You have commissioned your project and waited patiently to have it finished. You were there through thick and thin of the development process. You tried to be as helpful as possible and provide the team with all the needed support and information.
No wonder you can’t wait for the final effect. You chose a trusted team and monitored the process. Everything must be top-notch, right? Right?
Even if you trusted the team and bent over backwards, there’s still a sliver of doubt. What if something goes wrong? What if your employees won’t understand how to manage the product?
Worry not, your team won’t leave you in the lurch. They will prepare a project handoff, to clarify everything and deliver the final product.
Let me tell you everything you need to know about project handoffs!
Why Is the Project Handoff so Important?
Let’s start with the basics; why do you even need that? First of all, it provides you with all critical information and may successfully reduce the need for support in the future. By receiving this information upfront in a clear and concise document, you won’t have to worry about contacting the development team to clarify your doubts. Having all this in one place also helps you in the future if any issues arise.
Moreover, the handoff ends the project on a high note. Even if you and your development team struggled to deliver it, project handoff is a moment of glory. No matter how many issues or miscommunications may have occurred over the project’s timeline, the end is always a time for celebration.
The Handoff Process: What to Expect
Once the project has been marked as completed, it is time to begin the handoff process. As a recipient of the final product, you should know what to expect and demand from it. Let me guide you through all the necessary steps in the project handoff.
It’s the moment of truth. The time to check if all the requirements have been met and the final product checks all the boxes.
However, don’t feel pressured to approve it no matter what. If you still have some doubts or questions, make sure to address it. After all, you should be fully satisfied with the final product.
Once you give your approval, the development team can make any small adjustments and prepare to wrap up the project in good spirit.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to provide you, the client, with comprehensive project documentation.
The documentation describes product functionality, collects all project-related information, and allows for discussing all significant questions arising between clients and developers. It explains all twists and turns of the development process. It helps you understand how exactly the development team came up with the final product.
Moreover, it can be essential in the future, if any issues arise. It also gives a nice overview of your cooperation with the team and shows the progress and achieved milestones.
Branding- Style Guide
Great design is about maintaining consistency, and it can sometimes be difficult to remember the little details, especially in larger projects. And remember, the devil’s in the detail!
Style guide will not only allow you to find correct font size for your headings, but it will also allow you to quickly change colors or other design elements in your project.
Your team should provide you with a comprehensive guide discussing all the issues connected to your branding, to make all the style elements work for you and express your brand’s identity.
Once all is one and you can take over the project, you must get access to all the files. If there are any additional files that your team wants to share, such as a design style guide, they should collate them and share them with you via a file sharing service such as Dropbox.
Once you get access to all the files, make sure that everything is sorted and organised in a logical and accessible way. After all, the documents are there to facilitate your work and not to force you to wander in the maze of folders and files.
Hopefully, you’ve made a plan with your client well in advance on how you’ll handle support in the future. If you haven’t already discussed this, or you have but rejected the plan, now is a good time to make your final decision.
You need to understand what support you will get in the future from your team, and how that process will work. Even though it’s hard to look past the recurring costs, believe me, having a maintenance plan is crucial and beneficial.
Make sure to establish hourly costs, time expectations, and preferred methods of contact. Also, if you require 24/7 support, it’s time to make that clear to the team.
Time for Celebration
As I already mentioned, the handoff should be the grand finale of your project. It’s time to let go of any past issues and problems and enjoy the final product.
Project handoff is here to dispel all your doubts and prove that all your requirements have been fulfilled.
Once you make sure your product is ready, you can release it to the public. Hope it does well!