A large percentage of our clients are frustrated with their software team and are hoping to find a better one. We can always find them a great team to start working with, but there is still the matter of transitioning to the new team without undue drama, expense, or stress.
Many clients are tempted to start reviewing their contracts and ‘playing defense’ once the end of the relationship is imminent. I always advise against this. Just because a software team isn’t performing well doesn’t mean that they’ll be vindictive or unsupportive of a transition, and lawyering up is almost never necessary.
More often than not we find that if a client is extremely unhappy with their vendor, the vendor is not thrilled with the client either! Even if the client is a ‘perfect client’, a troubled project is hard on everyone and it’s easy to forget that an offshore software team is also trying to succeed in business and needs to worry about morale and customer retention. As a result, the most common approach to this is to simply engage the current team and let them know the plans to terminate the contract. Just about every time, the team will be relieved to hear this and will actually help to ensure a smooth transition.
That said, not everything goes perfectly in these circumstances so it’s a great idea to start quietly gathering up your source code, graphical assets, documentation and whatever else you can put together to ensure that once you actually break up with the previous software team, you have everything you need. Many clients offer to pay the former software team to do some knowledge transfer or stay on for a while, but in my observation this rarely succeeds – a clean break is the way to go!
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