We encourage clients to work with us in using the principles of Agile Development to design and build projects quickly and well. The guiding principles are shown on the website of the Mobile Alliance; we stress the following:
We divide projects into two- or three-week sprints, in which just enough features are fully specified to fill this time.
Close Client Involvement
Between sprints, the customer representative should take part in face-to-face meetings to provide feedback and decide the content of the next sprint. This encourages constant course adjustments, unlike the older (waterfall) methodology in which the design is cast in stone at the outset, after which client input is penalized.
Deliver Working Software
We strive to provide deliverable software at the end of each sprint – polished and free of bugs or broken features. This boosts the confidence of both the customer and the team, allows accurate progress measurement and mitigates risk.
The Cost of Agility
In an Agile process, responding to change is valued over following a plan (see the Agile Manifesto). The customer is much more likely to be satisfied with the product, but at the cost of incomplete definition at the outset. It takes mutual trust – some clients may prefer to begin with a Waterfall approach. This can be accommodated by using a short waterfall project as the first sprint in an agile project.
We are proud to incorporate talented teams of offshore developers – see “Our Partners” on this page. Our projects mix dedicated offshore developers, project managers and designers with others from our Canadian group, resulting in labor rates half to two-thirds lower.
We would like to respond to some critics of offshore development:
In order to work closely with you on design, our architects and project managers live in your time zone so we are always there to answer your questions, or to call you to clarify matters.
We swim in your culture. And because we work closely over a long period with our offshore partners, both we and they develop a good understanding of cultural pitfalls and how to avoid them.
We’re here to make sure there aren’t any – et nous parlons Français aussi.
The idea is that overseas developers are inexperienced and eager to please, and so tend to underbid. Even though this does not apply to our partners, there is a poisonous tendency in our industry to underbid and make up the difference using change orders. The best antidote is the agile method – see the column on the left.
Lack of Recourse
You’ll make your contract with a North American entity. If anything goes wrong we’re here. So we have every incentive to make sure our customers stay happy, our reputation stays intact, and our assets stay unsued.
Our philosophy is to choose as partners small but growing companies with whom we have a personal connection; these are people whose work we or our close colleagues have admired over an extended period. They are boutiques rather than factories.
Bravemount has been building fine mobile software in Hyderabad, India since 2009. Their skilled programmers create for mostly international customers Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android and BADA applications, as well as providing web and mobile services in .NET and Flash.
YoungInnovations is a Nepal-based shop building static and dynamic websites and Portals for a wide range of Nepalese and International clients, with a good many government and NGO contracts under their belt. They have strong design capabilities and are especially strong in Drupal CMS development.