Software Development Process: Ways to Win
Improving the software development process benefits both the team and the client. It saves uptime, reduces reworks, and speeds up progress. Read on to learn about its benefits.
If you’ve ever been involved in software development, then it should come as no surprise that building software is a complex and tedious process. Not only does it need ample resources, but it also consumes a lot of time and energy from the people working on it.
If your business happens to rely heavily on the completion of the software, then as a business owner, you need to ensure that the final product is of prime quality.
Today, we’re going to look deeper into software development and how you can improve it. Just like all the other aspects of your business processes, there are also ways you speed things up for everyone.
Learning about the software development process will give you an edge to lead your team towards successfully launching your product.
What is Software Development Process (SDLC)?
Before we dive into the key points for improvement, let’s first understand the software development process. Why is it necessary? How does it help the team?
The software development life cycle (SDLC) involves steps that lead towards the completion of a project, each phase reiterating the requirements and the tasks to be performed for the product.
Although software teams have their own specific approaches and techniques to build software, they use standardized methodologies to guide them in their development.
Some teams follow Agile methodology while some adhere to the Scrum process. There are plenty of project management approaches to choose from but generally, these are the software development steps followed:
- Project requirements – This stage is where the team, along with the other stakeholders of the project, specify and establish the primary functionalities of the software. At this point, the goal is to identify which features to prioritize and what limitations pose the development process.
- Software design – Next comes the implementation stage where the team starts to work on the design and functionalities of the product based on the defined specifications. At this stage, the team begins to build the initial features of the software.
- Quality check and validation – The team evaluates their progress and checks whether the software conforms to the specifications. For quality assurance, they check if the functionalities meet the client’s standards.
- Maintenance and scaling – Once the product is released, it needs regular maintenance and upgrades. To meet the ever-changing market demand, the software team needs to consistently improve the performance of the software tool.
Speeding up the Software Development Process
Now that we’ve established how the SDLC process works, it’s time to talk about how to improve it. Perhaps you’re wondering, how can you be of help to something so technical?
Keep in mind that you don’t need to contribute to the process itself. But, there are ways you can make the job easier for your software development team. Here are a few areas you can look into:
- Requirements – This plays a big role in the team’s progress. A lot of bottlenecks encountered in software development are often related to the client’s unclear requirements. At the start, you have to lay down your vision for the product. All major decisions on the appearance and behavior of the software should be finalized so it won’t cause any delay and reworks. Imagine a nearly finished masterpiece, however, you’re suddenly back to the drawing board midway. Not only will this frustrate your team, but this will also waste a lot of your resources. Rule of thumb is to do the major brainstorming at the beginning and stick to those ideas as much as possible.
- Deadlines – As exciting as it is to see the finished product, you still need to set a reasonable timeline. Take your development team’s advice to set realistic dates and stick to it. Avoid rushing each process so you won’t compromise the quality of your software. Your team should not go on a marathon sprint just to save time; this is a sure way to burn out the team. Encourage your development team to work at a steady pace. Check their progress through regular meetings but don’t add to their stress regarding deadlines. They surely won’t need you breathing down their necks for each “urgent” task.
- Resources – Invest in tools needed by your developers. If you want a high-quality product, you need to provide the proper tools to build it. Whether it’s buying a good productivity tool or getting your hands on a certain IDE, all of these purchases will play a crucial role in development. You cannot forego or neglect quality programming aids for the sake of cutting down expenses. These are the necessary items on your list that need to be delivered. Allocate a good portion of your budget for the resources. Your developers will greatly appreciate it and it will speed up the entire software building process.
- Feedback – Just as your team is doing their best with deliverables, you also have to be as mindful in giving feedback. One reason that slows progress is the lack of notification when there are errors or bugs to be fixed. Worse, if they are informed too late of major changes. As a client, you play an important role in moving the team forward with their work. Once you receive the initial output, be sure to send back your response as soon as possible.
- Meetings – Schedule kick-start meetings for every feature or user story. This allows you to communicate problems in real-time and discuss ideas moving forward. The goal of these meetings is to get everyone on the same page. Your developers can throw in their questions and vice versa. However, too many brainstorming sessions can be counterintuitive. Schedule these meetings only when necessary.
Build up your Software Team
It may seem like a good idea to hire more people to get more work done quickly. However, this actually becomes more of a liability in the long run. It takes several months for new developers to fully grasp the concept of a project.
Additionally, it also takes away precious development time if your members have to train someone new. You need to build a winning software team with long-term growth in mind.
Instead of just adding members for the sake of getting work faster, you need to carefully evaluate what your software team really needs. Quite often, they’ll need someone who can contribute to the team rather than just providing assistance. In short, you need to hire smart, not hire more.
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