Finishing up a project is a large accomplishment and the easiest part of it should be handing it over, right? Sometimes the answer is no, and the hardest part has just arrived. Handing off a finished project a client sounds simple enough, but in some cases there is just no easy way to give it to them. In the case of our project with STEM NOW, our largest challenge was giving them the website itself. We were not able to just give the officers of the club the website we had created by transferring the website files and database to them. The easiest way to hand off our project was to utilize the WordPress plugin, Duplicator. It was able to back up the website and migrate it into a Zip file for the officers to easily move onto the final live website.
A large challenge in handing off a project is making sure the clients are able to maintain and use the project as self-sufficiently as they can. The project should be tailored towards the proficiency level of the clients. Sometimes, there are live applications and programs on the market that are convoluted and just terribly designed for the target audience, and end up doing awfully. However, there are going to be moments where the clients will not know how to use the product, and will come to the development team for support. In the off chance the product is not thoroughly tested and crashes, the development team needs to be able to answer and remedy the problem immediately.
Another problem is making sure there is a complete agreement between the product stakeholders and the development team. Ben Ferris states multiple different steps to make sure handing off a project between parties goes smoothly. Deadlines need to be agreed upon between all parties involved as to avoid potential mishaps on delivery dates. (Ferris, 2012). Also, clients tend to add and remove different goals for the team at times, and depending on how on track the team is, it might set the release date off track by a large margin. Missing the original set date may miss the market share for the product, and would lose an enormous profit. This would not be worth it just for adding a few features. “No longer is one party (often the supplier) subordinated to the other, but all parties are mutually dependent with respect to knowledge, continuity, and care” (Wognum, Fisscher, & Weenink, 2002, p. 350). Everyone, from the product stakeholder to the target audience has a part to play in building the project, but if everyone’s on the same page, then the project will succeed.
Ferris, B. (June 2012). How to Hand Off a Project Successfully. Cobalt PM. Retrieved from http://cobaltpm.com/project-hand-off/
Lamle, Cory. (February 2014). Duplicator. WordPress Plugin Directory. Retrieved from https://wordpress.org/plugins/duplicator/
Wognum P.M., Fisscher O., & Weenink, S. (March 2001). Balanced relationships: management of client–supplier relationships
in product development. Technovation, Vol. 22. Retrieved from http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~chchu/CPD/Data/Paper/BR.pdf
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Image credit to http://blog.certifiedbb.com/2011/05/non-compete-agreement-negotiated.html