They did not understand our dreams!
Role: Gedragsdeskundige at Fenikstalent
Experience with Clavax
We had the idea to create a platform that would be a mixture between Wikipedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, especially for performing artists. Not because we wanted to make big money, but because we thought it would be nice to have a forum where performing artists (professional and amateur) could meet and interact with the audience.
We selected Clavax mainly because of their tagline ‘We Understand your Dreams Personally’ - ‘Bridging the gap between ideas and reality with our state-of-the art solutions. Let’s work together to make your app!’
In reality things went differently. They did not understand our dreams!
A few examples of the tiresome discussions we had: We can’t even remember how many times we had to explain how we’d like to manage the content for deceased artists’ pages (they did not understand that content was more important than ownership – ‘No, Shakespeare will really not manage his own account’), after 4 months they still thought that a ‘company’ was a tax-paying legal entity (they could have googled that!), they did not understand that the forum was about interaction (and not a list of events) and explaining matters became difficult, when Clavax proved to be very headstrong on certain topics, while not understanding what the application was about.
We had kick-off meetings where our requirements were discussed and understood (or so they said). We had prepared rather a lot (wireframes and written requirements) upfront and basically, what happened was that Clavax created a nice logo (granted) and some nice screen lay-out, but what happened after that, was not professional.
Once functionalities were being developed, the focus lay on creating events and showing overviews of what was on show for a given place or date. That was not what we had in mind. We wanted interaction! Not some static calendar. But … they had not foreseen any interaction with social media (except from ‘login with facebook’) which was our main goal from the start.
We were asked to test what they had developed. After the first round of testing we provided feedback. We were told all was fixed. But when we checked again not all was fixed. Later we heard ‘that is fixed on our development environment and not yet on your QA server’. Duh? While we sat devastated looking at our screens, Clavax was already pushing us with ‘nice ideas for version 2.0 and creating the forum into a smartphone app! We were still looking at some webpages that didn’t do what we wanted them to do
The fact that Clavax didn’t understand what the major goal of the application was, lead to an application that was far from what we had in mind. It was so far from our dream that is would need a lot of rework to get where we wanted to be.
Could we have picked up on this earlier in the process, before Clavax claimed to have completed 98% of the project? The answer would probably be ‘yes’ if we got not lost in discussions back and forth about the format of a phone number, explaining the difference between Dutch and Deutsch, characteristics of European addresses, and so on.
We decided to stop the project (and take the loss of what we invested so far) because it was not going where we wanted it to go. If we wanted interaction with social media, that would have been a ‘new requirement’ and extra cost (of course!).
When asking for the final invoice, we heard that we would need to pay for 98% of completion of the project, because that was what they believed what was already developed. That was the absolute proof that they did not understand one thing about the project. We were at 70% of completion at best.
Our lesson learned is that when contracting development to Clavax, you need to have every little detail of the requirements written on paper upfront (all things not on paper are extra features and thus extra cost). Saying that interaction on social media is part of your app, apparently doesn’t imply that you would like to share photos on Instagram or let your friends know on facebook that you went to a certain event, … That was not what we expected. They did not understand our dreams!
Services: Web Development
Project Budget: $10001 to $50000
Project Duration: 25 Weeks
Project Status: Completed