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How to transfer a project to another development agency

Slava Todavchich

Slava Todavchich

Linkedin February 7, 2018
development agency

You may be dissatisfied with the progress of an IT project. An app is not being developed fast enough or the delivery of a site takes too long. Perhaps you are not properly informed of the progress of a project, which gives you insufficient insight into the tasks that you have outsourced. That is why you might consider transferring an IT project to another party. That is easier said than done. These five tips should help you make the transfer run smoothly.

Take your time

First of all, it is necessary that there is enough time to transfer from the old to the new developer. This is called a ‘retrospect’. It is important to consider each aspect of the transfer so that the problems encountered by the previous party become clear. This creates room to improve the processes and the new collaboration will also be able to bear fruit.

If that room is not given, then the new party will in some cases be forced to restart the entire project. This doesn’t only cost more time and money, but there is also the risk that certain things will be done twice (and that would be a shame).

Ensure that a transfer is as complete as possible

A development agency would like to receive the design and user stories during a transfer. These are called the backlog or epics, depending on the methodology used by the agency. This describes – per step – how the user experiences an app or site. For example, if you have forgotten your password, you will receive an email with a link where you can reset the password. This also requires certain things “at the back” of the app or site. The more detailed this is documented, the faster and more efficient the transfer can be organized.

In addition, it makes sense to describe which APIs and which libraries are used. A new development agency also likes to have access to the code base and the server where the current project is running. All these things are not a requirement, but it makes a transfer easier.

Real supplies for successful transfer

In addition to the above things mentioned above, there are also a number of things that are absolute requirements for a successful transfer. The first one is full ownership of the code.

Always check in advance whether a development agency wants ownership of the code. If that is the case, then it is difficult – if not impossible – to transfer a project. The same applies to the rights over the product to be developed. If a party tries to claim (part of) the rights of a product, that is generally not a good omen.

(We always transfer the complete code (and accompanying documentation))

Do not expect miracles in the first days

If you transfer a project, you hope that the new party already makes progress on the first day. Unfortunately, the new agency still has to struggle through with old code for the first few days and weeks, study the user stories, and sometimes even do a clean-up.

It is rather an exception instead of the rule that a new desk can be started immediately where the old desk has stopped. However, don’t let this stop you from choosing to transfer a project to another agency: sometimes you first have to take a step back, and then put two forward.

Transfer hosting

If you want the app or website to go live, you need to know who manages the hosting server where the project runs. For example, if the project as a whole is in a code repository, then it is relatively easy to deploy the project and transfer it to a new server.

Before the new development agency can actually be of value to you, it may sometimes be necessary to transfer the domain. Therefore you should make sure that you know where the project is hosted, if you want a fast transfer.


Transferring an IT project can be frustrating. The current agency may be disappointed that they could not handle a project or were unable to serve you properly. In this case, you are probably fed up with lost time, money and energy.

If you put all of your frustration aside, you should primarily see the transfer of a project as an opportunity for a fresh start, which will ultimately benefit your project. These five tips should make the new beginning even better. Of course we also help get your stranded IT project back on track.

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