Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The project contains about a dozen integrations with third-party services. We’ve developed a whole enterprise resource planning system for our business, so it’s not just a complex website, but rather it’s an information system. We are constantly bombarded with requirements from a business side for changes, updates, and upgrades, and we are constrained on the budget side and on the time side. Under these circumstances, I’d say that Websolutions, provided with the resources that were contracted, has proven to be extremely flexible and helpful. They were forward-going with us the whole time, and they still are.
The resulting quality of our system is a combination of the fact that we used Drupal, which is a good open source platform that offers tried and true components, and the quality of the developers we used from Websolutions. We constantly had changes we wanted to make, so we cannot blame Websolutions for every bug in the system because there was not that much time for testing. Based on the feedback from our customers, we know where we stand in terms of our system. We know that we still have issues that we need to work on, whether they are caused by the development, our business decisions, or changes in the market.
How did Websolutions Agency perform from a project management standpoint?
From an A, B, C, D mark, I would say that Websolutions has proven to rise from a C-level in the beginning of the project to about B-level, with A being the best. Of course, people fluctuate. The project had many changes in the development theme, so of course this also had some influences on the quality of coding in certain periods of the system development. The current team that is working on the project is quite good; I am quite satisfied with them and particularly with the lead developer. He is really solving all the issues that come our way. I am also extremely satisfied with the frontend developer that we have. They are also taking care of our infrastructure on the hardware side, including networking, hosting, and such things, which is not their specialty. They explicitly said they cannot guarantee they will be able to do those things, but it turns out that we are using them more than the official help we hired at various points in time. That says a lot in itself.
What did you find most impressive about Websolutions Agency?
I would say they are open and flexible in any term you can imagine. If your budget changes and you have contracted something with them, they are flexible even with the contract. If it’s in their power to be flexible, they adjust the resources they have, either to remove some resources or provide some resources additionally to the project. They care about your success and they are ready to learn. I’m the CIO, but I am also a system architect and business analyst. From first-hand experience, I know how ready they were to learn all the best practices that I brought to them with this project. They are using the practices in the project as much as they can. Their flexibility to adapt to user needs and to consider the customer in terms of making something cheaper, but still deliver the business value, is what I value from them. You are not just a figure on their balance sheet.
Are there any areas Websolutions Agency could improve?
That’s a very dangerous question to ask from someone who has been a quality auditor for 11 years, and who has optimized organizations and systems all his life. I’m quite strict about improvements, so yes, of course, there can be better things to do always. For instance, currently, with Websolutions I would say the best thing that would help them is improving their planning of resources, in terms of having more time to do validations and verifications of the code. At the end, we got the quality we wanted. We would have gotten it sooner if more complex parts were more rigorously verified before pushing to production.