Platform Redevelopment for Health Wellness Startup
- Health, Wellness u0026 Fitness
- Platform redevelopment
- 11-50 Employees
- Austin, Texas
They instill this level of passion that I’ve never seen with any other development company.– VP, Business
5/5 CLIENT REVIEW
Praxent audited an existing platform before concluding it required a complete overhaul. The project team remains focused on the new system and expects to achieve major milestones in the coming months.
The project has taken a life of its own thanks to Praxent and their contributions. Assigned resources bring superior expertise and steadfast dedication to client success.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
We have a health and wellness platform providing useful health information to consumers. It’s a data-driven solution. I’m the co-founder and VP of business.
Opportunity / Challenge
What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?
We engaged them to build some of our backend and frontend software.
What was the scope of their involvement?
We just delivered the requirements, and they assembled the team themselves. I wasn’t actually involved in that initial meeting, but we just told them what we wanted to do and they knew who to put on that project. The important thing when you’re hiring these types of companies is you need to be specific with your requirements. From that, they’ll know who their best guys are and put them on it.
We had a working demo platform, but we ended up using what Praxent came up with. We showed them what we were doing. They tore it up and said, “We don’t need to use any of your original code. We can do this whole thing ourselves and come up with a much better approach.”
The platform had a whole new set of features. They looked at what our demo version was doing in terms of functionality and user experience. They included some of the features in our demo, but they built that code from scratch to deliver the identical features that we wanted just using better code, technology, and software. They delivered a whole set of features that we wanted that we hadn’t been able to get before with the other developers that we had hired. None of our original code has been used to date.
There are three main software developers, a project manager who’s not writing code but driving this through to completion, a user design/user interface expert who codes the user experience, and then there are two other developers who are doing most of the coding in terms of functionality of the actual technology. There are four people (software developers and project manager) that are doing most of the work, and then there are a few other people that will pop into meetings here and there to discuss an issue. It’s been the same team the whole time.
How did you come to work with Praxent?
I think we found them on a Google search, but I actually don’t know. I’ll have to ask the founder because he’s the one who found them. We are based in Austin, and their headquarters are in Austin, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them just by searching local software development agencies, where they would certainly be at the top.
We implemented a very sophisticated approach to sourcing developers. We retained a better end software developer just to help us assemble the team because what we’re doing is really complex. We had a guy that we hired to help us source experts in very specific coding and software development, so we had assembled this whole team in that way. In doing that, they still couldn’t come up with what we wanted. But once we started working with Praxent, they were able to do it. In addition to their skill as developers, their CEO really cares about their brand, what they stand for, and how they communicate to the world who they are.
What is the status of this engagement?
We have been working with them for about two months.
Results & Feedback
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We define success with them in terms of whether or not they program, develop, and engineer this software according to the specs. We had a very specific functionality that we look for. So if they deliver that functionality, that’s a huge success. We’re now at the point where we’re testing the software over thousands of use cases. If the software works on a huge data set, that’s success for us. They’ve been able to deliver all the time. We were shocked because they are building it from scratch. We gave them enough so that they understood the concept and the idea, but they ended up taking it in a whole new direction. They’re really sophisticated in what they do.
There aren’t any bugs that aren’t detected by them. Last week, we spent the whole day testing the software over many use cases. We were in a room in Austin working with their developers. Everyone on the team is connected—if not in person in the room, then connected by video feed. We were testing the software and data was being put to the server. As the data was coming in, they were fixing problems right there on the spot. It was pretty incredible.
For software development, you’re going to release an update, and there might be something wrong with it. When we released the first version, all of us on the team would test it and take screenshots of the error message we got, and then they would fix it. When we notice errors, we just tell them about it, and they fix it.
How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?
They have their own project management tool that they use that broke this entire project down to the very small actual steps. Each step is put into a column. For example, if we’re starting a project today with twelve steps, all twelve steps are put in the first column. They have a system where step one might be set up a database, so the first step in that process is something like identify the appropriate database structure. Once that step is done, it’s moved into the next column. Each step moves across a column based on how far along it is to be completed. Every morning, we can see each step and where it’s at in terms of completion. With every step, they identify red flags or anything that they need from us. If there’s a red flag with something, it’s an issue that they’re currently working on, so they share that with us. We know with every step how far along it is to be completed, what red flags exist if any, what they’re doing to resolve those red flags, and if it’s information they need from us, we know we have to provide that.
They have a very clear process where they manage every step of the project and we get those updates every morning in our 10-minute stand-up meetings. Every week, we have a weekly one-hour progress update where we review the accomplishments from the week before and what the objectives are for the week ahead. The agenda is all dictated by them based on the requirements that we give them. We’ll comment that this isn’t a priority anymore, so we can move that to a later technical spike. Everything is broken down into technical spikes. It’s a really meticulous process.
What did you find most impressive about them?
If they take your project, they’re really good at not only owning the project, but they get so passionate about what they do and solving problems. Their entire mission is to fix the problem that you’re having or deliver the piece of technology that you’re asking them to deliver. They even make suggestions when appropriate if they think we’re way off base on something. They instill this level of passion that I’ve never seen with any other development company, and I’ve worked with a lot of them. Everybody on our team has been working for some Silicon Valley startups for a long time. Their whole modus operandi is we want to help you disrupt your industry, we want to help you be the industry leader, and they bring that level of passion to your project. We get up every morning and feel like they’re a part of our team.
Are there any areas they could improve?
That’s tough. I don’t have a lot to comment on that. So far, we’re right on track on what we’re trying to accomplish.
On Time / DeadlinesnnWe’re up against some tough deadlines as well in our company, so we’re serious about our objectives. We’ve been through multiple agencies that we’ve ended up firing because they just couldn’t deliver. That says a lot.
Service & Deliverables
Value / Within estimates
Willing to Refer
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