Software development partners play a crucial role in the success of any project. They are responsible for creating and maintaining the software that runs your business, and their skills and expertise can make or break your project. However, sometimes it becomes necessary to change them. In this blogpost, we will share some reasons you might need to find another software partner, our experience with transitioning, and the steps that can minimize the disruption to your business.
Most often reasons companies change software development partners
Quite often, there is not one single reason that pushes companies to choose different software development partners. It might be a combination of factors that cannot be resolved between the parties and make the decision to let go of the old and find a new one the only possible. Below are the most common causes we have discussed with clients that have switched to us.
Different focus of the client or the supplier
For example, the client decides that they want to expand exponentially, and the supplier cannot address their development needs. In a different situation, the supplier decides they would like to focus only on clients from a particular sector. All businesses evolve and it is okay if you or your partner change direction. You just need to address it properly.
Shortage of Requested Skills
Your current software development partner may not have the skills or expertise needed to complete your project. This can lead to delays and increased costs. As technology evolves, you might need a different set of skills. For example, if you need to integrate your software with new technologies like artificial intelligence or blockchain, your current partner may not have the necessary skills or experience. In this case, the company might decide to switch from a partner that just has a few positions to one that can cover the whole development cycle.
Slow Response Time and no Quality Communication
In that case, the company might decide to switch to a partner that is in a closer time zone or shows dedication by proposing daily sync-ups and updates. Many businesses prefer to work with software consultants located within the European Union as it is easier to travel there, and apart from the time zone, the software partners are also closer in cultural similarities.
If your software development partner is not meeting deadlines, it can cause your project to fall behind schedule and negatively impact your business. This can be due to a lack of planning, poor resource allocation, or a lack of accountability on the part of the software development partner. Whatever the reason, it affects trust and you better reconsider your options sooner rather than later.
Lack of Appointed Stakeholders in Case of Emergency
In this case companies switch to partners that offer hierarchical transparency, dedicated manager, and team. For example, at Accedia we have dedicated Engineering Managers that respond to any queries and manage the communication and progress of the different tasks.
Most often than not the team is made up of developers that cannot really communicate properly the obstacles and that considerably slows down the development process. In that case, companies might decide to switch to a software development partner that offers a team of software consultants whose job is to study the whole business organization inside-out to be able to bring a fresh perspective that will change the business in a positive direction.
The software development partners are often just there to cover the basic minimum but with that, they bring on board solutions that only increase the business expenses, and not the opposite.
Smooth Transition between Software Partners: How to Do It?
Once you notice that your partner is not able to address your business needs adequately, you should expand your search across the market before renewing your partnership. But you should notify the partner from the start because they might be unaware that such issues even exist and might propose better solutions, skills, team, etc. Below, we also review a few key things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition and minimize disruption to your business.
Understand the reasons for the change
Before making a transition, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the reasons for the change. This will help you understand exactly what you want or don’t want when you start looking for a new partner that better fits your needs. Once you do, make sure to communicate it effectively with your selected partner, so you ensure they understand your biggest challenges.
Communicate with your current partner
Before ending your partnership, it’s important to communicate with your current partner and explain why you are making the change. This helps to maintain a good relationship and can also help to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Keep your team informed
Keep your team informed about the change and involve them in the process to minimize confusion. This includes keeping them informed about the reasons for the change, the new partner and their capabilities, and the plan for the transition.
Plan ahead and pay attention to all details
Changing software development partners can be disruptive to your business, so it’s important to plan ahead to minimize the impact. This includes researching new partners and developing a plan for the transition that covers:
If you have a lot of data involved, make sure you have a contingency plan for transferring it to the new partner, and that all the data is secure and protected during the process. This is especially crucial if the data is confidential or contains sensitive information about your clients, partners or team.
Knowledge transfer is key to ensure that the new partner understands the current system, business processes and any specific requirements. This can include transferring technical knowledge, such as the architecture of the current system, as well as knowledge of the business processes and any specific requirements. Make sure you set up meetings between current and future partners, plus stakeholders from your company and record them so that any new members of the project can have a quick onboarding.
When starting a new partnership, set clear expectations for communication, deadlines, and deliverables to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This includes having a clear project plan, regular progress reports, and a defined process for resolving any issues that may arise. Be sure to not set unrealistic expectations due to foul experience you may have had.
Review together expenses, regulations, repercussions
Before signing any documents with a new software development partner, it is important to review the expenses this transition might cost you, how much current costs will increase or decrease and majorly what will be in it for you as a new partner on their board. In Accedia we have the experience and the transition is as simple as starting a new project. You just meet up with our team to clear out the details surrounding the change and then we ourselves set up meetings with the current partner for knowledge and data transfer.
Communicate with the dedicated team and manager that will support the transition
It is useful to get to know the team that will carry on the project you have started with a different partner. Discussing with them what has failed and what you want and seeing their reactions firsthand is the best way to evaluate whether they would be a good match for you.
Transitioning to a new partner can be a costly process, particularly if the new partner requires additional resources or if there are delays during the transition. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the costs involved and to make sure that you are getting the best value for your money.
Be aware of the length of time it takes
The transition is not always quick and easy but in the end, it is worth it as you will get a quality services and quite often than not your expectations will be exceeded. Just make sure you and your team know that it might take time.
By being aware of these steps and potential challenges and planning for them, you can minimize the impact of the transition on your business and ensure a smooth and successful transition to a new software development partner.
What to do after the transition?
After transitioning to a new software development partner, there are also a few key things that should be done to set your partnership off to a success.
Agree on Regular Check-Ups to Track the Progress
Aim to start anew with regular sync-ups with the new team from the start so you can both be on the same page with goals, quality and deadlines. This will ease the dedicated team and your team in the project. When the stress of not meeting expectations is put aside, the development partner can also open up capacity for innovative solutions.
Foster a positive relationship
Foster a positive relationship with the new partner by maintaining clear lines of communication, providing feedback, and being responsive to their concerns. This will help to ensure that the partnership is successful and that any issues that arise can be resolved quickly.
Look for opportunities for growth
Look for opportunities for growth with the new partner. This can include discussing potential future projects or collaborations and exploring new technologies or services that can benefit your business.
Document the process
Document the process of transition, the steps taken, and the outcome. This documentation can be used as a reference for future similar transitions, and also helps to identify areas of improvement.
By following these steps, you can have a successful partnership with your new software development partner and minimize disruption to your business. Additionally, continuous review and improvement will help you to get the most out of the partnership and ensure that your software development needs are met in the long term.
Accedia’s Experience with Transitioning
In our line of work, we have had a few business clients join us after having worked with a different vendor. Of course, situations might differ, but we always try to first understand the reasons for transition, the pain points of the potential client, and how we can accommodate their development needs better. What is more, we have learned that no matter the situation, it is most beneficial if both software partners participate in the transition process.
How we address a transition?
Usually, a transition period of three months is defined (that truly depends on the size and scope of the project), and meetings are planned between all project stakeholders. We aim to nurture continuing communication with the previous vendor during the transition and organize meetings with involved development teams for knowledge, data, and infrastructure transfers. For example, we meet our UI/UX with the previous vendor’s UI/UX team, the new engineering manager with the previous one, our consultants with the previous consultants, and so on.
Transition upon Request and Recommendation of Current Software Development Partner
A leading provider of strategic advice and shareholder services to corporate clients around the world recently become our client after having worked with another vendor from Bulgaria. Here the vendor wanted to cut the relationship as they were changing direction and pursuing only clients from the Health sector. The software supplier itself recommended us as a new potential partner to the client. This is a rare case but it does happen out there as quite often than not the software development partners try to maintain good relationships with their direct competitors.
In this case, we reached a win-win situation for all sides. The previous vendor could continue with their new business direction, the client got a new partner in Accedia and managed to quickly continue their project and we gained a new long-term partner. In this case, all parties knew from the beginning and we worked together with the previous vendor to transfer knowledge, data, development, and else. Thus, we met up to discuss the business logic, the quality assurance procedures, then did pair programming work sessions. We recorded all our onboarding meetings to ensure that if and when the client requires additional consultants, we can quickly introduce them to all the processes. Only after all those meetings, we involved the client to discuss the future work. That ensured that we caused as little disruption to their business and team and the transition was a smooth one for all sides.
Software Development Partner Switch for an International Hotel Chain
In a different case, a leading international hotel chain decided to switch from a software partner based in India to Accedia as they required software consultants with specific skills located in Europe. In this case, the previous vendor was notified when the transition has already started. We worked with them to ensure proper and quality knowledge and data transfer but most of the meetings after that were with the client. This ensured that we know their business inside-out, their requirements, and their expectations when working with a European company. The partnership has worked out quite well so far as we are closer in location, as well as cultural and work values than their previous vendor. As a result, they have also entrusted us with two new projects involving the migration of systems to different cloud providers.
In conclusion, changing software development partners can be a difficult but necessary decision for your business. It’s important to remember that the key to a smooth transition is open and effective communication. By planning, communicating with your current partner, researching new options, setting clear expectations, and keeping your team informed, you can minimize disruption and ensure a smooth transition to a new partner that better fits your business needs.
In case you are in need to discuss a potential transition, our team is one call or email away.