Professional Courtesy Regarding Knowledge Transfer From Outsourced Teams

  • The wrong repositories have been shared with the client.
  • The right repository is shared but there is no README to provide a summarized view of how to get the project running locally.
  • The commit history is full of one-word commit messages that provide no context or reason for a change or addition.
  • There has been no handover of updated project assets, plans or documentation.
  • There is no deployment documentation explaining the “where” and “why” around how one or more services is deployed.


  • Understand the aim of the project through a descriptive summary.
  • Understand how to clone the project and install the required dependencies.
  • Understand how to set up the project to run locally.
  • Understand if any related projects are needed and the dependencies between the projects.

Commit Messages

Knowledge Transfer

  • Access to all code repositories. You need to ensure you have access to all code repository’s that were created or used in the project. All code branches should be pushed to whichever cloud service that was used as origin. Each repository should have a README and all code and deployment-related assets.
  • A deployment plan. A top-level diagram of the deployment of the application plus a detailed document covering the underlying services used and their configuration. This should also detail how to set up the deployment from scratch, any external services used for monitoring or error tracing and details of the database (schema, security and roles etc).
  • Credentials & Secrets. Ideally, you will set up a centralised password and secret tool to share and keep passwords, API keys and third party service access routes.
  • Design Assets. All design work and generated assets such as image files and videos.
  • Sprint data. You should be using a work planning tool such as Jira or Trello to log the agreed work. Once the project is over you should retain access or have that data exported so no knowledge is lost.
  • Full IP Ownership. Once the project is completed then you should have a document confirming that all IP is transferred to you. This usually is included in the contract. However, I have worked on projects where the outsource team have used in-house developed libraries or systems and you should insist that you retain ownership of this code. If that is not possible then you need to decide on how to proceed but I would recommend at the very least that you agree on a maintenance & licencing basis to ensure you receive all future updates



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