I decided I needed to get a product to launch as quickly as possible that has the basic functionality of my idea, but let’s users help dictate the next features I add vs. me making these kind of spendy assumptions (i.e. it will cost me money to add any features, so they are spendy).
I posted the project on ODesk and narrowed it down to about 5 companies after several weeks of bidding and back and forth emails.
I had the companies sign a developer NDA. and then had them review the spec document, interview over Skype and then send me their final project timeline, and bid.
I felt confident in the company I selected, they said they could complete the project by August 1st (this was mid June when I selected the company). They said they didn’t have any issues with the customization (drupal framework), they had passed all my interviews etc. and I was stoked! My site would be launched in 1.5 months.
….Fast forward to the end of July. They hadn’t even hit the first milestone. My project scope was insanely detailed, they even said they didn’t have many questions as it was all laid out in the spec document.
The problem was, the development of even some of the basic functions was beyond their skill set, or at least that’s what it appeared to be, when they were 1 month behind schedule on a first milestone.
Frankly, I have no patience for missed milestones with out logical reason and 1 month was way to much, it just wasn’t working well and I didn’t get that good instinctual feeling that they were the right team, so I let them go.
I paid them what I thought as a fair amount for work they had done, knowing that I would probably have to scrap it. I decided that ODesk would be great for simple, easy to setup sites, but for some custom work/coding I won’t be using the service again. In addition, the company I used actually asked me to give them a 5 star rating because it helps them get business… ? Are you kidding me?
I found another outsourcing company Beyondsoft and they are AMAZING! In the month of working on my website, I am truly impressed. They are working with me as a team, suggesting ideas and tweaks to my existing specs and helping to make the site even better. They “get it” and I am so relieved to have the right team on board. BTW if you want to contact Beyondsoft, reach out to Michael Aday – mike.aday (at) beyondsoftconsulting.com.
Bottom line, tread carefully when outsourcing. Trust your instinct, if it’s not working, get out now and find the right team, even if it takes a bit of searching, it’s worth the wait.