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Rescuing your troubled software project – Q&A

Every day we come across companies where a relationship with a previous technology vendor has gone sour and a new vendor must pick up where the old one left off. At SOLTECH, we understand that these problems can be critical and it is difficult to trust a new vendor. Here are some of the questions we hear when a company’s software development project is in trouble.

What does SOLTECH see as the most common failure of projects that involve rescue work?

A project often runs into trouble because the client engaged the project when a superficial budget estimate was provided without spending the time to detail requirements and design a final software solution. If your requirements are not well captured or understood, then the estimate/budget you are working with is not valid. Often this will manifest itself in the middle of a project when actual work product is generated and it doesn’t match expectations on quality or budget spent.

How does our software development process differ when doing a rescue project as opposed to a new software development project?

The process we use is different for rescue & recovery projects vs. greenfield development. A new development project typically starts with discovery effort and solution design, whereas a rescue project will begin with a transition phase. During transition, we validate immediately that we have the complete set of source code, it will compile,and  that the code is the latest and matches what is currently in production. This short step allows our clients to feel comfortable that they can safely move away from the old technology vendor. Once complete, SOLTECH will typically then turn attention to performing an application assessment and then the client’s punchlist of outstanding issues, which usually starts to pile up during the course of an unsuccessful project.

What do I need to do now if I think my project is in trouble?

First, make sure you have ownership of your source code and physical access to it. Don’t let the problem linger and hope it will work itself out as it will most likely worsen instead of improve. Once you have insured you have access to your source code and project documents, address the issue with your technology vendor and determine if the issues can be worked out or if it is time to replace the vendor.

If you believe your project is in trouble, give us a call. We can offer advice and help get you back on track!


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