G2Guide™ has researched hundreds of development teams consisting of thousands of developers, designers, business analysts and architects - onshore and offshore. To easily scale and deliver an efficient service, we invested in back-end technology early on. We use our own, in-house developed, bespoke technology and algorithms to streamline our processes and ensure the best high quality results.
Our teams have developed apps for global brands such as Sixt rental cars; Lynk, Ireland's leading taxi app; John Deere (AG Dealers), one of the worlds most admired companies; and tomorrows startup successes, Go Get and Food Cloud, leading task outsourcing and food delivery apps.
G2Guide provides end-to-end management to make your product and project a success, delivering guaranteed quality results, on time, within affordable fixed budgets.
Back in 2007 we realised that we needed complex technology to run businessbuyguide, a sister brand to G2Guide. With a very small budget and limited time I knew that the total cost of project delivery through offshore developers could be more expensive than onshore, despite significantly lower development costs. I knew that cultural differences, different timezones, languages and general communication norms may be different. Hey, I grew up and went to school in 3 countries, I speak 3 languages, I've worked professionally in nearly a dozen countries and during my 5 years at Gartner I learnt a thing or two. I know about cultural differences and the impact they can have.
We found a development company, based in the USA, through a b2b matching site. We had good pre-sales discussions and we thought they would be a good match for our project, notwithstanding the real language and cultural differences between the UK and US. We paid our deposit and a week later, during the kick-off meeting, I noticed that Harry, the project manager, who was a part of the pre-sales team, no longer had a US accent.
After the first few weeks, it became clear that we were expected to rely on the account manager rather than the project manager for updates, change requests and all verbal communications. In summary, they had omitted to tell us that the project would be delivered by their offshore team, based in Chennai, India. The account manager had impeccable English and was based in New York, or at least that is what we were led to believe. However, although the project manager seemed capable, his English and general client communication skills were negatively affecting the project and our perception of the team's competency.
We decided to persevere even though a month down the line - despite a very clear and detailed specification - we felt we were spending a disproportionate amount of time on communication, with ever later delivery dates and a lack of clarity and no confidence regarding a final completion date, things were going from bad to worse. More than 2 months into what should have been a 2 month build, we were thinking about asking for our money back. We came very close to disaster in month 3 - stressed and with the developer threatening to cancel - we were about to book flights to India. Instead, we decided to put more focus into a recovery plan.
First, I dropped many of my other responsibilities so that I could work directly with the project manager, nearly full time. My first challenge was to break down the cultural barriers and really get to know the development team and project manager, as people. Next, I started to use more diagrams and scenarios to discuss what we wanted (instead of the prescriptive specification that we had started with). Given the urgency to deliver, I started hosting daily meetings with the developers, and to adopt a very iterative approach to all work. Finally, we started to focus the team on discrete sections of work that would make an immediate contribution and and allow us to launch a MVP. Collaboration is the key word here because now we were finally collaborating, instead of just working, with the developers. Later we would learn that we were applying most of the widely recognised agile techniques during the development stage.
Result - complete transformation; project was a little late but a working version that met the initial requirement was delivered. To be fair to the development team, we received more features and a better quality product than we had initially specified. We created a MVP and launched - we continued to develop, iterate and refine the MVP based on data/evidence from the market. We applied the same principles to everything that could be measured - landingpage performance, prospect migration through the sales funnel, channel partners' performance and more. Later, we discovered that the techniques we adopted during this part of our startup journey would be called "Lean" techniques.
Agile and Lean are in our DNA
G2Guide matches your project to the best supplier(s) and provides you with a product manager to deliver quality projects, on time and at an agreed fixed cost - this is at the heart of everything we do.