Countless bugs, slow overall progress, poor work ethics and communication are among the most common reasons for switching to a new development team. When the deadlines are approaching, and you notice any of these red flags way too often, it just makes no sense to wait any longer.
And here comes the doubt. At first, even a single thought about all the stuff associated with a transition process may bring you a headache. You may think to yourself that you have to start from square one once again. This feeling is often unbearable concerning how much effort and money you have already spent. But when the cooperation is broken, you don’t think about missed deadlines - you act.
To shed some light on the topic, we asked entrepreneurs from all over the world about their experience in switching teams. There’s nothing’s better than a personal story. Grab a coffee and find out why changing teams isn't’ that bad as you (probably) think.
So you’ve changed the team. What was the main reason to do so?
Here’s Rahul Gulati, Founder, GyanDevign Tech Services for the fundamental issue - poor communication.
“I felt poor communication and haste in starting the work were the reasons, I had to let them go. They were not responding on time and delaying daily calls. I am a business-focused individual and I do have a fundamental knowledge of coding. If things were not going right in the first few weeks, you better jump in and tie the thread”.
Costs are a common issue as well. David Galownia, CEO at Slingshot adds to the topic:
“Of all the reasons we’ve heard, the one we hear the most is over-promising and under-delivering. They may have received a quote for half the time at half the cost, but it ends up taking much longer and costing more on the backend. If a proposal seems too good to be true, then it probably is”.
In their turn, when clients need to switch teams, it’s usually because they went with the fastest and cheapest proposal. “Software development is like a triangle where you can only pick two: speed, cost, and quality. By trying to get something done fast and cheap, you are probably giving up on quality. For technology, this is disastrous”.
Different time zones take their toll as well. Sara Bernier, the founder of Born for Pets:
“Yes, the differing times started catching up as we wanted everything done with real-time feedback and that wasn't always possible with the team sitting across the planet. When finding a new development team, we wanted an experienced group that had a specific project manager assigned to our project and worked within our time zone”.
The first thing to know before starting the development process is the technology stack. Ask your vendor about languages for both the mobile application and the server part. Do some research and make sure the selected stack is a popular one, so you will not have any problems with finding a new team if needed.
But what makes a good development team anyway? According to our respondents, the following qualities define a reliable partner:
- Live project evaluation
- Email étiquette and transparency
- Agile management
- Project delivery on a weekly basis
- Payment set as per milestone
When looking for your future technological partner, don’t hesitate to ask for straight answers. “When looking for a development team, you want to ask the hard questions. How many projects have gone over time and budget? What is your communication style? Have you had people leave mid-project? Does your culture match well with ours? By finding out these answers early on, you’re much less likely to be burned later”, comments Davia Galownia.
Sometimes a trial period seems logical. Here’s Chase Amante, from Girls Chase Inc., on the matter:
“Our criteria when hiring is always the same: we hire 4-7 contractors to the exact same (paid) trial job, have them all do the same work, then evaluate that work, how easy they were to work with, the rate they charged, and the speed at which they completed it head-to-head. Gives you a picture very quickly about who's going to be your star”.
Anyway, it’s a matter of proper communication and accepted obligations. Before signing the contract, make sure you’re on the same page regarding the possible end of the partnership, even if you've just started. This way, if the cooperation is over, the initial development team takes responsibility to smoothly transfer the project to a new team.
When talking about a smooth transition, there’s an important aspect to mention - which party owns the source code? It definitely makes sense to discuss it with a technological partner and include this option in the contract. Secondly, make sure you have access to all 3rd party services used in the project. In case when clients have the code and all the tools, the transition process becomes significantly simpler.
All in all, in most cases, it all boils down to the professional behavior of your vendor. David Galownia agrees:
“We’ve seen both: some teams are very helpful in terms of transitions, and some have been hostile. One thing a client should ensure before moving development teams is that they will have access to the current project’s data. If you don’t ask, you may lose access to your project and have to start all over”.
Sara Bernier adds: “The previous team did help with the transition including specific documentation and other relevant changes that were already being made. The transition wasn't difficult, but this often depends on the professionalism of the initial development company”.
The next stop is the code review. This practice means checking, inspecting, and reviewing the code that your previous team has left. The purpose of this work is to find inconsistencies, deviations, and incorrect software behavior in performance, UX, and security. Along with the Code Review, you should receive expert recommendations and corresponding estimates on how to improve the project. At this point, with the outlined next steps, you will have everything you need to make the switch.
To Sum Up
So when you’ve done with the project, how would you describe your experience in switching teams?
“Initially, it was hectic. Since we work remotely, there was chaos in the first few meetings. Gradually, when I informed the previous team about my intentions and feelings, they understood and we parted ways mutually. I never burn my relations with anyone. As humans, we can make mistakes”.
An old saying suggests that one doesn't change horses in midstream. However, in the world of software development, reality might demand some straightforward action once in a while. In the early stages of a project, everyone is friendly and enthusiastic. But moods will certainly be swinging when things go wrong. Sure, switching teams might be a tough pill to swallow for both parties. However, with clear steps in mind, it’s easier to make the transition process as smooth as possible.
Are you thinking about finding a new development team? Drop us a line today to see how we can help with the next step for your project.
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