Transitioning to Delivery page

Learn how to successfully transition a project from the sales team to the delivery team.


For most projects, the people who sell the work are not the same people who perform the work. A successful transition from the sales team to the delivery team is critically important to ensuring project success. This guide walks through how to have an effective and efficient transition process that minimizes risk and maximizes the changes for success.

Common Problems

When transitioning many projects to delivery, these common problems emerge:

  • Sales teams are the first group of people to interact with a client. They get a lot of knowledge of the project, the client, process, etc. This information needs to be provided to the delivery team.
  • Clients often don’t have agreed upon goals and processes themselves.
  • Sales teams want to sell. However, without due diligence during hand off, too much gets lost in translation.

This training will attempt to address these issues with a process that promotes regular communication and a shared understanding of the goals, people and processes used on the project.

Transition Goals

Before getting into the "how", it’s important to understand the goals of an effective transition:

  • Indicators of success for the project are clearly spelled out and known to all parties.
  • Clearly documenting and communicating expectations with the client and delivery teams.
  • Eliminating as many "unknown unknowns" as possible.
  • The client is not wasting time repeating themselves to the sales team and then to the delivery team.

Bitovi’s Four Phases of Transition

There are four key phases of a successful transition that Bitovi implements:

  1. Expectation setting with the client
  2. Expectation setting with the delivery team
  3. Project kickoff
  4. Post-kickoff check-in

This training will first outline the purpose of each of these phases, and make recommendations about what to cover in each one. It will also share examples of documents you may share with the client as part of this process.

Expectation Setting with the Client

When: after the initial "yes"

Attendees: Delivery Director, Team Lead, client stakeholders

Once you’ve received a verbal commitment from the client, it’s a good time to start setting expectations. For small projects, this may be done over email, but for large projects, a scheduled meeting is recommended.

Note: Pursuing a signed Statement of Work (SOW) should occur in parallel to this phase

Before this meeting, a Team Lead should be selected, and the Delivery Director officially brought onto the project. They should both be introduced when setting up this meeting.

The agenda for this meeting should be:

Introduce the Delivery Director and/or Team Lead on the project

Share a schedule of what to expect, from now through first month of project

Give a presentation on our expectations for an ideal project (project management, dev workflow, etc)

Share the Consultancy Policies document

Set up a shared calendar

Share expectations for collecting feedback

Fill out the remaining items in the Engagement Summary document with client. Ideally, this would be started by the sales team before the "yes"

The last item, the Engagement Summary document, is arguably the most important item of this phase. It will take some time (allocate one hour at least) to fill out this document, but it will serve as the project’s shared understanding. The most critical pieces are defining the project’s goals and initial roadmap. It’s also important to align on who will fill what roles on the project (you or the client).

Expectation Setting with the Delivery Team

When: after the SOW is signed, before project kickoff

Attendees: Delivery Director, Team Lead, development team

Once the SOW is signed, choose your final development team and assemble them for a meeting to introduce the project. The goal of this meeting is to align your team on expectations for the project so they can be prepared for kickoff.

The agenda for this meeting should be:

Review the entire Engagement Summary document

Review the SOW to make sure any contractual obligations are clear

Determine any gaps before kickoff so the Director or Lead can get clarification

Risks and opportunities with this client, and how to mitigate/strategize for them

Provide resources to the team about the client’s product and industry to prepare

During this meeting, it’s recommended to start filling out an internal wiki for the project. This should include strategy and risk management notes discussed in this meeting.

Project Kickoff

When: scheduled date with the client after the SOW is signed

Attendees: Delivery Director, Team Lead, development team, client team

This meeting will mark the beginning of development on the project! The primary goal is figure out first steps the development team should take to start learning about the product and the development tasks. There should be few, if any, surprises by this point in the process.

The agenda for this meeting should be:


Show the Engagement Summary document - review the goals and roadmap and confirm everyone is in agreement

Team Lead and the client begin the project

Post-Kickoff Checkin

When: 1-4 (typically 2) weeks after Project Kickoff

Attendees: Delivery Director, Team Lead, client stakeholders

This is the "dust has settled" meeting that answers the question, "did everything go well after kickoff?"

The agenda for this meeting should be loose and conversational, but should include:

Confirmation that the goals and roadmap have stayed the same

Understand any questions or concerns the client may have

Set up a cadence for regular checkins with this group

Regular checkins should be weekly for the first month of the project, but may move to every 2-4 weeks once both sides are comfortable that the project is running smoothly.

Example Documents

Engagement Summary document

To facilitate efficient communication in the future, it’s important to create organized documents now that can be shared with:

  • a future delivery team (so they don’t have to ask clients the same questions in the future)
  • the client (so they can confirm our interpretation of their information)

Begin the process right away by making an Engagement Summary document:

Begin filling this out right away with the client. This document also needs to be shared with the delivery team.

PRO TIP: Fill out this document with the client. Share your screen as you fill it out. Sharing your notes as you take them is a great way to pace a conversation and ensure you are collecting information correctly.

Consultancy Policies document

We have a Consultancy Policies document that outlines our policies like PTO and general workplace expectations. This can be shared with the client or the important parts clearly communicated.

Statement of Work

A statement of work is the contractual agreement between the client and consultant. The
following is a template of a consulting agreement:

This is a legal document that says what each party is responsible for. It is critical that these documents be reviewed by delivery before signing. The detail of service section should also be reviewed with the client during the Project Kickoff meeting.