Indiespring helps technology providers build great applications, meaning we work with in-house development teams every day. In an age of flexible resourcing, talented freelancers and off/near-shore outsourcing it is easy to see independent agencies as an overpriced route to getting the job done.

High up front fees, fixed deliverables, change requests, long term contracts that lock you in and constantly changing “personnel” working on your “account” just doesn’t work in the modern world of project delivery.

We’re changing that by building an agency that, from the ground up, is focussed on collaboration, flexibility and shared wins. The Indiespring Way is our approach to working and it turns everything you know about third party collaboration on its head. 

The Indiespring Way is centered on our three tenets of transparency, trust and shared success and it starts with suggesting there’s a good chance that you don’t need an agency like ours at all…

We solve issues of competence; not capacity.

Thinking is more important than doing.

We provide “real” dedicated teams.

Working together – not “playing it back” to you.

Thinking beyond the application.

Death of the almighty day rate and sharing the win.

We solve issues of competence; not capacity.

If you know what you want delivered and you’ve simply got too much on, we’re probably not for you. Use a group of awesome contractors of an offshoring firm.

Are you just too busy

to get everything done?

You don’t need us.

We know the feeling. Too many requirements; too many stakeholders; too much work for you to deliver. Unreasonable deadlines, unexpected requests and unknown requirements. A feeling that an extra pair of hands will give you the breathing space you need and let your team focus on the priorities.

When you are maxed out the idea of offloading some of your workload is an appealing one and it offers a short-term solution to deliver work beyond the capacity of your in-house team.

Traditionally the agency model actually favours a client who knows exactly what they want. A clear specification, well laid out and with little uncertainty. A project with little risk which can be delivered on time and on budget. A win for everyone.

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If you know what you want but find yourself with a resourcing shortfall, whilst we sympathise, the truth is you don’t need us…it wouldn’t make sense. 

What you need is a reliable outsource partner who can take your specified requirements and deliver the results you need. If you have the required management processes and QA systems that could be a contractor, if not it’s an outsourcing firm but it wouldn’t be an agency like ours.

The real value we bring to any partnership is filling a skills gap and allowing you to focus your team’s energy and attention on what it is good at. If your problem is a lack of experience in mobile application development and delivery then we can help. We have years of experience designing, delivering and maintaining mobile applications for our clients. We’ve brought our expertise to bear on many projects – we can show you how it’s done and teach you what we know.

Thinking is more important than doing.

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Indiespring believe the most important phase of any project is the discovery and design process. We need to take the lead here and have the time and ability to bring our best people to the problem.

We’re here to help design the

perfect solution to your problem…

…so please start with the problem you want to solve not a solution you would like implemented. We have an established framework and process that lets us understand the problems unique to your circumstances, diagnose the problem and design the perfect solution that we know will deliver real value. 

It’s what lets us share the risk and reward in many of the projects we engage in.

That process needs time, structure and support from you to be successful. It is the most critical stage for the project’s success and we won’t put our name against a solution that hasn’t had the attention it requires.

It’s for this reason we don’t respond to RFPs nor compete in formalised pitch processes. We work with clients who acknowledge they need us to take the lead in the early stages of the engagement so we can task our best people with diagnosing you problem.

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They’re relying on our expertise to design a compelling and effective solution.

You’re short changing yourself and side stepping years of experience if you don’t allow us to understand your requirements and challenges and put our best people on building and designing a solution that we know will work.

Providing “real” dedicated teams.

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Our staff turnover rate is less than 1%. By treating our staff fairly we can build dedicated teams for our client’s work which we guarantee. You know who you’re working with, you’ve worked with them for years and that knowledge doesn’t consistently walk out of the door.

Let’s talk turnover…

The most important question to ask any agency is their staff turnover rate. It tells you everything you need to know about how they treat their team and how much they value long term thinking for their clients.

Why is that? The agency likes to band people into groups. You’re receiving 10 hours of “senior developer” time. Who is this mysterious senior developer? The truth is he could be anyone. A faceless commodity substituted in to deliver cookie cutter work for whichever project is scheduled for that day. The worker might not even be an employee of the agency.

It’s utter insanity. It degrades the worker and contradicts the agency’s supposed focus on strategy and partnership by suggesting that anyone can deliver any work required.

Why has the agency model focused on job titles and not individuals? It’s simple; in most agencies a combination of commercial model and staff “churn” means that it is impossible to provide the same people to the same client on a consistent basis.

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The best staff are put on new projects not long term engagements because that’s the financial model the agency is built on.

The average staff turnover in a digital agency is 30%. Let that sink in. Almost a third of the team working for you will leave each year. 

We build dedicated teams to serve our clients so they know who they are working with and, perhaps more importantly, our team know yours’ as well. We believe the relationships and knowledge base that forms as a result of this partnership is as invaluable as it is intangible.

Working together – not “playing it back” to you.

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A playback is not a collaborative partnership that builds long term teams. Our projects are delivered alongside your developers, often with them in the same room so everyone can benefit from one another’s expertise.

The perfect project

Having realised that you’ve not got the experience to deliver a project you decide to work with an agency to help fill the skills gap. You decide what is to be delivered, agree on a price, are told a delivery date, wait patiently and then (hopefully!) receive a quality piece of work on time and on budget. You happily rejoice having got just what you needed.

Where’s the long term value? How is your team enriched or better equipped? What happens when the next project comes along, or the project needs amending. What if the project doesn’t meet requirements? 

It’s so old fashioned.

What’s needed is a collaborative approach to project delivery wherein your team and the agencies work together, every day, to ensure the project is delivered (of course) but also to give your team the skills, experience and knowledge to build upon the foundation.

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Ah – ha, some say, but progressive agencies offer weekly “playbacks” which involves the team along the way! But is a playback really a partnership or is it a glimpse into the black box like the windows at the edge of a construction site.

Knowledge transfer is a dirty wordk in the agency world. The secret sauce needs to be protected. The in-house team is derided. It’s imperative that the agency is the black box – specification in, work out, with no clue as to the magic in between. 

That’s just not how the world works now. Through online tools such as Slack, JIRA, GIT and others we make sure that your dedicated team is an extension not a replacement. Knowledge transfer is a good thing – it’s in everyone’s interests for you to understand how the project is built and how to maintain and improve it.

We promote regular on-site/off-site working (and playing!) between both teams. Our guys come to you, your guys come to us; it doesn’t matter. The sooner everyone is working together and sharing expertise the sooner the project will be successful. It is how software is written these days.

Don’t work with an agency who wants to distance you from delivery. If you can’t put your guys in a room with theirs, if you can’t see their work every day, they’re still working in the Mad Men era.

Thinking beyond the application

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We have built our agency on the back of long term relationships which let us spend our time improving applications over the long term. We don’t need to jump from one high earning project to the next to stay afloat.

Discover.  Design. Develop. Maintain.

The classic pattern of software development that all development teams follow. A time honoured and proven approach that delivers a solid end product. A big up-front fee and a nice ongoing retainer. For  classic software development, it’s a great fit, and indeed it will deliver an incredible application to your customers.

In this day and age though a well considered app that is maintained over time just isn’t enough. An app’s success is dictated by more than just the quality of it’s design and development – the eco system requires a much broader perspective and ongoing commitment.

Unlike traditional software, the platforms on which these apps run is changing and evolving every month. New device types, from new vendors,  on new platforms, with new distribution channels with new rules mean proactive monitoring of the handsets and App Store policies is essential. We proactively monitor and test all of our apps across their lifespan against a library of 150 devices – you can’t just have a QA phase and release any more.

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Analytical platforms which used to measure clicks, taps and interactions don’t cut it. Modern UI performance monitoring tools ensure the user has a slick experience and helps our team work out why the interface may be slow; crashlytics capture every application crash and send details information back to base.

Every day we launch new iterations of interfaces without resubmitting apps using cutting edge A/B testing suites testing cohorts of users to see which perform the best for whom; push notifications need the same attention, positive review curation is essential; being appropriately optimised for the App Store and having a sensible paid campaign to support traffic – we think you get the point.

We said earlier that the most critical phase of an application’s project delivery is the discovery and design phase, which is true, but the most critical phase of a project’s long term success is the ongoing suite of work which doesn’t simply maintain but proactively improves and adapts it to the mobile ecosystem.

From the beginning we design the whole solution, not just the software. You can’t tack that on at the end, it has to be baked in from the beginning.

Death of the almighty day rate – sharing the win

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 We are invested, sometimes literally, in the success of our projects. Instead of billing our time at a high day rate we can be completely open to new remuneration models that are focussed on the success of our work such as profit sharing, success based milestone payments, leasing the solution, adoption based pricing and many more.

A deep understanding of the problem.

Time to produce a compelling solution.

An ongoing commitment to improving and maintaining the app’s wider success. All delivered by a committed, dedicated extension of your team that are learning from one another every day,

The various components of our approach allow us to deliver solutions which we are committed and bought in to. 

As such we are invested, sometimes literally, in the success of our projects. Instead of billing our time at a high day rate we can be completely open to new remuneration models that are focussed on the success of our work such as profit sharing, success based milestone payments, leasing the solution, adoption based pricing and many more.

We have found the projects that step away from a traditional hourly rate are by far the most successful in the long term for both parties. That can be hard to understand but the root of the problem lies in the constraints of time-bound deliveries.

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When charging for time (either fixed cost or time and materials) an artificial limit is placed on a project’s delivery. The agency is incentivised to deliver work as quickly as possible with resources as low cost as possible. The focus is on the project’s budget and profitability, not it’s long term success. Attention goes to the project with the highest day rate.

You lose flexibility – any changes are costed, the dreaded change request arrives or the additional sprint costs start to mount up. Your focus is on percentage of budgets used, story points burnt or other effort based metrics.

Paying for project delivery using hourly rates is archaic and damages the projects chance of success for everyone. All of the incentives are misaligned.

 

Projects which are paid for based on the success of implementation over time help everyone. We are aligned to success and will spend the time we need to ensure it. You can focus less on controlling the project and more on helping it succeed.

Most agencies won’t offer this model because they :

  1. Don’t or can’t invest the time up front to deliver a great solution
  2. Their high initial project-fee lead model doesn’t focus on long term success 
  3. They can’t dedicate teams to your partnership because they turnover so quickly

Because we’re different – we don’t have these problems. We would be happy to discuss a commercial model centred on fairness for all parties, shared successes and a long term commitment.