How To Change App Developers


Whatever the rea­son (or rea­sons), some­times a busi­ness will want to change de­vel­op­ers, this ar­ti­cle out­lines how you can make that process as pain­less as pos­si­ble with 6 sim­ple steps.

Step 1: Check Your Contacts! Who owns Your IP/Source Code?

Do you own your source code? Do you have the right pa­per­work signed? Click here, for a scary story of what can hap­pen when your de­vel­oper owns your code. The so­lu­tion is sim­ple: be aware and check your con­tacts and then dou­ble check your con­tracts.

Need some le­gal ad­vice? I can strongly rec­om­mend Malcolm Burrows of Dundas Lawyers to an­swer any le­gal ques­tions re­gard­ing IP.

Step 2: Ask Yourself Why You Are Changing Developers

Now that you have checked your pa­per­work, you need to ask your­self why you think you need to change de­vel­op­ers. The Whys method can help you com­plete this step. Simply ask your­self ‘why’ un­til you dis­cover the root cause of your prob­lem with your ex­ist­ing de­vel­oper (you may need to re­peat this process).

  1. I need to change de­vel­op­ers. Why?
  2. Because de­vel­op­ment is tak­ing too long. Why?
  3. Because we keep re­quest­ing changes. Why?
  4. Because our de­vel­oper is not mak­ing what we want the first time around. Why?
  5. Because they did­n’t know what we wanted. Why?
  6. Because we have poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels. Why?
  7. Because we can only com­mu­ni­cate dig­i­tally. Why?
  8. Because they are an off­shore de­vel­oper.

It’s es­sen­tial that you know why you’re chang­ing de­vel­op­ers, oth­er­wise you may have the same prob­lems with your new de­vel­oper as you did with your old one.

Download our White Paper and see how we de­velop apps us­ing code-writ­ing bots.

Step 3: Find a New Developer

What’s the key to a strong re­la­tion­ship with your soft­ware out­sourc­ing com­pany? I be­lieve the key is com­mu­ni­ca­tion. That’s why at WorkingMouse we have the Partner Journey.

The Partner Journey is a step-by-step guide to the whole part­ner process, start­ing with the Brief stage and con­tin­u­ing post-de­vel­op­ment into the Support stage. It spells out every­one’s role and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, and en­sures every­one is on the same page, every step of the way.

However, as im­por­tant as the Partner Journey (or some­thing like it) is, it’s also im­por­tant that your de­vel­oper has an it­er­a­tive de­vel­op­ment method­ol­ogy.

A (non-exhaustive) list of things to keep in mind when choos­ing a new de­vel­oper in­cludes avail­abil­ity, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, rep­u­ta­tion, price, and post-de­vel­op­ment sup­port.

Some of these con­sid­er­a­tions are re­lated. For ex­am­ple, a lo­cal de­vel­oper can be more avail­able and have bet­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tion regimes than one that’s lo­cated off­shore in India.

Actually meet­ing the de­vel­op­ers, de­sign­ers, and testers that will be work­ing on your ap­pli­ca­tion, is im­por­tant, and it sure beats Skype.

Another pair­ing is price and post-de­vel­op­ment sup­port. A de­vel­oper that does­n’t of­fer post-de­vel­op­ment sup­port could be plan­ning on rush­ing through the de­vel­op­ment stage and re­leas­ing buggy soft­ware. Cheapest is­n’t al­ways most cost-ef­fec­tive.

Make sure you know the tricks to avoid slow and ex­pen­sive app de­vel­op­ment.

Check that you won’t have the same prob­lems with your new, po­ten­tial de­vel­oper as you did with you old one.

Once you have signed a new de­vel­oper, it’s time to turn your at­ten­tion back to your ex­ist­ing one.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Relationship Status

The sta­tus of your re­la­tion­ship with your de­vel­oper is im­por­tant when you’re chang­ing de­vel­op­ers. This is be­cause, ide­ally, your pre­sent de­vel­oper will meet with your new de­vel­oper to aid the tran­si­tion process.

However, it’s pos­si­ble (seeing as you’re chang­ing de­vel­op­ers) that this re­la­tion­ship has turned sour. In this case, it’s best to com­plete as much of the tran­si­tion as pos­si­ble prior to telling your de­vel­oper that you will be switch­ing to a new one.

This is be­cause your de­vel­oper may still have ac­cess to vi­tal ar­eas of your busi­ness. Because of this, there is the pos­si­bil­ity, how­ever un­likely, that your data or IP could be­come com­pro­mised. Don’t take the chance!

Step 5: Documentation and Assets

The smooth­ness of Step 4 de­pends in part on Step 3. Assuming a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship, your old de­vel­oper will be able to hand over the doc­u­men­ta­tion and as­sets needed to con­tinue work on your app and an­swer any ques­tions your new de­vel­oper may have. In this case, the tran­si­tion of doc­u­men­ta­tion and as­set should be quick and easy.

Assuming a sour re­la­tion­ship, how­ever, you may be needed to pro­vide the needed doc­u­men­ta­tion and as­set or your new de­vel­oper recre­ate what’s miss­ing.

Key doc­u­men­ta­tion and as­sets in­clude the source code, lo­gin de­tails, host­ing ac­counts, GitHub repos­i­to­ries and lo­gos.

The best way to en­sure this tran­si­tion runs smoothly is to make sure your new de­vel­oper has ex­pe­ri­ence with legacy and cloud mi­gra­tion (see Step 3).

Download our White Paper and learn more about legacy and cloud mi­gra­tion.

Step 6: Continue Iterating & Innovating

Once your new de­vel­oper has the nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion and as­sets, they can be­gin analysing your ex­ist­ing soft­ware stack: iden­ti­fy­ing bugs and po­ten­tial op­por­tu­ni­ties. Upon com­ple­tion of this analy­sis, you can re­sume it­er­at­ing on your app with your new de­vel­oper and be­gin your part­ner jour­ney!

Congratulations, you have switched de­vel­op­ers.

Discover Software


David Burkett

Growth en­thu­si­ast and res­i­dent pom

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