What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We haven’t released any of the production yet. We were hoping to release it by March 2020, but because of the pandemic, we’ve decided to hold off until things settle down. The rescheduled website and app launch date will likely be June 2020. At that point, I’ll probably have better metrics of how our user base has been able to receive what Xmartlabs has done.
From my own perspective and experience of dealing with them, their graphics department is very talented. Their research and design team is also amazing; they’ve done their due diligence when it comes to market research. In terms of the big players we strive to compete against, Xmartlabs has helped us to learn from their mistakes. They’ve also adopted their successes and applied it to our design and development. The app is ready to be released and I’m very happy; I have nothing bad to say. I’m just excited to release it to the public.
How did Xmartlabs perform from a project management standpoint?
We’ve used a lot of project management tools, like Notion for documentation and Trello for sprint runs, tracking action items and who is working on what, and prioritization of feature sets. Another tool we used was Pivotal, which is mostly for the technical feature sets and making sure that cards are assigned to the right developer and part of the software development cycle.
From a resource perspective, they’ve been on top of it. They make sure that action items are assigned and documentation is posted and available for everyone to see for the different departments we have internally. They’ve communicated with us in a very prompt manner the dates that they anticipate something will be accomplished by, and they’ve met those dates with flying colors.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They’re very good at multiple things, but one that comes to mind is autonomy; as a CTO, I have a lot of things going on internally, and the last thing I want is to be micromanaging people. It’s as simple as me providing Xmartlabs with a task that I want done and its prioritization, and they’re very capable of understanding the task and asking any questions if anything is unclear during the process. They work autonomously and deliver right to the point.
Another key strength of theirs is that nothing seems to faze them. If I ask for something, they’re capable of having ideation sessions and problem-solving, and then they come back with multiple solutions to address any problems or feature sets. When I’ve presented things to previous vendors, they’d do nothing but complain about it taking too long or something not being feasible or clear. Xmartlabs takes whatever I give them, asks the right questions, and acts upon it.
When it comes to quality, they’re amazing; they don’t compromise or take shortcuts, which I’ve also experienced with previous vendors. Xmartlabs learned very quickly that I’m a perfectionist who pays attention to very small details, and they’ve made sure to apply this across the whole experience and application.
Are there any areas they could improve?
The one thing that I struggled with a few times was the availability of resources. When we needed extra developers for iOS, Android, or PHP, it did take them quite some time, around 1–2 months, to find that resource. My only criticism is that they didn’t always have someone available, but not every vendor is expected to have a developer there to dispense. They did eventually find the right person, and sometimes the new person was even better than the previous person.