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How to Improve Your Software Development Process

Are you looking to improve your software development process? Take a look at these helpful tips!

With an increasing number of companies opting for customized solutions for their specific operations, the rapid growth of the software development industry is not looking to slow down anytime soon. The complexity of software can vary greatly from one to another and so the development businesses are always facing pressure to reduce their time-to-market and increase efficiency.

From creating an agile workflow to knowing how to measure developer productivity – here are some tips on how you can improve your software development process.

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Create a Clear Roadmap

The planning stage of each project is one of the key factors in smooth and efficient completion on time and in budget. While the process itself remains the same, you should rethink your roadmap for each project, given that each software will be different, will require different approaches and amounts of time. 

Create a clear plan that you and your team can follow, including SMART goals and objectives, reasonable deadlines, etc. Be specific about who is working on what, which tools will be used and so on – all of this will ensure that everyone in your team is on the same page and most important project decisions are made in advance. 

It is also a good idea to clearly outline your DoD (Definition of Done). As a software developer, you will know how easy it is to keep going back and forth with tasks that can be labelled as done. Decide on a set of factors that define a task as tone with your team. 

Optimize Your Workflow

It may sound like the most obvious point to many, however, a lot of businesses don’t pay attention to the workflow of their projects – they simply get on with the tasks, letting each team member decide what works best for them. While this may be the preferable way to some, it’s not necessarily the most efficient way to go about your software development projects. 

Instead, you should have a clear workflow in place that all employees will follow. This is about the process of your projects, how to tackle each individual task and monitor your progress. A good idea is to agree on different categories or stages that you can use to label each task (e.g. not started, WIP, completed, testing, etc.). 

This will not only keep you on track with your projects, with a higher chance to achieve the set deadlines, but will also maintain a lot of transparency in your team. Not to mention allow you to keep security in check. Everyone is able to view the progress of the project and what each team member is working on. 

Use the Right Productivity Metrics to Improve Your Software Development

We can all agree that measuring the productivity of your developers is important in order to understand your process and improve efficiency as well as time-to-market speed. However, the mistake that many people make is using the wrong productivity metrics. For example, measuring the time in which a single task is done and comparing them to historic data will not give you any valuable insights, since the tasks can be completely different. Besides, you are at risk of demotivating their employees through unnecessary pressure and micromanagement

Perhaps a better way to do this is by choosing a few key metrics that will allow you to spot loopholes in the process, as opposed to the speed of a single developer. Think of factors that measure the application-specific metrics or agile metrics that look into the effectiveness of your development process. Some examples of such measurement include Sprint Burndown, Team Velocity, Throughput and Cycle Time metrics. 

About the author

Jeff Peterson

Jeff is a tech geek whose hobby is to learn about the latest developments in the tech world. When he is not writing at techmused.com you may find him coding or playing his favorite video games

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