Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The executive admin organization is our most our most vocal critic, but also the first people who would tell us when we are doing a great job. We had them as the pilot group. They also took part in the prototyping and design. We tried to win them over, and they think it's an easy app to use. It was a big thing for us since we don't really build iOS apps internally. We might develop an HTML5 app, but that wouldn't give us all the functionality of a native one.
When IT rolls out tools, they do it from a technology standpoint. The questions being asked around our videoconferencing equipment were around problems with cables or the devices themselves. Our feedback was that people had no idea where the problem was; they just wanted to tell us what it was. When we figured that out through our design process with WillowTree, we realized that we'd been asking the wrong question, thinking from our perspective and not the users' point of view. We came up with an app that’s easy to use. It allows users to walk through and identify what the problem is. They've been happy since they only need to tell us what the symptoms are. We also have an out for people who do know what the specific cause of a problem is, allowing them to take a picture and create a ticket directly.
How did WillowTree perform from a project management standpoint?
It was a quick project using Agile methodology. That was another area where we wanted to gain more experience. It took 3–4 sprints to reach the end of production, so it was a very well-run project. The managers kept the project going and kept us informed. Not only does WillowTree have good designers and developers, their project management is tight.
What did you find most impressive about WillowTree?
The principles of the organization are relatively flat. WillowTree's VP of development came over and talked about their processes. I wasn't shielded from the management, and the people running the company are actually involved in the development. That was a huge benefit to me since I had direct contact with people who could make a difference in the company.
Are there any areas WillowTree could improve?
The process felt heavy at times since we were involving so many people from WillowTree's team. As we went through it, we saw that WillowTree was leaving room for contingency. That meant if a developer became sick, there was another person already piggy-backing on their work who could take over. I don't know if this could be done differently, but it felt heavy. That was my only issue with WillowTree.