The rules of the software development market are pretty straightforward: your development company has to deliver the code of the highest quality in the shortest time possible. Otherwise, it would be harder to compete with thousands of other developers. But is it possible to speed up without losing something? Lead project managers from Sibedge – software development company – kindly shared the solution to this problem with us. Read on to learn.
What Does Your Team’s Speed Depend On?
Before you read how to improve the speed of your development team’s performance, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of factors that it depends on:
- The development process issues – no matter how good your team is, it will always face some sort of issues caused by technical problems (complicated architecture, innovation development, third-party product integration, etc.), unclear project requirements and unrealistic guidelines set by inexperienced clients, and various structural issues inside your company.
- The size of your team – the more people you can involve in a project, the faster it will go, right? Well, not quite. It’s true to say that larger companies can work at a faster pace, but there won’t be any benefit if you don’t split the large team into smaller teams of 5-7 people first. This way, you will designate optimal amounts of the workforce to the largest number of product components at once. Besides, you will simplify project management and speed up feature releases.
- Objective code quality – every developer knows that high-quality code creation requires a lot of time. However, the truth is that writing high-quality code is always faster than editing a poorly written one later. For this reason, focusing on the highest possible code quality from the start is very important.
- Human-factor-driven issues – factors like current experience level, health conditions, and other unexpected live circumstances of each developer can strike your project anytime.
Speed Up the Process
Now that you know about the potential problems on your way, let’s focus on how to avoid them and speed up the performance of your entire software development at the same time.
1. Hire a Larger Team
Expanding your team to create larger pieces of code in less time seems to be an obvious solution. However, it’s important to remember that the number of developers is not necessarily equal to the input you expect. In other words, you can hire one super-experienced senior coder and receive several times more value than if you hired an extra team of juniors. You should also focus on project requirements to realize what skill level is required from the new employees. This way, you will be able to decide whether several junior/middle coders are better or worse than a smaller number of seniors.
Finally, you need to decide if there’s any sense in hiring new employees instead of outsourcing tasks to already established third-party teams. It’s usually the wisest solution if you need to speed up the workflow only for a limited period.
2. Set Straightforward Goals & Roadman
You might think that this is an obvious tip, but many teams actually fail to establish project requirements that are clear enough. Due to this, team members lack understanding of the deliverables, which will eventually bring them to a pile of mistakes that must be fixed. Your target must be to make the client set the clearest requirements possible and translate them into a straightforward and detailed roadmap to help your team move towards meaningful milestones without wasting time on anything.
3. Break Down Tasks & Reduce Work in Progress (Lean Approach)
One of the keys to boosting your development team’s productivity is to split the entire project into small easily-manageable tasks and assign them to teams of not more than 5-7 employees. At the same time, you need to keep the number of ongoing tasks minimal for every team to encourage better focus. By applying this approach to project management, you will be able to release and test features more frequently and reduce the number of mistakes that need to be fixed at a time to a minimum.
This is also called the Lean approach as it allows your team to focus on what really matters at the moment and gain users’ feedback as early as possible even before the development process is over.
4. Approach Technical Debt Reasonably
Poorly written code is not always a huge problem. You can give up the quality to achieve a higher release speed if your strategy requires it. However, it can also become a large pile of issues that will slow down the project flow by making it too complicated. Knowing this, you need to keep the right balance between the quality of code and the schedule to avoid excess complications in the long run.
5. Use Automation
You can automate the following parts of the workflow to gain more time for the most important tasks:
- Testing automation – using automated software testing tools, you can create rules for automated testing of specific scenarios and win a lot of time for focusing on code writing rather than manual testing. You can also deliver all the new features to users to receive reliable feedback without any internal effort.
- Continuous integration and delivery – this approach to software release requires all team members to update the central code repository repeatedly during the day/week to test and fix smaller chunks and ensure that the project is release-ready at any time.
- Communication automation – integrating a high-quality piece of project management software into the workflow will help you simplify communication inside the company by using automation and smart dialogue threads for every part of the project. A thoughtfully organized communication process will reduce the need for meetings and help employees understand their tasks better from the start.
Smart & Fast
Applying the listed methods, you can speed up your software development teams without giving up the mental health of your employees, project quality, or KPIs. Of course, it is quite a challenge to implement all the methods at once, but the long-term benefits are worth the highest efforts.