5 Ways to Make Your Software Development Process More Effective
Read on to know effective ways to make your software development process more effective.
11:34 29 September 2021
Do you like to check off the completed tasks in your to do list? Us too. When the list is too long, however, it feels endless and demotivating. Don’t let that happen to your development team. 5 quick and easy improvements can make the working process more effective, leading to better performance and increased motivation.
1. Clarify all workflow stages
That sounds obvious, but it’s a point worth making. The condition of a task is more complex than a binary choice of “done” or “in process”. Adding nuance to your “in progress” category can help you manage the project more effectively. Consider adding categories like “planning”, “execution”, “analysis”, and “deployment”.
When you establish all necessary workflow stages for your project, you can clearly see where bottlenecks or problems are. Also be aware of issues like tasks reopening and closing without being completed. Addressing this early can dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of your development team.
The more systematized your workflow is, the easier it is to detect any bugs or blockers and deal with them quickly.
2. Set priorities and clear any backlog regularly
It can be easier to come up with new ideas than to implement them. Don’t try to overload your development project with features. Instead, focus on the primary functionality. Realistically, most consumers only use a fraction of their gadget’s functionality. Why spend your time and effort on something that won’t be used? Choose each feature carefully.
Also remember to prioritize each task, and make sure every member of your team knows what the priorities are. Start using Jira, because it will make it easier to understand which tasks need to be done as soon as possible and which might be implemented someday. This approach is what an IT company, providing financial or telecom software development solutions, for example, may use for its projects to see great results in its team performance.
It can also be useful to clear the board of high and middle priority tasks regularly. If you notice a task that wasn’t implemented during 2-3 sprints, you may want to send it to the “someday maybe” list to keep your team focused on the key priorities.
3. Define “done” clearly
It should be clear to all developers what you expect to see when a task is finished. It may be the implementation of a function, revision by a QA specialist, or code deployment. Other examples include: code is in the master branch or documentation is updated.
Establishing specific criteria for task completion can also save you lots of time and effort, since it prevents QA from reopening a completed task multiple times because of an unsatisfied criterion. Ultimately, it is more efficient and effective to spend the time to complete a task once than to return to it multiple times to make corrections.
4. Avoid excessive multitasking
Control the number of tasks that are in process to confirm that there aren’t too many opened at the same time for a single team member. Remember, multitasking doesn’t really exist. Instead, when we refer to multitasking, we really mean rapidly switching back and forth between tasks. Each time you switch between tasks, you lose productivity and time.
To avoid these losses, you can set limits for the number of simultaneously opened tasks. You may decide on a maximum of 3 at a time for one person, or 7 per team. A tool like Kanban board allows you to set different limits for each workflow stage. You will, however, need to make sure that your team is not exceeding the established task limit.
One last point on this issue: if a very large task stays too long in the “in progress” stage, you may want to divide it into several smaller sub-tasks to make it more easily achievable by the team.
5. Share regular progress updates with the stakeholders
Does your customer know what your teams are currently doing? Are they confident that the product will be released on time? Your customer should always have access to current project status information. Some companies involve the product owner and project stakeholders by conducting demo meetings every 2 weeks to show them the results of a sprint. Some companies go even further – they involve customers in daily meetings with the team. They say doing so keeps workers motivated and committed to the final goal of the project. To help you demonstrate progress, consider using the Jira board, as this tool has a proven functionality. For example, a scrum master can share their screen on the daily meeting, so everyone can see what the team members are working on during the current sprint. This can help synchronize the team and the customer, allowing you to spot problems early and avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.
We hope that these simple and useful tips will help you establish an effective working process. If you think you want to bring in some additional help and support, you can always ask EPAM Anywhere Business to help with successful delivery of your software development project, by providing you the best IT specialists with exactly the expertise your project requires.