I think handing a project to the client is just a beginning phase in life-cycle of that project. I have worked closely with all the SDLC phases of software development. I have observed that once a project is handed over to the client, the first and foremost challenge is client training. Client needs to understand the usage pattern of the project. The next challenge is deployment. Developer develops the product keeping in mind a certain way of deployment configuration. Client environment might not support all those configurations. When I worked as software developer for more than three years I would say, following are the risks and challenges after handing a project to the client, which I came across.
Client Training: May it be an encryption product, may it be a game on android store, clients need training as to how to use the product. Though software best practices suggest on writing elaborate functional and technical specifications and user guides there remains some gray area which clients are unsure of. Client training is one of the most challenging part after handing over the product to the client. Client can fully make use of the product only if client gets to know how the project works thoroughly.
Changing Requirements: After the project is handed over to the client and client starts using it, client might come across some of the requirements those are no longer valid. Some of the requirements those were stated earlier might have been changed for client. In case of these changed requirements, the developer team should support these requirement and try and modify the code accordingly. Technical support team for a project does this job of taking care of changing requirements.
Technical Support: Once the users start using a product they might come across some issues with respect to functionality. If the product is released recently, some companies try to extend the infant support. In the infant support period, the issues need to be taken care by the technical support team of the company. Depending on the priority of the issues, issues get addressed within the time frame ranging from one day to six months. Product developed by one software firm might be supported by another software firm after it is released to the client. This is called product lifetime support wherein, the supporting team takes care of customer issues if any.
Operational Risks: After the project is released to the client, there are many operational risks involved as far as the support team is concerned. Some of these risks are: (software-testing-help, 2013)
- Failure to address priority conflicts
- Failure to resolve the responsibilities
- Insufficient resources
- No proper subject training
- No resource planning
- No communication in team
Software-testing-help (2013). Types of Risks in Software Projects. Retrieved from http://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/types-of-risks-in-software-projects/
Special Purpose Equipment (2013). Project Management. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1z7i0IP