BAGBNB is a startup service that helps people store luggage during their holiday. The Company is currently consists of 3 members: the CEO, the Product Owner, and Giulio, working as a consultant. Giulio is chief technology officer of the Company
partners since start
5€ in Europe
per bag per day
is on hand 24/7
Bad communication, low code quality and reliability, as well as cultural differences - these are the main reasons why huge amount of startups afraid to work with nearshore / offshore software development teams.
Are they right? Let's try to trace our 18 month ( and ongoing ) cooperation with BagBNB to answer this question.
July 2016, We started with wireframes, a few 3rd party widgets and overall description of functionality that should be done. July 2017 BagBNB had over 400 partners in Italy, Spain, France, UK, USA and in more than 10 other countries, was mentioned at le Gazeta, Wired and other top media. It showed that MVP we started with was the right move and gave Italy team chance to promote viable product 2 month after they contacted us.
Important step: Before any interaction was started we'd got a call with Giulio, BagBNB CEO, All team formed our side and set in stone what we want to acheive as a current result. It allowed us to focus on making a small piece of functionality working perfectly, and not spreading our attention to everything around. We was moving week by week, with weekly releases and each release was another bit of well tested functionality. So it quite obvious but, always share with your team what you really expect as a final result.
Well, nobody perfect and we not exclusion. To save time and get release faster we agreed to use not well teted 3rd party widgets provided by client and then was tight to it, fixing issues we discovered and expanding 3rd party to fit into business logic of BagBNB.
Important It's not always faster to use 3rd party which provides "almost the same" functioality. Distance between "almost" and "exact" functionality may cost you 1 week of time.
Considering that originally we had discussed about 2 month to get to prod, we face one easy thing "we have no space for error" especially when we was in a half way and it was about 3 weeks and a half till release.
Our silver bullet is a small iteration and demo with product owner to make as soon as possible. It allows us to detect and resolve issues before it will cost us a lot of time. Second point is acceptance criteria. We use Gherkin which is easy to convert to auto tests in future. As well as it's structure satisfies both product owner and development team expectations.
important step: Once you add user stories into your favorite PM tool ( we use customized Redmine, previously it was Jira ), split it into subtasks with team. Each subtask should not be more than 6-7 hours in estimate, it will allow to deliver at least 1 task per day and keep development lifecycle healthy.
Our favorite nearshore development teams review and quality audit platform - Clutch interviewed Giulio after initial iteration was done and we released BagBNB. Below we publish Q&A from Clutch interview
( whole interview available here )
ZaraffaSoft helped us with front-end user experience and backend development. We were assigned 3 developers and one product manager from ZaraffaSoft and worked directly with the developers through daily standup meetings. We organized an Agile team with a continuous development flow, deciding goals day by day.
A friend recommended ZaraffaSoft to us.
Since I am more of a technical consultant for the company, I cannot provide information on how ZaraffaSoft stuck to our scope. We defined some goals and were looking for a partner who could help us reach those goals while also providing added value like improving the quality of our projects. Our internal product owner wrote the stories, but ZaraffaSoft contributed to this by building features with few bugs. Working with offshore companies is difficult, but ZaraffaSoft has tried to cap this distance and provided quality software. We use the Kanban feature included in JIRA for tracking our progress as well as Skype for standup meetings.
We have appreciated the added value brought by the software built by them. ZaraffaSoft is a cost-effective option, by Italian standards, and they are very familiar with the Agile methodology. These are key features for us.