Agencies are often faced with a situation where their in-house resources are falling short. This is especially true for software development teams.
In these situations, agency owners have to ask themselves: “Should I hire new developers or should I try to find a remote partner?”.
Agiledrop is an example of a company that agencies can partner with to boost their development capacity. This company has a team of proven developers that can join the agency’s team in just a couple of hours, and stay on the project for as long as they are needed.
We talked to Iztok Smolič, one of the founders of Agiledrop, about how they help scale development resources of many digital agencies around the world.
Could you tell us more about Agiledrop and your position at the company?
Agiledrop enables digital agencies to win more work and work on bigger web development projects. Your agency can leverage our developers by augmenting their existing team or by letting us taking over development. My name is Iztok /eestoc/ and I am one of the co-founders and the commercial director of Agiledrop.
What advice would you give to other founders when it comes to leading a team of developers?
I like the quote from Abraham Lincoln: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Founder’s and manager’s responsibility is to have sharp developers. Many managers think that they have to hire for skills and experiences, but they forget that they can also train and mentor people to improve their skill. This can take time and money, but meanwhile, they can find help with partners like Agiledrop.
What is the first thing that comes to people’s minds when you describe what Agiledrop does?
I certainly wish to be able to read people’s mind, like Charles Francis Xavier from X-men. However, I can only wish they think about us as a potential partner that can help them grow their business. I’m sure the word outsourcing comes to their mind, so I always try to learn what outsourcing means to people and how they think it works. Many times we come to the conclusion that the outsourcing they know about is a broken model, while we have something better to offer.
How would you describe Agiledrop approach to new clients?
In one world: teammates. We treat our clients as partners and our developers become our client’s teammates. This means that we help our agencies achieve their goals and always think about how we can help them win more business, deliver on time and be profitable. We understand that in order for us to grow, we need to make sure our clients are successful too.
What differs your company from the competitors?
You could say that Agiledrop is competing in the outsourcing market. This means that we compete on a global scale with lots of competition. I would simply say that we are different because of the things we don’t do, not because of the things we do.
How do you manage your projects and people on those projects? Do you use some kind of tool to help you schedule people on projects?
Systems and processes are a must-have when you reach the size we are at right now. Even if they are not perfect, remember: better to use poor processes than no processes. We actually started putting processes in place when we were at number 20 and this ended up being a game changer for us. We absolutely use tools, and we bolt them together to reduce manual work and save time.
I believe using tools like Productive can be super valuable. First, you have everything in one place and second, you can already borrow best practices.
What were the highlights of the year 2018 for Agiledrop?
We had a very successful year. We grew from 25 to 38 people and increased our revenue accordingly. This has further stabilized our business. We signed up new clients and strengthened relationships with our existing partners. I would say that a couple of long-term contracts we just recently won will truly change our company and enable us to grow even more next year.
How did the world of web development change over the last ten years? What is the trend now in web development world?
The world of web development changes on a yearly basis. New languages, new technologies, and new trends. Leaving out buzzwords and shiny technologies, I would say mobile made the biggest difference in web development. Today the trend is in decoupled front-ends and progressive web applications.