November 23, 2020
Kashin app is a gamified learning platform for students that pays to learn. Kashin is helping teachers/educators reward students based on learning and behavior, creating a fun environment. The platform allows teachers to assign and monetize educational videos, games, lessons and quizzes, as well as behavioral actions.
The Kashin founders, a group of school teachers wanted to create a fun learning environment for students and incentivize positive behaviors through rewards. The team hired an individual freelancer for the development work leveraging their personal funds.
The founders worked with the freelancer for about a year. There were multiple stumbling blocks with the freelancer in getting the MVP done. After several tries, the Kashin team decided to quit and look for alternative options.
With a lot of time, cost and effort wasted, the team became more cautious and searched for more reliable and cost-effective options in completing the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The team came across FreelancingTeams through a startup mentor.
During the introductory call, FreelancingTeams identified a few complexities with the app:
FreelancingTeams is an agile platform and had successfully worked with many startups creating MVPs using the agile methodology. We decided to take an agile approach building the features in small increments thus mitigating some of the risks upfront.
FreelancingTeams introduced the founders to the “agile” feature concept – splitting a big idea into smaller work items, and building the product incrementally in sprints, instead of one big bang. The team liked the agile approach, especially working with a few features at a time.
As the first step, we established the product roadmap creating a visual representation of the product vision. The roadmap helped to segregate the short-term vs long-term product goals.
With the renewed focus, the team narrowed down the MVP features with key functionalities for students and teachers.
The founders used the product catalog templates documenting the product features and establishing acceptance criteria – a set of deliverables the feature must meet before sign-off. Further, the team reviewed the catalog and prioritized the MVP features.
By going through the process of creating the product catalog and prioritizing the features, the team was able to visualize the app from the user’s perspective and make process adjustments upfront.
With the product feature list in hand, the team added the MVP features into the portal and requested for estimates from the teams.
The market ready teams within the FreelancingTeams platform quickly reviewed the features and identified the tasks required to complete the MVP features. The teams assessed the complexity of each features and developed very detail cost and schedule estimates. Finally, the teams submitted the proposal through the internal tool.
The Kashin team reviewed the feature-by-feature estimates from different teams and made an informed team selection based on the data.
As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”. The team quickly got to work establishing the required technical architecture, cloud based infrastructure, source control and developing the features. The dev and Kashin team worked together in designing and resolving many solution and technical challenges along the way.
FreelancingTeams agile project management software is designed in such a way that it gives more control to product owners to continuously prioritize and start the work as they see fit.
One of the founders acted as the product owner and started a few features at a time. The dev team worked on those features in small weekly sprints.
The built-in workflows, interactive Kanban boards and notifications kept the teams well informed and complete the feature work in an orderly fashion. The Kashin team had the opportunity to review the changes frequently and provide feedback. Together, the team worked collaboratively getting the features done.
By following the incremental agile approach, the MVP features were developed within 8 weeks with overall project duration under 12 weeks. Additionally, the approach also saved the Kashin team significant development cost .
One of the Kashin founders said, “FreelancingTeams was a breathe of fresh air after having issues with my last developer. The project was easy and there was open communication the whole time. Any questions or issues hardled in a timely manner. And the website is great!”.
Over the course of weeks, both Kashin and dev teams established a good working relationship and got to know each other better. With the success of the initial Kashin app project, the Kashin team launched another Kashin Academy project.
My experience with the service has been a pleasant experience. In the tool, I could easily input each feature and it was nice to have steps to ensure I completed everything correctly. The communication is another awesome element, I am always up to date on what is going on and can ask questions when needed. — LaTasha McMurry, Co-founder, Kashin