I am looking to create the MVP with a development agency. What should I do to move to our own development team after funding?
During the past few years, there has been a considerable rise in the use of custom software applications. Developing a software product can involve multiple development teams. The software undergoes different stages throughout its development lifecycle. In most cases, non-tech companies work with development agencies to create MVP- the initial part of the product. Then, they engage an in-house team to scale up the product and launch it. But, in some cases, this transition can result in a waste of time and frustration. Thus, how should you avoid this problem and make the transition smooth?
Address the Reason for the Transition
What is your goal behind the transition to another development team? Product owners sometimes do it when the original team’s performance is slow. You can also consider transition when the remote team cannot manage continuous product iterations. You may have several other reasons behind your decision.
A brief guide will prepare you for the change. You will have better control over different technologies used for the product.
Although some previous team members are on board, they may not solve every issue to ensure a smooth transition. Still, they play an invaluable role in the transition process.
Focus on documentation
In most cases, freelance developers often need to deal with a codebase they are unfamiliar with. But, the goal of a software development project is to speed up the process to impress clients. The best solution is to have comprehensive documentation about the development project. It will prevent pitfalls in the process.
Developers with first-hand knowledge of developing the application have to write the documentation.
Documentation needs to cover
Creation of a perfect development environment- The major tasks are to get the source code, set up the database, and configure the environment with credentials. It is also essential to import some sample data.
- Run an automated test- By checking how the application passes the test, developers can ensure that everything has a proper setup.
- Deploy to the production servers- Update the software with some new modifications. There is a need to use scripts.
The newly on-boarded software developers should get other relevant information to avoid debugging problems.
Another important thing is the code. You have to make sure that the outsourced team of developers has maintained international coding standards. It will help software engineers to analyze the code and start working on it.
It may take time for new developers to be familiar with the new codes. Make sure that they have some time to learn it to maintain the pace of the development process.
How to move to your development team?
If you want to create the MVP with a development agency. What should you do to move to your own development team after funding?
This is how many tech startups start their journey. Contract developers or development agencies create initial product or MVP. Once the MVP is proven and receives some funding, you can hire in-house developers and designers. To do a smooth transition, make sure to follow some guidelines while working with development agencies or freelancers.
Make sure your startup owns the full IP of whatever is developed. Make sure it’s sealed out in the agreement. Typically a US work for hire agreement covers it. Also, make sure you have complete access to the source code and server infrastructure.
Once in a while, we get customers who want to develop a product further. Realizes they don’t have the source code or full access to the server infra. Many times they are at the mercy of the past developers.
Make sure you are the owner of the domain name where your site/app. Even though it should be very fundamental, we noticed many times the clients don’t even own or access their own domain name.
MVP can be created as a starting point for the future product or as a throwaway solution to test product/market fit. You should make the decision while working on MVP. Both are valid options, but you make your decision based on your plans.
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Have a comprehensive understanding of the software application
The software product owner must have a clear concept about it. Technical knowledge is not essential.
- The development process– Some developers like to use a tool for source control management. However, it is important to know how to develop, test, and approve the new feature.
- The technology stack used for the product– You have to know the front-end and back-end technologies chosen for the application framework. These technologies may include Angular JS, React JS, Node JS, and Ruby on Rails.
- Platforms for hosting the software– There may be different deployment methods based on the chosen web host. Nowadays, cloud technologies offer several hosting options.
- Third-party services for the application– Shopify and other third-party services are used for the software product development. You have to identify them for your software development project.
- Are platforms compatible with the software– Is it a cloud application, desktop-friendly software, or mobile application? Choose the best platform for the desired product. Moreover, you have to learn about the current platforms of the software.
Manage ownership of tools and services
Your previous developers might have accessed different third-party tools and services. As you think of transitioning to another team, you have to take ownership of accounts. It will give access to the chosen tools and services. By accessing them, you can avoid communicating with original developers. Most commonly, the types of tools and third-party services used for software development are:
- Web hosting and file hosting
- Source control management
- DNS providers
- Payment and blogging services
- Tracking and analytics
- Email marketing
Any transition may be scary and distressing. It is also true for your software development process. Transition to a new team of developers is not surprising. However, you must take steps to make the process easier. It is good to understand both non-technical and technical aspects of the product and its development process. It will make the transition seamless.
Moreover, your new team has to appreciate the transition. The passion of the new developers will save effort and time. It will also help in maintaining professional standards. These developers have to know every detail of the product. Encourage them to be proactive!