Kavi

  www.kavi.com
  www.kavi.com

Kavi Reviews

Updated October 9, 2014
Updated October 9, 2014
5 Reviews
1.4
5 Reviews
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David Coryell
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A dying company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kavi full-time

    Pros

    As others have said the space and location are nice.
    When I worked there, minimal groceries, coffee and soda were provided.
    No one works forty hours/week, and the work is slow paced, so not stressful.

    Cons

    Where to begin…
    Kavi's primary problem stems from the top. High level management is not only lacking, but those that do try to take the reigns are unfortunately not particularly well suited for their positions.
    The engineering side of the house can never seem to agree and management is not strong enough or respected. The customer support/facing side of the house are simply not customer focused. There used to be a real "sales team" that were well connected in the industry but all have left or been driven out.
    The office environment is awful. You can hear a pin drop all day long because no one speaks a word to each other. When you do here talking it is an argument.
    The statistics speak for themselves, the year before last Kavi experienced 30% staff turnover. I'm not longer there, so can't speak to what has occurred as of late but I know of at least three more on the engineering side of the house who have left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have a sincere interest in your customers.
    Do an overhaul of all director/VP level positions because Kavi won't go anywhere under current management.
    Motiviate your employees and provide a friendlier work environment.
    Cur your losses and close your doors, it is only a matter of time before this dinosaur dies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Zero creativity, Zero culture, Zero future

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Kavi full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The location and office space are quite nice. Also, the benefits are decent, pay is average.

    Cons

    There is no culture whatsoever. Walking in the front door, you can hear a pin drop. Any growth in terms of the company itself is unimaginable due to no innovation, desire, or direction by key executives. A couple key behemoth clients are the only reason the lights are still on here. This company is very disconnected from the local software/startup scene.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take an honest look at yourselves. There's a reason nobody sticks around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    We all deserve better.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Kavi full-time

    Pros

    Kavi doesn't have much competition and it is hard for customers to let go once they've bought in. This means the company can fail to innovate and deliver for years and stay in business. You will not be expected to work more than 40 hours a week. You will make average pay for your field in Portland and have fairly good health coverage. Kavi provides an unmatched 401(k). Also, you will have free drinks and some snacks.

    Cons

    No vision. No direction. No future.

    You can expect this if you get a job at Kavi right now:

    * Loud uncomfortable arguments in the working area more than once a week.

    * Hostility between workers in the chat room and in meetings more than once a week.

    * Upper managers with no understanding of how big the problems are, not just with the programmers but with all parts of Kavi.

    * A software development process which is not Agile. It is not Waterfall either. It is not Spiral. It is a complete disaster.

    * A product with a short deadline and huge problems. It will not be possible to ship the product on time, or even several months late, and make any money.

    * An engineering team that could achieve something notable together, but will not have the opportunity at Kavi.

    In between the highest ranked developer and the company president, there is no effective management at all. Product ownership is mostly unable to work with the programming team. This includes maintenance, where the situation is a little better, to the design of new software, where the situation is very very bad. Management for the programming team is not working. Lack of management and conflict between workers has made the team unable to deliver.

    Software is written at Kavi by one main rule. The rule is: the loudest and most strong-willed developer will decide what is to be built and how it will be built. If a loud or strong-willed developer does not like a program you design, your code will be thrown away even when it costs Kavi money to do so.

    Disagreeable workers were hired in the past. Now, they cause trouble all the time and everyone on the programming team is angry. Kavi will not fire these workers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You are facing an existential crisis. Don't be cheap.

    Replace everyone involved in product ownership, and in management of the programmers. Hire a product owner for both products. Hire a project manager. Pay real money for highly experienced people to fill these jobs. Use a well-respected consulting firm to find them for you. Cheap recruiting firms lead to a near 100% bad hire rate.

    If these new people do not produce significant good changes in a quarter, "fail fast," replace them and start again.

    For every project of >2 weeks proposed by the engineering department, require a clear written explanation of how it affects Kavi's bottom line. If the project cannot improve the bottom line, or if the project cannot produce working alpha level code in one month, kill it immediately. If the project sounds like something to worry about in the future when there are many many more customers, kill it. If the project involves refactoring and fixing bugs in code which customers already pay money to use, approve it.

    Spare no expense to train the entire company on Agile methodologies. This includes yourselves. You do not understand Agile. Some of the engineers do not even understand Agile. Once you all do understand Agile, commit to release Kavi products very early and very often. Follow through on that commitment.

    If there is an employee, even a manager, who causes any distrust amongst other workers, fire that employee. If there is an employee who is a bad team fit, fire that employee. If an employee acts unethically, fire that employee immediately.

    Buy the best tools that money can buy for your employees... and get a permanent sign for the front door.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Hit an iceberg years ago. Just not done sinking.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Kavi (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The salary is average-to-good for Portland, though not keeping up anymore.

    It is hard to get fired if you are a developer.

    Sensible work/life balance, though flexible hours are a thing of the past.

    Cons

    Upper management's view of the development group is myopic and confused. Priorities are disjointed and inconsistent. Tons of effort and hundreds of thousands of dollars are wasted building products with no markets and no business models, while the ancient and decrepit core product responsible for at least 99% of revenue receives only minor cosmetic updates.

    Middle management understands neither the business nor the processes of software development. Product management is unable to lead product development, doesn't understand Agile methodologies and is unwilling to ask hard questions like why the burndown chart never moves and release dates are months to years behind schedule.

    The development process is a fiasco in slow motion. The engineering team is talented but under weak leadership. Development decisions are based on ideology and (metaphorical) fistfights instead of pragmatism, intellectual rigor or business sense. Projects are built according to personal ideologies, often completely from scratch, regardless of the cost in time or money. In a better company, this would be tempered by management. Instead, some team members have become tin despots, more interested in impressing the brass and lording over those below them on the organizational chart than actually contributing.

    The result of this mess is that release cycles are measured in months or even years. The simplest of products, a so-called "Minimum Viable Product," has been in development limbo accreting unnecessary features for years. The wrong people have been fired as scapegoats on several occasions, while people who deserve firing are not, including people who are caught lying on their resumes.

    In any other market, this company would have gone bankrupt years ago. But Kavi is in a tiny market with no competition until quite recently. A new company has begun taking customers away from Kavi, and this will only continue, while upper management tries to rectify the cultural dysfunction by creating "Fun Committees" and handing out $25 gift cards each month.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decide what you want to build and fire everybody that fails to build it on a reasonable timeframe. Learn how to measure results and then inist on answers when those measurements indicate a problem. Hire a project manager and give control of QA to somebody with product expertise.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    nobody here wants to succeed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Portland, OR

    I worked at Kavi full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    at least its a nice location

    Cons

    zero culture or inspiration anywhere to be found

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    start caring about your business

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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