How To Enhance Your Software Development Process?

Productivity is a key component of the software development process. It relies on the ability of developers to create high-quality products in a quick and efficient way. 

Regarding creating high-quality products in the context of software development outsourcing, being able to hire talented developers is important but it's not the only thing that matters. Having high efficiency and speed, which is often hard to come by, is also expected for this process. 

However, in order to guarantee that software will be built quickly and released on time, there should be a collaborative and productive environment. Fortunately, there are several methods that can help companies and teams maintain productivity and quality at the same time.

The need to be productive when building software products

Products' lifespan tends to be shorter in the technology and software industry. In order to be ahead of the competition and guarantee that the customer's needs are met, it is a must for every company to constantly offer new software while frequently updating its existing products. In this process, productivity is key. If organizations do not maximize output at high speeds and ensure the value of what they are building, they're definitely falling behind.

When it comes to productivity, not only do businesses need to be able to work efficiently in an environment that is changing constantly just to stay competitive, but they also need to focus on their approach while having processes in place in order to ensure that they are not skipping the quality. 

How to Enhance Your Software Development Process?

Determine Your Current Circumstances

For starters, if you seek to make a real change or make your development process more efficient, a benchmark must be identified, ask yourself: Where is your team's progress currently at? How does your development team utilize its time? Are there any major challenges or blocks? If yes, then can you pinpoint exactly where they are?

Working closely with your team to track and examine their workflow can help you determine the starting point. Encourage your team members to be open while reporting how they spend their time. Make sure they all know that there is no penalty before they answer. This is necessary to have an understanding of how things are before you can improve or fix them.

Otherwise anonymous surveys can be conducted in order to obtain a clear picture of your team's current productivity status. 

Once a benchmark has been identified, the best way to proceed is to plan your approach to improve the situation.

Set Clear Goals

Transparent goals related to optimizing productivity should be set and informed within your team so that confusion can be avoided.

More importantly, those goals should be doable and achievable. On the contrary, if you set unclear goals without real metrics, you will not know if or when you will accomplish them, as well as not be able to leverage these established standards to meet the objectives and ultimately make the process more efficient. 

Ensure Frequent Communication

For each team member to work towards the collective goal, they must know about it beforehand and maintain constant communication with their peers, making sure everyone is on the same page. Thus, communication plays an important role in facilitating a productive software development environment.

Communication channels like Slack, MS-Team, or Zoom should be established from the beginning. Maybe Slack will be used more frequently for daily communication and Zoom will be the main channel for weekly meetings. Equally important is that a system in place for emergencies should also be available.

Leverage The Productivity Tools 

In the current world where everything, from working to many other daily activities like shopping and banking, revolves around digital channels - software tools can be used for almost any purpose imaginable, including improving productivity. Adopting tools like calendars, to-do lists, or time tracking which are used to track how much time is spent on projects and tasks for further optimization.

Platforms used to manage software development projects such as Jira can also be used to organize projects and keep you and your team informed of the project's progress. Additionally, these tools can give you valuable insights into your processes and help you enhance further. 

Development Outsourcing vs. In-house development

Employing an external development outsourcing team can increase productivity by filling in the skills gaps in your organization, even though you already have a talented in-house team. For example, they can work on different aspects of a project that your full-time employees don't have time for. Or, they can improve productivity by helping with many one-off tasks that your in-house team does not have the necessary expertise for.

Outsourcing can be very effective, especially when your in-house team has a small scale or lacks experience. If necessary, you should contact an outsourcing partner if you are meeting a pressing deadline or urgently need additional support.

Measure Productivity

It is difficult to measure productivity because of its intangible characteristics. But still, there are a few ways to measure your efforts. Let's start with your initial definition of productivity. Over time you can see if you are achieving this goal.

Also, consider the time you devote to the project and compare the input of all team members with the output: the results. However, it is not only about finishing a project. That also has something to do with the quality of this project.

Set up metrics for how to measure productivity from the scratch. Not only does time spent on the project matter, but so do individual efforts and collaboration. 

Provide Constructive Feedback

How does each team member know if they are working with sufficient or adequate efficiency and effort? Receiving feedback from leaders can provide an answer. After the feedback, as a result, each team member can evaluate their work and adjust performance as needed. It also helps establish stronger relationships, another important part of developing a high-performing, efficient team.

Establish systems giving feedback to individuals and the larger team. There should be regular feedback for everyone.  

The software development process can be more efficient and productive with a more productive team and overall business. You will see not only faster turnarounds but also more engagement and a better overall product.

Consider Automation

A number of rules-based, repetitive, and manual tasks can now be automated by using AI-powered solutions and other innovations. Instead of replacing people in the software development process, automation solutions can handle monotonous and repetitive components. As a result, employees will have more time to develop their skills and deal with other complex aspects.

For example, automation has a crucial role in software QA. Test automation can make the whole process more efficient while experts write script tests and leverage automation in conjunction with manual testing.