Handing off the Project

baton-handoffYou can’t hold the client’s hand forever, eventually they need to be setup with the tools and the knowledge to be self-sufficient. Handing off a project to the client is no small task, it essentially requires slowly disseminating all the latest information (status, issues, backlogs, etc.) to the client. Such procedures often gets referred to as “mind-melding” in my workplace.

The most important thing is to make sure that this hand-off is as thorough as can be. Everything from email records, meeting notes, and any materials that are associated with the project’s development need to be assimilated (Curnow, 2003). This is where good file-keeping habits really pay-off. When handing off a software project, it is also particularly important to hand over the pre-compiled files to the client. Obviously that includes the source-code, but it also entails graphics, videos, pictures, or any other kinds of media that are incorporated into the finished product, so that the client can easily hand-off the project to another developer in the future (Curnow, 2003). The goal is to make sure that the client does not have to be dependent upon you after this hand-off is 100% complete, unless otherwise agreed upon.

Communication is a big part of these hand-offs, both parties need to understand what the other’s role will be during the transition period and after the transition period. Will be involved with any kind of maintenance or future upgrades to the software? Will the contractor provide any kind of training for the client? These are the kinds of questions that should be brought up when the transition is being planned. It is recommended to make these hand-off periods take place over a period of time, a rushed hand-off is just asking for trouble down the line. Taking the transition slowly will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to an end.

wpa
The big risk at the end of the hand-off, especially for software, is the possibility of something going wrong afterwards. If a major bug is found within a software product after it has been handed off, the client needs to have all the materials they need to either get their in-house developers on the job or hire another contractor to the deal with it. Either of those options require that the client has things like source code, documentation, a list of known issues, meeting notes, or anything else that could give the new developer insight into the inner-workings of the software so that they can pick up where the previous developer left off.

References:

Agile Lifecycle [Image]. Retrieved November 16, 2014, from: http://bit.ly/15MbQoA

Baton Handoff [Image]. Retrieved November 16, 2014, from: http://bit.ly/1pF6unX

(Primary)

Curnow, B. (2003). Handing over and moving on. The International Guide to Management Consultancy: The

Evolution, Practice and Structure of Management Consultancy Worldwide, 1, 227.

(Secondary)

Ferris, B. (2012, June 7). How to Hand Off a Project Successfully. Retrieved November 17, 2014, from

http://cobaltpm.com/project-hand-off/

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Handing off the Project

  1. “Mind Melding” just makes me think of Star Trek or something! Is that a real industry term? Whatever the case, I loved how you dove right in and personalized the content of this blog. It definitely boosted your credibility. As a ready I instantly was able to hang on to every sentence knowing that you have personally been through this process and were not simply writing facts from the internet. The key points were well addressed, such as, not rushing the hand-off and ensuring that the client will be well equipped to manage problems which may arise… and they will! At the end of a large project the amount of documentation must be a lot for a client to have to sit and understand. If a hand-off is not well performed then the whole project will most likely in the long run.

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  2. Strong post indeed. You went right into the topic and that was an attention grabber in itself. You stated your points clearly and stated the steps to ensure a smooth project transition from developer to client. Also bringing in your work expertise was a brilliant idea, that automatically lends the post authority. Your post was broken into simple paragraphs with each paragraph shining on its own. Also your second diagram is a brilliant one, it summarizes the whole agile process pretty accurately. You also made good use of your sources when describing the transition. Overall a good read with interesting diagrams and good use of your sources!

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  3. You have good points about taking the handoff part slow as doing otherwise will possibly harm your client. You have also touched on another good point about handing off the project with all of the documentation that you can to help the client understand what you have done and to help prevent tarnishing your company name. I found it interesting that your company uses the term “mind-melding” in reference to giving the client all of the information about their project.

    Like

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