful, and they would bring on anyone from their team (free of charge) that they thought could help – whether it was the CEO or an extra developer to help with a specific issue.
In what specific areas can they improve?
Honestly, I can’t think of any worth mentioning.
What advice do you have for clients with similar needs to yours?
Make sure you take the relationship with your development team seriously. You can’t expect them to take a set of requirements and work without any additional contact. I worked with our team almost every day for three years, and it was a complete success. I’ve worked with other remote teams in the past who were not as communicative, and it was much more challenging to complete projects on time, and as expected.