Handovers are costly, but do we learn our lessons?

With the arrest of Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, the famed Singh brothers of Ranbaxy, the all too familiar story in the Indian conglomerates is getting repeated. Few years back it was the Mallayas and even before that, the Ambanis!

So, what are we talking about here? Well, it is the monster in the room that we all know but rarely talk about, The costliness and ills of handovers.

The story of Ranbaxy, United Breweries and Reliance tell us of an oft repeated syndrome in the industry–

When the reins change, the control changes, those over not necessarily share the same passion, same vision, same focus as the ones who created a product or system in the first place. Even though the founders in the case of all three behemoths mentioned above, tried to mentor their successors, but the end game was still a failure ! Family business nurtured and crafted over many decades has to be shut down or handed over to others.

You may create as many documents, have as many meetings, run a Risk assessment, have the best auditors qualifying that the ‘process’ was right but what goes missing, is the passion and vision. You can handover the written word but not the heart and mind.

BUT like our past has been a testimony, Do we learn lessons? Never?

The Indian industry still believes in “Projects”.

Handover after the main functionality/ features are delivered, then let another team/company take care of the mess left behind by the original creators. There are reams of documents created to future proof the systems and make the HOTO process easy but yet every ‘Support and maintenance’ person I have ever met, cribs about how bad the original product/ system/ code was.

and, if this was not enough, the software industry went one step ahead to take the mess to greater heights ( Delhites might be reminded of Ghazipur landfill here :D).

Requirements Analysis by one vendor, design by another, code by a third one, testing by the next and yet the deployment by a totally different team, having long handovers, documents at each step, All in the name of reducing risk and getting more transparency. But, Dear outsourcing customer, please retrospect, did you get more benefits or more headaches?

ok, enough of cribbing but what’s the solution?

Stable teams that continue for long. Teams that live together, grow together, cry together and celebrate together.

“A team that everyone wants to join”

Can your ‘team’ boast of being that dream team today?

If no, what steps would you take to make it that ‘Dream team’?

2 thoughts on “Handovers are costly, but do we learn our lessons?

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