PFP Cybersecurity

Product Savvy Consulting provides project management and outsourced development for a cloud hosting infrastructure build and migration. They use the Agile method of sprints.

THE REVIEWER

VP of Engineering, PFP Cybersecurity

Name: James Harris


THE PROJECT

Software Development for Cyber Protection Solutions Firm


THE REVIEW

“Product Savvy Consulting’s support was invaluable as we turned a technical idea into a product.”


Project summary:

Product Savvy Consulting provides project management and outsourced development for a cloud hosting infrastructure build and migration. They use the Agile method of sprints.


Feedback summary:

Product Savvy Consulting contributes keen insight based on a substantial technical knowledge base and a valuable ROI. Their useful suggestions help flesh out user stories and technical requirements. The CEO has taken a personal hand in each facet of the process as the dedicated project manager.


BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the VP of engineering for PFP Cybersecurity. Our relative startup company works in a niche area of cybersecurity. We use side channel analysis to determine if devices are in a bad state or have been tampered with in some way.


OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Product Savvy Consulting, LLC?

I needed experts who could train our team and prepare us for the Agile process. We don't have a large or experienced engineering team in-house. Product Savvy Consulting is helping us develop our next generation cloud-based software.


SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Product Savvy Consulting is helping us outsource development and build the entire cloud infrastructure from scratch. We had previously conducted all our work on a PC basis. Moving to an entire cloud infrastructure is a new endeavor.


Product Savvy Consulting helped us plan this project by setting the requirements documents and preparing to begin the Agile process. Before starting development, we identified the developers' specific skill sets. Our software has a Java backend, a MySQL database, and Docker microservices. It required a full stack development process to build, which includes both frontend and backend engineering.


What is the team composition?

The CEO and founder serves as our project management resource. We're currently working with three full-time developers.


How did you come to work with Product Savvy Consulting, LLC?

I launched a startup company a few years ago through the state of Virginia's MACH37 cybersecurity accelerator. Jonathan (CEO and Founder, Product Savvy Consulting) was one of the mentors and teachers at their training program. He worked closely with us to help my previous startup and clarify our goals by creating user stories.


How much have you invested with them?

We've spent $100,000 and plan to continue working together. Product Savvy Consulting is training our developers to take on more of these roles so we can eventually outsource less and have our own developers do more work.


What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working together since April 2018. We're still early on in the development and are nearing the end of the second sprint. Much of the work upfront was organization. It took substantial effort to get us moving in the right direction.


RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Product Savvy Consulting provides a very valuable service. They facilitate the development, write real code, and program databases at a competitive price. There's no way we could afford this level of service with a local team or by hiring in-house employees with the same skill sets.


How did Product Savvy Consulting, LLC perform from a project management standpoint?

As the project manager, The CEO set the pace of our project and trained all our staff. He helped us organize and plan as we started this project from scratch. He carefully explained the documentation we lacked the internal expertise to understand. Slack is our primary means of communication. We used Atlassian tools on an ad hoc basis, rather than having an established process.


What did you find most impressive about them?

Product Savvy Consulting’s support was invaluable as we turned a technical idea into a product. The CEO, in particular, has an excellent way of getting people to focus on user stories He helped us carefully think through how people will actually interact with our product. He has the experience to bring in several developers and quickly get started. That's really important when you're first starting a project, especially with younger or inexperienced engineers. He excels at helping us focus on what it means to build a product for users. That's why I recommended him to our CEO when I started my role here.


Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Have a serious internal discussion about what your project is going to mean. Consider the commitment it requires to start the Agile process. Preparing to use this methodology will ensure that everything isn't a complete surprise. Preloading your understanding of what the process will be like will help you adapt ahead of time and make things easier for you.