Technology has so wonderfully merged into our day to day lives, we depend on navigation to find our way, food apps to serve us dinner, social media to stay in touch with friends and family. Everything from our bank accounts to our shopping has transitioned online. For any business to succeed, it is crucial that it produce what consumers desire. The customer seeks convenience and what better way to engineer convenience than developing programs that rely not on human effort but fool proof logical algorithms and tirelessly produce results. Almost all businesses today depend upon technology to function. From predicting demands for building inventory to tracking and managing supply chain and delivery mechanisms, use of software can be observed across the assembly lines of all businesses and is an integral part of a company’s infrastructure. Companies are becoming more and more careful in choosing the right software to meet their needs. In a market where there are endless options, the software development industry is no longer awed and amazed by the simplistic “Hello World!” We have matured past that with our comprehensive project management systems and agile working style. Software as a commodity is one of the most freely distributed and consumed. The industry will only grow with new technologies and techniques, and keep developing newer and smarter code.
People responsible for steering the change, i.e., the software engineers, developers, coders, testers, all need effective ways of ensuring their code is good, yes, but also need to cater to their customers’ needs and customize their efforts to keep their clients happy and loyal to them. In the fiercely competitive IT Services market terrain retaining customers really comes down to performance when there are thousands of other service providers who can do the same thing. The market of the IT industry is not a traditional demand and supply market, it is affected by engagement, milestones, consistency and most importantly upgrades. Let’s look at 10 best practices to ensure that your development process puts its best foot forward. Every time.
Technology has so wonderfully merged into our day to day lives, we depend on navigation to find our way, food apps to serve us dinner, social media to stay in touch with friends and family.
Set realistic estimates for your clients. Nobody likes to be kept in the dark and especially paying clients. Do extensive homework, confer with your team and gather sensible estimates of the effort required on any project. Keep in mind that there can always be an incident of force majeure along with estimated delays. Always draft a project progress plan with allowances for probable delays. Use of project management and risk management tools, such as Atlassian, can help identify and predict upcoming issues so that your resources and personnel are appropriately allocated to meet deadlines.
The developed software is as good as the skills of the developer developing it. Always bear in mind the skillset of the coders who will be responsible for creating the software, before committing to a programming language. New languages emerge every day, but understanding them and being able to implement them to produce decent results is a challenge. Conduct an analysis of what languages are best suited for the project and which resources can sufficiently support and pull off the project.
3. Target Audience
Much like any other tangible product, software too must appeal to the customer in order to generate profitable sales. Before commencing development efforts, take the time to analyze and understand the target audience. Tailoring software usability and aesthetic features to the expectations of the targeted niche could very much be the difference between success and failure of the software. The development process could be flawless but if the customers do not like the product or find it difficult to use, that can create reworks and delays. So, plan ahead and understand the pulse of the market you are selling to, in order to save on both the time and the cost of rework.
It is no secret that personal and sensitive data is utilized to make code effective. To this cause government agencies across the world are coming up with policies such as GDPR and CCPA to make sure that the citizens’ personal information is secure. It is a sensible strategy to consider these policies at the time of drafting project related contracts so that no money or time is lost in legal hassles. Privacy regulations are fairly recent and the world is still learning and adapting to them, so, your developers need some assistance in understanding what they entail. Train staff on these global privacy norms and practices. Training documentation and videos can help your people understand them and then conform the development plan as per the requirements.
5. Keep all the team members on the same page/Maintain Coherence
An effective strategy for any team’s effective delivery is keeping the team’s cohesion. Invite participation from the team and seek advice on deadline creation. Make the team feel like they are involved in the process and be crystal clear about the project requirements. When everyone in your development team is on the same page and are privy to all the developments, they will treat the project as their baby and produce better results.
6. Keep it simple
Create weekly timelines and map the progress based on milestones. This will help you create a task-based process so that the entire team is engaged and knows exactly what they are required to do. The team tracking and status updates must be consistent to ensure transparency, but should not be very complicated that they take too much time. Breaking down the project into tasks can also help in realizing realistic deadlines and could help project managers prepare for any expected delays.
7. Effective implementation of Code
Ensure that your developers are adhering to coding standards. With the evolution of code, multiple people can now simultaneously work on a project. It thus becomes essential to setup standards around the development process to ensure that is carried out seamlessly. Some common practices that organizations use to manage and maintain their code are, introduce standard notations, require code check ins and blocks.
Product testing is probably one of the most important requirements of any development cycle. Before being exposed to the production environment all code goes through some amount of testing to gauge its performance. Software companies stand to benefit from a comprehensive and continuous testing plan. If companies do not have manpower or resources to manage product testing, there are many IT service providers that offer QA and Testing services.
9. Code Reviews
Once proper standards have been established across an organization, managers and team leaders should be trained on how to provide code reviews. Each time a new piece of code is checked in by a developer, it must go through a sound review mechanism. This will help limit the errors in the code and also helps prevent any unauthorized activity.
10. Customer feedback
When it comes to having and honing a business, customer is king. How customers respond to a product offering decides its success. Thus, customer feedback must be carefully considered. Ensure that you have open forums through which customers can provide feedback so that you can make changes in the next upgrade.