Below are some quick facts about our clients:
With multiple inquiries a year for new projects, including requests from our current clients, we select new clients and projects carefully. It’s important to us that the value we bring will significantly exceed the fees we charge.
Our culture is best described as open, friendly and precise.
A healthy culture is incredibly important to everyone at eForge. While our culture will be influenced by every new person we hire, it’s built on the foundation of our core purposes and core values. We believe if our core is strong then we don’t need lots of processes, procedures and rules in place. In general, if we take care of our clients and each other then the rest will take care of itself.
Our core purposes, or the reasons eForge exists are to create life changing opportunities through technology. Some examples of these include:
Our core values permeate our very way of thinking and doing things on a daily basis. They include:
Dedication to every staff member’s long-term success.
Solutions that are meaningful to those we serve.
Trust and personal responsibility in all our relationships.
We’re not “order-takers” and we don’t just “build-to-spec.” We actively engage in finding the best solutions and owning projects, end-to-end. Our reputation has been built on delivery of spot-on solutions.
We’re best suited for these types of engagements or relationships:
All our staff get paid to learn and share. This includes reading relevant books, attending webinars, and self-study on relevant technology pages and forums.
We regularly hold lunch ‘n learns at the office, so our people can learn from each other. We also develop every employee in project management, engineering best practices, good design, and business strategy.
When hiring developers, we focus on finding people who
Naturally, different people have different interests. Over time, each person develops their own specialty in a few areas (eg: security or front-end or SQL optimisation). This means that collectively, our team is fluent in many languages, technology stacks, and specialties.
We will not sign an NDA before our initial call. It’s important that we know enough about the business to evaluate whether there’s a conflict with our current or past clients. In addition, we talk to over 500 potential new clients a year. It’s inevitable that we hear similar ideas.
We will only sign an NDA if:
Communication between project teams and clients is not limited to interactions with the Project Leader. Every member of the eForge team is empowered to communicate with our clients. It’s common for phone calls and emails to be exchanged throughout the work week between eForge teams and their clients.
Every project team at eForge is assigned to a team email (eg: firstname.lastname@example.org). Below is a summary of all formal communication methods that will occur throughout the project:
Weekly Status Update
Outline the following: what was worked on last week, what’s happening this week, any questions/issues, status of the project.
This should be a standing call every week that’s scheduled upon kick-off. The purpose is to touch base and talk through any issues, get answers to questions, check-up on action items, or gather feedback.
This is an email notice sent by the Team Leader or Program Manager to the Client outlining what’s happened since the last build and what’s ready for testing and feedback.
Projects fail for one major reason – poor communication. Establishing communication and planning rhythms is the most important aspect of software project management. These rhythms include:
Our project management practices are centred around a “no surprises” philosophy that keeps everyone informed at all times and attacks risks as they emerge.
Software is rarely “done”. We know that our clients and their users will continue to have great ideas throughout the process and after the initial delivery. As your business changes, your software will need to evolve and adapt.
It’s common after the first release to pause on building features for a bit and focus on enhancements or fixes to drive user adoption.
We use a private, internal GitLab repository to store and manage all our project source code. We use Git for source control and Jenkins for continuous integration. All of this helps us make deployment easier.
We also have a standard way of deploying to different “tiers” as outlined below.
Quality Assurance Tier
Project leader will merge together the team’s code and push everything here. At this point, work is ready for testing by eForge QA team or automated tests will run against whatever is pushed.
Once eForge QA has approved work on the QA deployment, the Project Leader will push the approved branch here. At this point, work is ready for testing and feedback from the Client.
Once Client has approved work on the DEMO deployment, the Project leader will push the approved branch here. At this point, new features are released to live users.
Examples of typical projects for us are:
On many occasions, we’ve done projects for clients who have just enough budget for a “Version 1”. They spend some time getting familiar with the software and come back for another round of design and development with a more informed sense of where the software needs to go.
We can’t answer this question responsibly until we understand your idea, business, market, users, etc. While we can’t tell you exactly what your project will cost, we can draw on the many projects we’ve delivered and tell you what’s typical for the projects we’re best suited to help you with.
While it’s really difficult to know the specific costs of the project without going through a discovery phase like our Research, Design, and Planning phase, we can usually help you set a responsible budget before you ever hire us.
It’s also important to keep in mind that most projects get broken up into multiple phases. During the first phase of development, our goal is always to focus on the highest value features and architect something that sets us up for future phases.
No matter how large or small your budget, it’s always our goal that the value our clients receive, significantly exceeds the fees we charge.
When paying for custom software, you should have the mindset of paying a team to design and develop the first instance of a product. Custom software projects are ripe with risk, including: building the right product, funding the schedule risks, third-party integrations, and technical approaches that need to be proved out.
Remember, you are paying your team to help you mitigate these risks, not to financially own them. Each sprint or release is not guaranteed of a finished, bug-free product.
However, we do have standards and best practices in place that encourage the members of our team to do their best to build a high-quality product.
We encourage our clients to embrace bugs, embrace risks, and to know that we will do everything we can to address both. Our team will track bugs and work them into the schedule each week with other backlog items.
Out team is smart and experienced; we do our best at predictably building your product. With each iteration. We’ll take what we’ve learned and integrate these new insights to keep quality high.
Be aware that the financial risk of developing custom software is in your hands. A warranty doesn’t come from our development team, but it’s what you will offer to your customers and employees. Taking on the financial risk is why you have such a potentially significant upside.
Yes. Our engagements are “fixed budget, scope controlled” meaning we’ll help you develop a responsible budget and we’ll stick to it.
Since we’ve never worked with clients who have fewer ideas than they have money or time, our job is to figure out the best possible software application we can build for the given budget. That requires thoughtful understanding of the users and the market. From there, we’ll work to control the scope of the project, both in depth (polish, refinement, complexity) and breadth (features, functionality).
We guarantee cost. In an industry that’s infamous for cost overruns and low-ball bids, we go to great lengths in our upfront process to de-risk projects. This effort produces spot-on solutions, accurate estimates, and successful relationships. If we underestimate the value of a task then we’ll eat 100% of the additional cost until we’re back on track. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.
We also guarantee that you can cancel anytime. By putting the power of termination in our client’s hands, it ensures we’re held accountable every step of the way.
Yes, we have had a handful of projects fail in our history. In every case, the failure could be attributed to communication issues that included:
In the event of each failure, we ate the full cost of the project until it was back on track. We know this was the right thing to do.
After taking our lumps, we improved our processes and our training. Some improvements include:
eForge has a broad skillset, which gives us the power to explore options and select the best languages, platforms, and tools for each job. We do about 80% of our work with these:
Yes, we’ve handled HIPAA compliance on several large-scale, multi-year projects in the healthcare space and PCI compliance is something we handle regularly since 80% of our projects involve the processing, transmission or storage of credit card data.
Upon request, we can provide our entire security and compliance package that details our policies and practices in regard to data handling, security, and all other safeguards. This even includes all policies related to our hosting packages.