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Handing Off

As any designer or developer will tell you, it is difficult to actually “freeze” development. It always feels like more refinement is possible. Establish a point in time when the design, production, and development of the redesign project has reached a full cycle — if for nothing else than to send the final invoice. Understand that there may never be a perfect moment to do this; errors and issues will continue to crop up. The client and development team should mutually decide in advance what defines the point of transition between a site-in-development and a site-in-maintenance. Clearly defining responsibilities and transition points, as well as handing off a packet of materials, helps make the gray area between development and maintenance much more black and white. Refer back to the original contract, which should clearly outline the deliverables. If these have changed during the process, there should be (hopefully) an email trail and a signed additional charge (AC) form or change order request. The ease with which you can manage the client's expectations at this phase is a direct result of effective communication throughout the process.

Most projects have one team responsible for the building and launch of a site and another team set to take care of the site's ongoing maintenance. Even for internal teams, the individuals who created the site are often not the ones maintaining it. But regardless of who is transitioning the project to whom (or when — sometimes the project is handed over after pages are built and populated and sometimes before, with only the templates handed off), now is the time when several items need to be wrapped up so that the maintenance team can do its job.


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