Not all customers select a technology partner for an IT project at one try. An MVP may be inefficient, or a legacy app needs a significant redesign. There comes a time when you have to hand over an unsuccessful project to another website development team. In many cases, it’s not easier than building an entirely new product from scratch. But if you are halfway through and have already invested money, changing the failed vendor is the best way out. What should you consider when migrating a software project and how to plan this process?
The most common reasons for changing a website development team
There are many reasons a customer stops to cooperate with their technology partner and starts looking for another IT company. Human factors, technical hitches, or financial problems can lead to this. Such reasons can be divided into five groups.
#1. Users complain about an app that doesn’t work well
When a customer has an app based on an outdated technology, their previous vendor may not support this legacy product. To keep it on the market, the business owner will have to search for a new partner who will bring their site back to life by refactoring its code, updating the design, migrating to another technology, and so on.
#2. A technology partner is not competent enough
If your current project vendor delays the software release without an obvious reason and misses deadlines, take it as an alarm. You risk losing money and missing the opportunity to enter the market successfully. Every day lost gives your competitors a chance to release their apps earlier and win over your potential audience. Therefore, if cooperation with your IT partner does not go well and the team members miss deadlines, hand over your project to another team relevant to website development.
#3. A development team does not perceive customer’s wishes
Another problem arises if a website project team has the relevant knowledge and experience but cannot understand the customer’s goals and does not perceive their wishes. When the result of development activities does not live up to your expectations and fixing minor inaccuracies takes too much time, consider changing the team and transferring your project to other website developers.
#4. A project vendor significantly exceeds the budget and deadlines
If the custom website development company you cooperate with does not keep promises and repeatedly goes beyond the terms of the contract, change the vendor. A development team mustn’t make unauthorized changes to a product or use new tools and technologies without the customer’s consent. Any improvisation leads to budget overrun, but not all clients are ready to allocate more funds for a project.
#5. A customer lacks transparency
A customer wants to follow the website project development process but IT specialists are not ready to provide the tools for this (Jira or Confluence) and talk openly about the state of affairs. This may lead to the severance of relations. Honesty and openness in communication help prevent many project problems.
What difficulties can you encounter when changing a provider of website development services?
Sometimes, handing over a project to another team is more difficult than starting it from scratch with new developers. This happens when:
— there is no documentation to introduce a new website project team to a project;
— a failed technology partner refuses to help with project transition;
— a customer isn’t in touch with their former employees who possess the relevant knowledge;
— a business owner does not have enough money to migrate their project;
— an app is too old and needs a full-scale redesign.
If you have encountered one of the above problems, it will be difficult for you to hand over the project to another development team. You need to stay in touch with your former partners and have at least some documents at your disposal. In any case, create an app migration plan and try to involve both the former developers and new candidates in this activity.
Six steps to hand over a project to a new website development team
To change vendors successfully, you need to transfer the product knowledge to the new team and share the necessary tools and access to the code. Include the following steps in your website project plan:
- Provide access to the documentation and the app code. In this way, the new team will study your requirements and the achievements of the former distributed development team and understand the product logic.
- Explain the reasons for changing vendors. Knowing this, developers will understand what your company and the previous IT team did not agree on. They will consider key problems that may arise to prevent them from repeating and avoid potential misunderstandings in the future.
- Transfer knowledge of the project. Even if your project has detailed documentation, the new team must grasp the current state of affairs (concerns, plans, and agreements). Developers must understand the app architecture, learn the development methodology, and assess the level of software quality. Thus, they will be fully aware of the product functionality, and their work will be efficient.
- Conduct a code audit. The new developers will know if the previous team members have carried out their activities well enough. They need to understand if there are bugs in the code and how they might affect the security and performance of your app. Specialists will fix the problem areas and continue to write high-quality code.
5.Evaluate the UX/UI design of a product. If the previous development team implemented part of your web app, conduct an interface audit. Verify whether it is usable, reliable, and functional. Make sure the user understands how to work with the software solution. Check whether it is convenient for the visitor to search for information and move between sections. The text on the page must be readable, with high-quality animation and pictures fully matching the content. If you find problems here as well, the new team will complete the platform, considering all these issues.
6.Analyze the quality of the app. If you build a house on a weak foundation, it will collapse, despite the solidity of the walls and the roof. A website is based on the same principle. If there are serious mistakes in it, they can lead to huge problems in the future. The new team must consider the defects in the app to fix them and implement a quality product with QA best practices in mind. In this way, experts will not only meet your requirements but also help you eliminate the errors of the previous team.
The more mistakes the previous website project team has made and the more complex a product is, the more time it will take to create and implement a project migration plan. Arranging the migration itself can take weeks and months. Some projects only need a couple of additional features. For others, developers need to solve technical problems (fixing defects). Some apps need to be rewritten from scratch. Correspondingly, different kinds of work take different spans to accomplish. Any IT team needs to understand the essence of a software solution, examine its architecture, master relevant technology, and implement vital tasks. The scope of work for a new website development team depends on the scale of necessary changes.
It’s good if the former team cooperates with the new one while its members share relevant knowledge. New employees are gradually involved in the development process. They adjust the system, perform tasks, and learn key details of the workflow. But this option is not available to everyone.
Handing over a project to a team relevant to website development is not a one-day task. Without full documentation and the previous team, it is difficult to plan and implement such migration. The scale of changes depends on the current state of a product and the quality of work of previous developers. Software modification can take several months. Use our checklist to hand over your product to a new team safely. Its IT experts will fix the mistakes made by your previous vendor. The new high-quality web app will fully meet your expectations.