Given that we live in a tech-intensive society, the importance of software development for businesses cannot be overstated. Such is the state of software development that its uses and benefits are almost inexhaustible. Companies need to be able to save costs by automating specific operational responsibilities while improving their customers’ overall experience. There are a plethora of software types, including web applications and mobile applications that can help them achieve those needs.
Consequently, if you head a software development team; whether in-house or as an outsourcing outfit you know more than the most how sensitive and complicated the software development process can be. A minor miscommunication in your planning and strategy can have rippling effects across the entire development chain.
We have outlined a few ways you and your team can organize software development for optimal efficiency.
1. Ensure your client is open to listening to your ideas
You may be wondering what corporate culture has got to do with software development. If you are not in sync with your client in terms of the way you carry out projects, you may find that you would not be able to work with them. A dissonance in corporate culture will most likely reflect in your inability to collaborate with the client and fish out ideas in a complementary manner.
Let us say, for instance, that you are building an entire application suite for a client. Your client knows more than you what he wants his applications to be able to achieve. But you, the developer, know how best to bring his objectives to life. What happens if the client is not interested in suggestions from you or any member of your software development team? You will end up building an application that both you and the client will not find satisfying.
So, ensure that there is the freedom to exchange ideas before heading into a contract with a client. He can advise you on his needs, and you can offer insights on application design best practices.
2. Avoid being bogged down by technology
It is only natural for software developers to want to broaden their tech stack, work with new programming languages, or try new and innovative tools. While this should be encouraged in the right context, smart teams know that the most important thing is achieving optimal development efficiency.
If you are more focused on programming languages, there are attendant problems to expect. You will have to use multiple language-specific tools. You will have to consider the nuances between operating systems and application containers. You may also entangle yourself in a battle with cloud services and other development support solutions. In all, you will likely find yourself investing too much time on the peripheral aspects of development, rather than on the actual development of your product’s core.
To eliminate these distractions and achieve maximal efficiency, you should utilize technological platforms and software frameworks. This approach takes care of all the peripherals and also the foundational aspects of your coding. A software development framework optimizes and expedites the development process to build efficient and unique software solutions for your clients.
3. Beyond coding, think of simplicity and predictability
Let us say you are sure of your corporate culture aligning with your clients’ and you have minimized your technology stack as much as possible. The complexity of the development setup can still be a significant hindrance to developers.
To eliminate this issue, when deciding what frameworks and platforms to work with, consider options that provide a predefined toolkit. This feature does not just reduce the tech complexity of the development process; it also enables standardization and makes the development process much more predictable.
Simplicity and predictability are good attributes to have while creating software. They make the entire process feel like muscle memory. Developers will be able to quickly leverage these frameworks and platforms to make any software for any client without overthinking the process and inevitably making mistakes or missing a project deadline. They will be able to think up ideas, implement them, and test them in record time.
4. Grant your team members some reasonable autonomy
You are the team lead, which probably means that you’re also the project manager on most, if not all, of your clients’ jobs. The problem with this is that your team comes to you with all the issues they encounter while working on a project or for permission to make certain decisions. Do not be afraid to delegate some decision-making responsibilities to the members of your development team.
If they come to seek permission or feedback from you concerning an issue with a project, and you feel it is a call that they are qualified to make on their own, let them know. Consider creating a guideline that reflects when your team is allowed to make calls on their own; even decisions about purchasing for the company up to a predetermined value and when they need to come to you.
This tactic does not only afford you more free time; it also trains your team’s autonomy and helps them mature in their decision making. Independence enhances streamlined development processes and allows things to happen faster.
5. Give your team members collective and individual goals that are attainable
Every ounce of work is done towards achieving a goal. Smart teams know how to be goal-oriented when working on any client project. Set clear and concise goals for your organization. Put these goals up somewhere in public so that they can always check on it to keep themselves moving in the right direction.
Besides team goals, individual goals are also important. Some team leaders organize software development teams into two broad categories: front-end and back-end developers, without catering to the nuances in each team member’s skills.
Make it a duty to have a face-to-face sit down with each team member as early as possible, and routinely afterward. These regular one-to-one conversations will enable you to maintain a tight grasp of each team member’s skills and development. It will also help you to delegate work more accurately and set achievable goals for them regardless of the type of project they are currently tackling.
Whether it is a web application, mobile, or a more robust software suite, these technologies are the most important digital touchpoints for companies and their customers. Any delay or miscommunication in the development process could have severe repercussions for their bottom line and yours as well. Utilize the tips above to make the most of your software development process and avoid such a scenario. It does not matter whether a business is a tech company like TechCrunch or a non-tech establishment like the writing service review company Writing Judge.