The client is a real estate startup offering custom software that allows property owners to manage student housing facilities more efficiently. Limited development resources in-house coupled with an aggressive project timeline required that the client find a partner to support the design and development of their custom real estate solution. SteelKiwi Development was contracted through Elance to augment the client's team of developers and support the implementation of multiple new features to the core functionality of their custom solution.
The client remains very satisfied with the work completed by SteelKiwi Development. According to the client, SteelKiwi Development was instrumental to the successful enhancement of their custom solution. SteelKiwi Development received considerable praise for their ability to adhere to the client's aggressive deployment timeline as well as use their preferred project management tools. The client recommends SteelKiwi Development to others without hesitation.
"SteelKiwi Development provided a high level of communication – weekly calls, and daily updates – using our platforms, systems, and trackers. They were integrated in our systems fully. Obviously, that's the goal for any team, but we did achieve it with them."
Please describe your organization.
I work at a design and development agency from Salt Lake City. We operate and run multiple platforms and products. We support quite a few clients, but on this project specifically, we've engaged SteelKiwi on some Django and AngularJS work.
What is your position?
I am the CEO of the company.
What business challenge were you trying to address with SteelKiwi Development?
They have augmented our team in the past. One product that SteelKiwi has specifically helped us on a property management platform built in Python. We needed to enhance the platform and we worked with them to add manpower and hit a few key deadlines together.
Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.
With their help, we developed and implemented some general features, enhancements, a lot of bug fixing and QA [quality assurance]. Generally, they were involved in a lot of the platform's core functionality, rather than implementing a significant number of new features. Their work was comprised of a lot of enhancements, bug fixes and small iterations. The development methodology we were using was a kind of modified agile. We were doing weekly scrums with their team, but a daily push.
How did you come to work with SteelKiwi Development?
We found them using Elance. We looked at the size of their team, the size of the projects they completed, and their ratings on Elance.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
We worked with them on an hourly basis, which came to probably around $80,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
The project was completed about two weeks ago. We haven't expanded the scope of their involvement yet, but we look forward to that opportunity in the future.
Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
We're happy with them. Our main metrics of measurability weren't user engagement, they were timing out on different API [application programming interface] calls. Really just taking each API call that we have and putting it under the microscope together and making sure it is as good as it can be. I would say that, overall, they met the majority of our performance expectations.
How did SteelKiwi Development perform from a project management standpoint?
There were no major issues from a project management perspective. We went into it eyes wide open, knowing there's a time delay with communication. They would extend their hours each day to make sure we overlapped a little bit. They gave us a project manager, which was an unbilled manager that seemed to work full-time, if not three-quarters of the time.
We've used a lot of contractors over the years for different projects. SteelKiwi was very responsive and inside our platform, using our technologies, using our systems for time tracking, using our systems for bug tracking, so they just jumped right into our platforms. We used Asana as a project management tool.
What distinguishes SteelKiwi Development from other providers?
SteelKiwi Development provided a high level of communication – weekly calls, and daily updates – using our platforms, systems, and trackers. They were integrated with our systems fully. Obviously, that's the goal for any team, but we did achieve it with them.
Is there anything SteelKiwi Development could have improved or done differently?
I think we'll always do better with in-house employees, just because communication would be better. But, for an outsourcing team, augmenting ours for a sprint like that, it was a great relationship.