At any point in the development process, you may face the urgent need to terminate a contract or switch the software vendor due to various reasons, including geopolitical ones. According to different sources, up to 50% of all clients working with software suppliers at a certain point face the need to change the supplier.
It may also happen in case you feel the expectations are mismatched, and the vendor is no longer able to provide you the quality of service you expected.
In case, you have experienced any of the situations described above, it is the best point to immediately launch the transition process. In this article, you will discover the important nuances and stages of the transition process as well as uncover efficient advice to make a smooth transition supporting the core business processes running stable.
Insights about the project’s transition plan
The transition of supplier is a serious decision, and it may raise many questions and cause uncertainties. Is it more beneficial staying with the existing vendor or it is strategically better to transfer to a different one? Is it possible for a new vendor to minimize the transition risks and ensure that they will deliver on their promises? Is it possible to motivate the previous vendor to provide a comprehensive level of support during the transition and how to do that?
A project transition plan template is a scheme containing the necessary details and steps of transition of the current project to a new team. As a rule, the transition procedure requires the full analysis and careful mapping of the supporting infrastructure for hardware and software agreements. Careful management of the transition process is required to ensure that service-level agreements (SLAs) are taken into account and will support the smooth functioning of the business.
Altamira (ex. GBKSOFT) team has extensive experience in supporting customers in smooth, quick, and successful project transitions. Backed up by our experience, we have elaborated on the efficient transition strategy. We provide sustainable support, offer steps and a transition plan template for each case. The knowledge transfer plan is an integral part of cooperation with the majority of our clients. It helps the customer to prepare the company for a smooth transition and allows keeping all the expenses under control.
During the transition period, relationships between the supplier and business owner can be strengthened and reinforced or fractured and weakened. Our team supports the improvement of the chances of a successful and smooth transition, applying the best practices and principles with proper planning from both sides using people experienced in transition.
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Signals demonstrating it is time to change the software supplier
Here are the detailed descriptions of the most widespread signs demonstrating it is time to change software vendors.
No dynamics and lack of efficiency
If the software development team you work with dies not to demonstrate the continuous flow of new ideas and implementation of tech innovations. It is of the utmost importance since it will contribute to the exploitation of your business resources.
Imagine, you have received the feedback from the customer and are waiting to get the fully-featured app. However, the vendor you are working with is postponing the release date thus leaving clients unsatisfied and causing money losses.
No sufficient communication
Regular and sufficient communication insight of the team allows elaborating on new ideas and strategies to introduce improvements into the project. Zero or minimal communication inside the team demonstrates the lack of interest and motivation. It is also a sign that it is time to consider the supplier transition process.
In case the focus is put mainly on the development process and there is no analysis of the results and decisions outcomes, it is another sign that you should consider the new vendor. Moving forward with the wrong focus may pose the feasibility of the project under the question. Make sure the potential team has a clear vision of where your projects will be moving.
Slowing down the scaling process
If the existing team is ignoring the need of business scaling and stagnation is prolonged, it is the reason to launch the search for a new vendor. If you notice that the user’s feedback is not taken into the account, it is time to transfer to a new supplier who will contribute to your business development and raise customer satisfaction rates.
Exceeding budget and deadlines
As a rule, businesses are strict about their budget planning. Lack of relatively clear estimates of a vendor as well as unclaimed expenses leads to overruns and may cause loss the profits. In addition, if there is no clear plan and stated deadlines, the project will suffer as well.
In case most of these points can be applicable to your situation it is clear you have to consider cooperation with a new team. However, it may pose some challenges as well as additional expenses.
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Challenges and risks in switching the vendor
The very transition process may take up to 3 months, depending on the complexity of the project as well as the current status of the project development progress. Here we are going to discuss the most widespread risks and challenges to be aware of and ready for.
The current software supplier denies cooperating with the new one
In this case, the custom acts as a mediator between them. To stimulate the previous party to transfer knowledge to the new one you can offer some financial reward.
Issues with IP rights and confidential information.
After the contract termination, the contractor has to delete all the materials related to the project. However, not all the vendor’s employees will stick to this requirement. That is why it is of the utmost importance to check the NDA agreements and put a charge on those unwilling to stick to the requirements.
Disruption of the supply of the services.
After the announcement that the project will be transferred to another supplier, the current software vendor loses motivation and may pass the tasks to the new software vendor. Try to maintain the smooth and stable support of the key business processes.
As it is often the case the transition of supplier presupposes additional costs and may disrupt the ordinary business workflow. However, with the support of experts, you may make the process smoother and minimize risks, expenses and stop the cooperation with the unreliable and unmotivated vendor.
What is the smooth transition plan template?
Primarily, you need to understand that the decisions may be difficult, since changing the software development company in the middle of the project may cause increased costs, delayed outputs, and generally pose a challenge of finding a new software supplier. Thus, you need to have a detailed plan to stay calm and take all the necessary decisions quickly.
Backed by our experience of successful transition projects, we have formulated crucial tips and next steps that should be taken when switching to another vendor.
The robust knowledge transition plan could make the whole journey easy and safe, minimizing the expenses and making the very process smoother.
The knowledge transition plan could be put into practice in two ways:
- From client to a new vendor
- From the previous vendor to the new one
Regardless of the case, the transition planning activities would be basically the same: it begins with the demo and investigation stage and ends with setting up the environments, taking over BAU(business-as-usual), and the first successful release. And the success of the knowledge transition is guaranteed when the process is methodological and strategic.
Define the background information you have to collect
- Tansition of sensitive data;
- Source code ownership details;
- Termination agreement with the previous vendor.
Source code documentation:
- Repository URLs with access details;
- Description of key algorithms;
- Specification of classes and app layers.
- Project scope, project specifications, technical information relevant to the project;
- Deployment guidelines, system configuration details, operating details, troubleshooting, bug tracking data;
- Development process workflow;
- Development practices.
- Access to the current environment;
- 3rd party integrations.
Other processes documents:
- Project roadmap;
- Software architecture;
- Design of the database structure;
- Design files;
- User stories.
The One-to-One meeting between the tech experts and providing knowledge about the possible hidden pitfalls and stumbling blocks will help to understand the logic behind the code and guarantee smoother assets transfer. It will also help new team to implement the established previously efficient practices.
After defining the information a business owner needs to collect, it is necessary to solve the issues on the organizational level. You need to speak with the delivery manager and representatives of the key departments responsible for the execution of the current project.
On the level of the team, it is necessary to discuss the issues with PM and all specialists, including the development team, designers, DevOps, BA, and Scrum master, etc. to get a better understanding of the critical tasks, recurring duties and other regular duties.
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Project Transition – Transition from Implementation to Maintenance
A well-designed project is essential for delivering quality software in the marketplace. In some cases project managers or stakeholders will concentrate on the design and construction phases of the project. They neglect planning for the crucial component of maintenance during implementation. To smoothly transition from the implementation phase to the maintenance phase, all the necessary planning is required. Before letting the existing team go, you should make sure that:
- Developers have documented the best practices, and you have access to these documents.
- You have an absolute understanding of the project status – the parts of the scope that are finished and those, which are not been delivered yet.
- You have hired experts, who will help you to protect the intellectual property and avoid unplanned expenses after the project transition.
General tips to comply successful transition plan:
Make sure, you are aware of all the specificities of the project
- Be sure, that you understand the technologies and skills the developers you will hire should possess.
- Include the mobile technologies to the stack requirements, if you are scaling your product on mobile.
- Bear in mind that the potential vendor should know how to maintain an app on the hosting platform you use.
- Hire the vendor skilled in supporting the type of platform you have built.
- After you have chosen the new vendor, make sure the team has all the necessary tools to start the working process.
How our team will help you with the project transition plan from one vendor to another?
Thanks to our experience in helping businesses to smoothly transfer to a new vendor, we help companies to make this crucial step successful. We have developed our own approach, which includes the following procedures:
Primarily, we offer the consultation that allows us to understand the current stage of your project and single out the needs and objectives. We dwell upon the problems with the previous vendor, identify the main pinpoints, discuss and assess the risks of the transition, taking into account the project specificities, team size, etc.
Individual transition plan
We cover and discuss all the actions you need to take to change the software vendor. Moreover, we help with the preparation of the necessary documentation.
Before starting the transition process, our experts analyze previous project assets provided by the vendor. We elaborate on improvements and recommendations, help with the choice of the toolsets to make your project better and more compatible on the market. Moreover, we do our best to speed up the onboarding process with your new team.
Feel unsure about the actions you are taking?
Understanding the risks and goals related to the transition, we ensure smooth and successful transition process.
The success of the transfer of supplier depends on several aspects: the team, project stage and the availability of the transition plan. Without the proper understanding of these aspects, internal business processes, what people are responsible for specific tasks, it is impossible for a vendor to deliver on the client’s expectations.
At Altamira we are helping companies who faced a necessity to smoothly change their software developer midway through a strategic project due to geopolitical circumstances and other circumstances. Our knowledge transition plan contains the significant details and aspects that would be taken into account when moving to a new vendor in each particular case.