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Once development is complete on your project what do you do? How can you make sure you can still be of use to the client without selling your time short? Testing and Support can sometimes be one of the trickiest parts of a project. In this video from Xojo Developer Conference 2018, I discuss how to set up the Testing and Support phase of a project.

Please find a full video transcript below: 

Susan: Testing and support. All right. This is all a part of perhaps your original project and then also your next project. At the end of testing is where you kind of want to turn off the project and turn it into support. Longterm agreement with them. Maybe you fix bugs for free. Maybe you install updates. There could be all sorts of arrangements that you may make in a support agreement for a fixed amount that they pay you. Or maybe they just do a bank of hours that you work against, but you want to get to that support.

By scheduling testing, we talked about alpha and maybe beta testing. However, you guys do it internally. Everybody can do this differently, but making sure that somebody internally has run through it from a client perspective, not from a developer perspective, from the user perspective. A good way to do that is make a movie to show your client how to do it. You’ll find amazing results of how many times those movies end in, oh, curse word, because you have to go in and fix something. Make a little movie that demos to your The beta testing usually involves them. Maybe some core users. It could also be that it’s rolled out to everyone. If you’re doing that, that’s also something to make sure they understand. It’s beta. There will be bugs. If you have people that aren’t really comfortable with buggy software or being able to report bugs clearly, maybe that beta testing needs to not be rolled out to everyone. Maybe just a small group.

And then, of course, bug fixes. You need to include that as part of your plan. You shouldn’t be surprised when you get to the end that there are bugs. Your client shouldn’t be surprised either. So make sure that that’s part of it. And then ongoing support. Your client, at the end of the project, is often worried, oh, are you just going to leave me? What’s going to happen? Make sure that they know that you’re there for them. That you’re there long term to help support them and their work.

Now what happens usually when you get to this stage is a whole bunch of interruptions of people out of the blue emailing you with something that now is an emergency. They’ve interrupted your day or calling. Get a tool that lets you support them. I highly recommend Zendesk. If you’re using teamwork for project management, they also have Desk. It is not as feature large … I don’t know if that’s a right phrase … have as many features as Zendesk does, but it is available to help track those. And you can usually send emails into these things, like support@yourdomainname. So the client has that as part of their support agreement. They email in there, and now you have a system to manage ongoing support with your clients. That kind of pulls us into finishing the project.

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