Implementing and monitoring complex software cycles is a tedious process, Phil Reynolds said, which is why he and his team are working to drive better project management principles and improve outcomes through their software solution.
“We are really trying to transform the way that teams go about implementing and managing agile software development cycles. Our thesis is based around the idea that current tooling offers limited insight and takes a lot of work to get visuals and tread data,” said Reynolds, who co-founded DevStride in 2021 alongside Chastin Reynolds, Aaron Saloff and Kujtim Hoxha.
Click here to check out DevStride.
DevStride is a Kansas City-based, strategic project and portfolio management solution that maps work to value streams, in turn providing organizations with reliable value-based analytics, Reynolds noted.
“Our whole focus is automating a significant amount of the monitoring of the cycle, the analysis of the team’s performance, and then automating the intervention when corrective action can be helpful — so very much coaching the teams along the way, in real time,” he explained. “… To the best of our knowledge, there are no project management tools out there that do early detection, warning and automatic intervention with team members.”
In September, the startup closed a $3.3 million pre-seed round led by Overland Park-based Flyover Capital. The funding is helping build out the DevStride team, as well as to boost research and development and the integration and implementation of DevStride’s services in early customers, Reynolds said.
“The name of the game in this particular round is to validate product market fit and make sure we are building the right solutions,” Reynolds said. “We’re really in the process of intentionally selecting and partnering with a few customers who are good samples of what we believe our target customer profile will be in the future.”
DevStride was created from Reynolds’ personal pain point at his previous startup, BriteCore. After 16 years with a perfect customer retention rate, BriteCore lost an $11 million customer — not due to any human error — but from lack of visibility in the software, Reynolds shared.
“That implementation went poorly, and we missed the deadline for the first time in well over a decade,” Reynolds recalled. “Everyone had done their job really well, but the problem was visibility into the interdependencies and some failure modes that were occurring in the team. It was all invisible to my team because the tool never gave them the ability to introspect and learn from early mistakes. There was no early detection system, so by the time the team realized there were issues in the project’s implementation, it was too late to do anything about it.”
Reynolds led BriteCore for nearly 20 years as founder and CEO before leaving to found DevStride.
“We scaled to around 400 people and had hundreds of engineers running around trying to do things for big enterprise customers,” he said, noting that the transition of going from a several-hundred-person company to starting over with a team of less than a dozen is both rewarding and terrifying.
“… In my previous role, I had hit a point where most of what I was doing was managing incremental change on behalf of private equity firms,” Reynolds said. “[Now], the ability to lock arms with frontline customers, drive change and build software is incredibly rewarding. Startups are a risk you have to take; and you have to work very hard to make it successful — but I’m excited about the work we’re doing.”
In Reynolds’ professional transition, he and his wife, Chastin, relocated from Springfield, Missouri, to Kansas City in March 2021.
“We moved to Kansas City actually because of the airport,” Reynolds said, laughing. “Unsurprisingly, there are no direct flights out of Springfield, Missouri, and we were traveling almost every week. … I expected to come to Kansas City and blend into the crowd, but everyone has been extremely welcoming.”
Since moving to Kansas City, Reynolds has connected with local founders and investors, become a mentor with LaunchKC and invested in local startups, he said.
“I have found that there is this genuine culture of founders cheering each other on and trying to offer meaningful, helpful support,” Reynolds said. “There’s just a lot going on, and everybody is very friendly and collaborative. I couldn’t appreciate it more.”
Click here to connect with Phil Reynolds on LinkedIn.
The ultimate goal with DevStride is to make software teams more productive and improve outcomes, Reynolds noted.
“Success or failure with a customer is very easy for us to measure because it comes down to, ‘Are your projects successful?’” Reynolds said. “If they accomplish what they intended to, then we did a really good job. If not, then there’s an opportunity for us to learn and do better. As long as we’re driving better outcomes for our customers — and of course generating a return for our investors and shareholders — then we are doing well.”