Changing a Software Development Team [The Ultimate Guide For Application Handout]

Changing a software development team often can seem like the only option to save our project from sinking. About 17% of all IT projects fail so badly that it threatens a company’s existence.

Changing a Software Development Team The Ultimate Guide For Application Handout

Poor code quality, communication, and project management can be a stumbling rock for your project. However, a course correction and new software vendor can set things right.

To ease this task, OpenGeeksLab gathered the best tips to help you smooth out the transition.

When Changing a Software Development Team Is a Good Idea?

If a client isn’t happy with their team, it’s a good enough reason to switch. Info-Tech Research Group reports show that changing a software vendor leads to an 80% satisfaction rise.

Switching teams leads to improvement of the software development and increases production satisfaction rate in 80% of organizations.

Source: Info-Tech Research Group

However, transition to a different software development partner can be risky, so we advise carefully thinking it through. It might be less cost-effective than sticking with the initial team since your new vendor might have different hourly rates and services. Overall, this solution might lead to a lengthy transition and delay application release accordingly, which isn’t good if the client deals with the highly competitive market.

So, to nullify the risks associated with changing a software development team, you should evaluate the performance and other current team’s productivity indicators. Here are some factors that might help do it correctly.

1. Underperformance

Some companies might promise better skillsets or higher experience of their staff; however, these claims may not seem realistic when you see them in action. It is a relatively rare reason for project failure, and usually, software development vendors won’t pursue false claims, but performance issues still can occur.

Underperformance and poor qualification of the dedicated software development team indicators are:

  • Mistakes and refusal to acknowledge and fix them;
  • Insufficient time and resource management;
  • Undefined risks;
  • Unexpected delays;
  • Incapability to deliver or implement certain features of an application/software parts;
  • Lower than expected English level;
  • Lesser experience with tech stack is needed for your project;

Suppose a software development vendor hid some information or misled you to believe that their specialists’ have higher qualifications. In that case, this is the so-called “red flag” that indicates their unreliability. Underperformance is usually visible right from the start, so changing a software development team at that point might be less risky.

2. Communicational Issues

Communicational issues can often lead projects to failure. According to FinancesOnline, it caused 29% of projects to be unsuccessful in the scope of 2020\2021. Bottlenecks in communication with the dedicated software development team might be internal or external.

Problems with internal communication include poor project management, team building, or lack of trust. It affects the team from the inside and can slow work processes down, disrupt their services, or cause malfunctions in an application due to a lack of understanding between the team members.

External communicational breaches are wrongs between you and the software development partner. It includes poor English skills, distrust, and different views on your project.

If the vendor has deceived you or somehow disrupted their trustworthiness, it’s time to think about working with a different team. Contrasting project views can also make you hire a new development company since being on the same page with your tech specialists is vital to achieving maximum effectiveness.

3. No Transparency

Transparency is essential for building quality communication channels between you and application developers. But these faults are easy to track; if the dedicated development company makes false claims about their experience or can’t verify their cases, it’s a no-go.

A lack of transparency can occur if a software company agitates its client to buy third-party services or hides the project’s documentation. It can lead to budget overruns and process’ delays. You won’t control the application’s development or understand its value, which leads to an inefficient investment. So, if you hire a dedicated development team that proves incapable of building transparent workflow, it’s time to switch software vendors.

4. Micromanagement

You need to control the productivity of both in-house and remote software development teams. However, self-management is their responsibility as well. If you need to watch every step they take and constantly remind them of deadlines, they aren’t a good team for long-term cooperation.

According to FinancesOnline, 11.4% of production failures happen because of poor performance of programmers.

Source: Project Management Institute

Project management issues are viable for the idea’s survival. PMI states that around 11% of investment is wasted because of poor project performance. In some cases, if you have better management skills than a technical partner, it’s ringing a bell to part ways.

5. Minor Engagement

Sometimes, the company’s primary focus is finding new clients rather than maintaining good relations with the existing ones. Overall, this issue can lead to delays and poor code quality, alongside faulty time and resource management. Changing a software development partner might be the best outcome in this situation.

This focus shift can be a significant downside in cooperation with an outsourced development team, but first, discussing this problem with an IT partner would help a lot. If your current vendor doesn’t change their behavior, look for cooperation with someone else.

6. Contract Termination

In some cases, a software development company may need to terminate the contract early for various reasons. Then changing a software development vendor is your only option.

The workflow must go as smoothly as possible with a new development company. To enable seamless transition, omit the riskiest challenges. Let’s look at how to overcome most of them.

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Challenges In Switching Outsourced Development Team

We’ve consulted with OpenGeeksLab’s CTO and gathered valuable tips for transitioning to a new software development partner. First things first, it would be great to ask your former team to provide you with technical resources, libraries, documentation, and other information before the application handover. It’ll help avoid complications associated with this process.

Here are some other challenges that might make the transition unnecessarily complex:

  • Your former software vendor isn’t willing to help with the transition;
  • The company you worked with uses their libraries;
  • No server access;
  • Not enough access to technical information and documentation.

If you’re parting ways with a custom software development vendor because you have had a conflict, try to explain your decision as non-harmful and professional as possible.

For example, say that the previous team has developed a different view on an application during the work process. It’d be nice if your former tech partner helped onboard new team members. It will build a seamless transition and enable you to control this process.

Concerning documentation, here is the shortlist of what you can ask the agile software development team before starting with a new development partner:

  • Domain;
  • Access to:
    – server
    – hosting
    – code repositories
    – third-party APIs and other services
  • A list of all API keys;
  • Custom IT solution documentation.

Documentation can include software requirements specification (SRS), design documents, test plans and standards, test documentation, system documentation, and others. You can find more details below. The team creates these documents in the software development life cycle’s planning stage, and the transition will be easier if you have them.

For seamless transition, ensure that you have all needed production, technology, and development documentation.

OpenGeeksLab has a practical example with a client who switched to us. A zip archive was the only documentation from their former technical partner. Our team could deploy that project; however, it took us around a month.

If our client had had other documents, for example, instructions for setup, it would’ve taken us much less time. They ended up paying almost ten times more than they could’ve paid with a proper documentation pack. So, it would be more budget-friendly.

Checklist: How To Painlessly Transition Between Software Vendors

Let’s break down the process of changing a software development company step by step. Our team combined efficient tips in one checklist that you can use in this lengthy and quite challenging process.

1. Documentation That Covers It All

The painless transition is impossible without the application’s detailed documentation. Be well aware of software’s functionality and implemented and planned features. Ensure the relevancy of documentation and that a person responsible for it is in the team. They should obtain code access and provide you with screen records if needed.

Documentation has to cover these aspects of development:

  • Description and structure of a product. It will help your team better understand the software, tech stack they need and correctly estimate essential resources to complete the IT solution.
  • Set up an environment. Doublecheck that you have a package of documentation that allows a new team to deploy an application on their hardware. For this, you need the source code, database setup, and ideally, a Docker file.
  • CI/CD pipeline. Continuous integration and a continuous delivery pipeline are crucial to avoid manual errors and automate the software delivery process.

It should be enough for a seamless and almost unseen transition when you decide to hire expert developers from a different software company. But aside from documentation gathering, there is more to do.

2. Create a Roadmap

The roadmap is essential during the transition and when you first start working with a team. It drastically helps with workflow optimization since it provides developers with a short application overview and what has to be built.

First, let’s get familiar with some steps you should take to form a viable and effective roadmap. They include:

  • Analyze the domain and market conditions.
  • Analyze the product and what customers’ pain points it solves.
  • Define the plan and empathize with essential features.
  • Distribute the responsibilities.
  • Evaluate the risks and find possible ways to minimize them.
  • Create and then validate a roadmap.

After creating a roadmap, hire vetted developers to ensure the proper project execution. In the graph below, we review the most valuable tools for roadmap creation, improvement, and maintenance.

Trello, Jira, Aha, and ProductPlan are the most popular tools for product management used by programmers.

3. Confirm That You Own The Code

To hire a dedicated software development team, confirm that you are the code owner. You can easily omit this issue; just ask who will have the code ownership after the application is built. If you have the right to make code alterations, it won’t be too hard to transition to a different team.

Otherwise, you will need a license that confirms the code ownership. Be careful when signing a contract with a new IT partner; be extra attentive to this detail.

4. Know Your Product

We’ve stated the importance of product understanding many times. Now, it is time to learn what you have to know about the IT solution and apply it when transitioning to a different team.

  • Project management method.

When you hire dedicated software developers, a team usually has an established project management method. They can choose one to fit your IT solution precisely in some cases. However, whatever they decide, you need to be aware of it.

Several project management methods include but are not limited to Agile, Scrum, and Kanban. You need to know what PM method the former team has used to move on with other specialists successfully. This way, your team will improve the business process after you transition.

  • Technology stack.

Your new team can find out what tech stack is primal for the app, but it’d be nice if you already knew the previous developers’ tech preferences. This way, when looking for a new team, you’ll be well aware of their hard skills. It’ll make it easier to hire a dedicated development team with a particular skill set for your application precisely.

  • Platforms and servers.

Once again, you transition to a team that will most likely figure out what your former IT partner used. Let them know about the core technologies, to save both time and money and make the transition more smooth. This will help your software company know what improvements they can do.

Looking for vetted app developers who can build a software product that makes a difference?

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5. Get Access To Third-Party Services

If you’ve partnered up with a company that used staff accounts for third-party services, get access to them or ask the team to create a separate account for you.

Here are some services that you should have access to:

  • Source Code Management (SCM) system, for example, Git. If you provide a new team with it, they will be able to see the software’s history;
  • Web hosting;
  • File hosting, like AWS;
  • DNS services;
  • Development services;
  • Analytics tools.

If you wish to continue working with these services, provide a new technical partner with access to them as well.

6. Extra-Steps To Do Before Saying Good-Bye

When you have everything wrapped up, there are just a few things you should take care of. Ask your team to make the code as clean as possible before leaving them. Be friendly; we do not always have to part ways due to conflicts, so starting one is unnecessary. Thank them for their work since you might need their help once more if you decide to power up the next outsourced or in-house team.

Learn the code status. Doublecheck what is deployed in the software and what is still in process. When you hire a software development team, let them know about the project’s stage. This way you won’t even feel that something has changed.

7. Some More Things To Embrace a Fresh Start

When you hire a software development team, think about what you can do to make them understand the app better. When you’re changing processes, team members, and third-party services, it can build up confusion. So, ensure that the product development doesn’t have speed or quality losses. For this, be clear in your expectations and tasks.

Also, as much as constant control can be a bad thing, you still need to have some management over a new team of dedicated software developers. The development coordination ensures a smoother transition.

Besides those steps, you could also build work processes according to the project’s most desired key performance indicators. See the examples below.

When it comes to checking programmers' performance, the major KPIs for production and development are meeting original goals and completing within budget.

Set up a goal to achieve and be patient with a new team. They only get acquainted with your app, and as much as it might be hard after changing a partner, trust them.

A Software Development Partner You Can Stick To

This article shared ideas on moving to another company easily, but your IT partner is also responsible. They need to ensure transparent workflow, remain their focus on your app, and verify staff’s qualifications and experience. We know how complex a changing process can be, so our team does everything possible to ensure a painless transition.

OpenGeeksLab has services aimed at agile and seamless software development. Our team has worked on over 60 projects, and every customer that transitions to us is guaranteed to boost their satisfaction rate.

If you have any questions or want to cooperate with us, fill in this contact form.

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