Things to Consider When Switching Software Development Team

People may change their software development teams for diverse reasons. It could be because they could not meet a deadline, their contract might have ended, they are moving, or they are not meeting the required standard of work expected of them. 


For whichever reason it may be, when you think about switching teams, there are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration before you make such a decision. This is not a one-day decision; hence you should not be in a haste so that you do not encounter the same problems for which you are changing teams. 


You need to be intentional about the process and consider everything before deciding to change the teams. That said, here are a few things to consider when switching software development teams.


1. Have detailed documents

No business jokes with its documentation. This is essential as you change your development team. You do not need them lagging. You have to make sure that they are well briefed, and they can pick up the pace. You need to document every step that is taken. It has to be done systematically so that it is easy to follow. You must know the importance of record keeping.


It would be best if you had details of all the previous team's work, how they went about it, what went wrong, and where they ended. Giving your new team this information can help them jump on the bandwagon and be ever ready to work. This will provide them with information on how far along this process is and what is left to be done. 


With this new team, they must have one of their software developers write down the codes and processes used in software development. It should be clear and readable to them whenever they go over it.


2. Have a correct guideline


Guidelines are put in place to direct you and tell you what form the developmental process must take. It clearly spells out each stage and what must be done at that stage. This will make it easier for your new software development team to understand the work done so far and give them a fair idea of what is left to be done and how they can go about doing that.


To create such a guideline, you have to

  • Examine the situation 
  • Create a plan for the product being made 
  • Precisely define your execution plan
  • Assign roles and responsibilities to each member of the team
  • Look at the risks involved in this particular project
  • Create an excellent policy to see to the successful completion of your project.


3. Keep the code clean



As you switch teams, you must ensure that the code written is clean and readable. Just because your software developers know what they are about does not mean they will do their best. You have to follow their activities keenly and make sure they do what you asked them to do. 


You need to keep an eye on them and see that they do not overcrowd a function while coding. Overcrowding a function may make it difficult to understand the code that is written. You need to make sure that the written code follows consistently and logically. 


Humans are prone to errors. No matter how good they are or whether they use the best tools available in the world, they can make mistakes; therefore, use useful coding techniques. These minor mistakes can cause your software application to have a lot of bugs. Before you complete the software and go public, you need to check the website or application you are building to ensure that it does not contain any empty links or have misspelled words on the page. 


You can look for applications and software that are made for this particular purpose. You can try Javascript tools; they can be of great help. Google can be another avenue where you can help clean your codes and make them as concise and clean as possible. However, you have to be very careful when doing this as it is possible for you to quickly miss some of these errors.


4. Smooth transition 

We often say that change is the only constant thing in life. However, this change is not always pleasant. Having to change your software development may be for several reasons. This could cause a strain on the relationship between both parties. It would help if you found a way to make this change as easy as possible. 


Transitions do not always have to be bad, and changing your teams does not always mean you have problems with them, or they are not good at what they do. It could be that their term has ended, they are moving out of the city and for many other reasons. 


Whichever one it is, you need to find ways to make the change process run smoothly and does not bring any issues. You need to look at this change in its entirety. From the part of the leaving team to your incoming team, you need to cater for them all.


For your parting team, you need to:


Get all the codes they have done so far and any work-related documents they may have in their possession. Get details on work that is yet to be done, the challenges they faced, and the error and bugs in the written code. This will help your new team to fit in perfectly and start work from where your old team stopped. It will also eliminate the unnecessary duplication of a piece.


Depending on the relationship between your old team and yourself, you can ask them to help your new team settle into work, show them around a bit, and guide them. If your relationship ended on a sour note, there is no way you can ask them for help. You can only bid them farewell, rescind their access, and then move on.

Show gratitude to your leaving team. The fact that they are being replaced does not mean that you have any ill intentions towards them. You must thank them for their work and the efforts they have put into the project.


On the part of your incoming team:


Welcome your new team, warmly. Make them feel comfortable and tell them everything they need to know about the work. You also need to let them know what is expected of them. This will help them work efficiently.


You need to supervise their work and check up on them regularly. Since they are new, it may not be wise to leave them to do all the work on their own. You can pop in occasionally and ask if they need help.


You must take your time with them. Getting acquainted with the work may not be as quickly as you would like, but different people work at different paces. You need to be patient with them as they will get used to the code in no time and do the work you ask of them.

5. A clear contract


Contracts are not something to be joked with. Before you enter into any agreement or business venture with anyone, you need to make sure everything you want and are looking forward to is clearly stated in the contract. Contracts are the backbone of every agreement you may ever come to. 


As you enter a business with someone, not only in software development but also in all spheres of life, you must take your time to read all contracts made available. You must understand all clauses stated in the agreement and get the contract basics. If there is anything incomprehensible by any chance, you need to seek clarity before you sign anything because contracts are binding.


Concerning the code your team is building, you need to come to an agreement on the ownership of the code before anything else. Know that a written agreement is essential. You need to state it clearly that you own the code. These misunderstandings can make a change in your software development team unpleasant. 


To prevent unnecessary tension between yourself, let them know from the beginning that you own all rights to the codes and software being made and be sure to mention it in all contract documents and have them append their signatures accordingly.


6. Get all third party access.


The software development process is a big one. It may involve a lot of people performing different tasks. It may even have third party products and services. Your leaving team may have had accounts they used to gain access to all servers. All this information must be taken from your team as they leave and handed over to your new teammates to make their work easier. It would make the process of acquaintance and settling in quite faster as you may not have to wait to be set up on the many platforms you would be using to work. It all comes together quickly and makes the change much easier on you, your parting team, and your incoming team.


We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist both developers looking for work and companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.

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