Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on July 22nd, 2014

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Is your web development project in limbo. Things to consider when switching developers.

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Abandoned projects. Lack of communication causes a project melt-down. Hiring the wrong team for your needs. Disappearing developer. Didn't get what you paid for. These are just a few of the reasons we hear when a company contacts us to pick up the pieces and be their knight in shining armor. We get lots of rescue 911 calls for companies with projects in limbo. They often ask can we pick up where someone left off and finish a project? In the years since we have been in business, we have done this a lot. For varying reasons, many are like the ones listed above.

When we get these rescue calls, we have a certain protocol or process we follow. It is important in instances like this to really hear and listen to the concern of the potential new client. These potential new clients are often skittish and sometimes lack trust. Can you blame them? Most of them have invested thousands of dollars and countless hours of time, missed deadlines, maybe even lost clients all because of a bad experience with a developer. In these cases it is extra important to develop a specific punch list of work to be completed, have in-depth discussions and get a client sign off on the punch list. Sometimes, the communication breakdown with a previous developer could be because the client really didn't understand what they needed or what they were paying for. Let's face it, it is not always the previous developer's fault. So as the potential new developer you need to be cautious as well and really get a feel for the potential new client. Whatever the reasons were for the previous breakdown, the potential client still has a project that needs to be completed. Below is our process for evaluating and picking up the pieces of a project.

1. Discuss initial needs - high-level discussion about website issues/changes needed

2. Request access to existing code, database and hosting control panel (if one exists)

3. Request detailed "punch list" of areas to be addressed on website

4. Review existing code/database

5. Review punch list

6. Provide estimate to client on time needed to fix/update items

7. Obtain client sign-off of approval on all fixes and updates.

8. Proceed with changes/updates Whatever the reason you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to switch developers mid-project it is important to take the time to re-evaluate your project. Make sure you have a full understanding of what you are expecting from your project. Is what you are looking to do realistic. Research any potential new developers or development firms thoroughly before make a rush switch just to get the job done. Think about how or where your project broke down in the first place and address these issues with any potential new developer. Ask for references, portfolio links and/or examples of projects that are similar to yours. Ask the developer for input on your needs. Ask the developer if your goals are realistic and attainable. Make sure your new developer has proven track record in the programming language our platform you need. When you decide on a new developer, understand that they are not to blame for your previous breakdown. Sure, proceed with caution, but don't punish a new developer for a past one's crimes or you may be looking at another breakdown. If you have a project that is in limbo, or is close to completion feel free to reach out. We offer free consultations and would love to discuss your needs further.