Ways You Can Amplify Your Software Development Process
How to increase software development process, with tried and tested methods. Know about all stages of the software development process in this blog.
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This article was originally published on August 25, 2021.
Building software is not as simple as it sounds. From the outside, when an application is used or criticized, the work that went into building the same is not considered. Most normal people who do not have any research about this topic fail to understand the amount of work a software development company puts into the process of software development.
When a developer is planning to create a piece of software, there are numerous things that he needs to keep in mind to develop a working, bug-free app. At every step of the way, he comes across several challenges that he cannot avoid or surpass, as they are part of the process. Even the most prominent companies which have been there in the market for years can fall into the trap of certain inefficiencies and imperfections.
When you are an owner of a popular business that has made its name through software development, you cannot afford a mistake of any kind. If you do not correctly make sure that every app is built by following all the necessary steps, it can be enormously taxing to your company's goodwill. A misstep of any kind can mean that the software your developers create is not of good quality.
A low-quality piece of software refers to an app that is not as smooth as it was claimed to be. It is likely to be characterized by bugs and glitches, ultimately leading to poor customer experience. Constant faulty apps can result in you losing valuable clients and customers. Inefficiency in the software development process will also mean that your projects will take substantially more time to complete. Proper software processes and robust project management are a must for any software development agency.
This particular article is going to inform you in detail about the software development processes and what steps you should consider to improve them organically.
Before moving towards amplifying your software development processes, you must make your base as strong as possible. You first need to know the definition of a software development process.
What Is Meant by "Software Development Process"?
Software development processes refer to the steps and regulations that a developer needs to incorporate while building a specific piece of software. If you are working as a developer in a company and are developing applications for a particular client, you have to make sure that before anything, you have the client's demands in mind. At the same time, you are developing software. It would be best to consider the needs and preferences of the users interested in an application of that niche.
However, you need to understand that software development is much more than just writing code. There is a specific list of steps that you need to follow while developing an application. A piece of software needs to go through every single step before releasing it to the general public. These steps include research, designing, technical documentation, and testing. Even after releasing an app, you need to stay alert to remove any bugs and update the application from time to time.
All the steps mentioned above need to be added to the software development lifecycle (SDLC). The SLDC is a blueprint of the plan that a company creates and follows to satisfy its clients, by developing top-notch applications, for the lowest amount of money in the shortest period. To ensure that your team achieves its goals, you need to guarantee that an effective software system is being maintained.
Stages of Software Development
Before moving to the final section, which will discuss how to improve your software development processes, you need to first briefly know the steps involved in developing a specific piece of software.
Generally, every application has a total of six stages in its development cycle:
- Researching and analyzing the requirements of the application.
- Designing the application.
- Implementation or coding.
- Testing the application for bugs or glitches.
- Deploying the application and releasing it to the public.
- Maintaining the application by removing extra bugs and adding periodical updates.
Just before moving on to the ways in which you can amplify a software process, let's take a detailed look at some of the problems that may arise in front of you during a software development process.
Problems You Can Face While Developing Software
Overlooking Customer Needs
This is a problem that can occur in the research phase of the development. Often, even after researching in detail, you may fail to understand what the audience of a particular niche wants from an application. You will develop an app that does not get as much attention from the users. You may also miss out on certain features that your potential group of users could have relished.
The best way you can avoid this problem is by incorporating end-user participation. During the research phase, you can choose to involve users in every iteration to ensure that the app you are about to develop has demand in the market.
Last-minute modifications: this is a pervasive problem in the current software development world. You can suddenly receive a notification from your client that he has decided to incorporate a completely new feature within the app because of a change in his vision. On the outside, such a modification can seem simple, but it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the entire development team.
You can bypass this problem by informing the clients in advance about the implications a late request can have on the development process.
Lack of Time for Testing
When you are working hard in developing a piece of software, you want the end product to be precise as the client envisioned. The scenario is not so in most cases. Generally, there is a presence of some bugs and glitches. A team with a flawed software development plan will not be able to allocate enough time to the process of testing.
You can avoid this problem if, in the planning phase itself, you make sure that you allocate a fixed period for testing. Also, ensure that you assign the best testers to the project so that each app is tested rigorously before deployment.
How to Improve Your Software Development Process
No matter the scale of the software development company you are a part of, you will benefit from a specific list of tips. As far as the software development process goes, it can never be perfect. There is always something or the other section that you will lack. The following steps are going to prove beneficial for you.
Choose the Correct SDLC Model
Finalizing the model for your software development process is undoubtedly the most important step as far as software development is concerned. It needs to be done at the very beginning of the development process. Choosing the suitable model at the start will make sure that the rest of the development steps take place smoothly and accurately. There exist two models which developers popularly use in the present time - Waterfall and Agile. The next part will talk about each model in a bit more detail so that you can have a comprehensive idea about each.
This model is generally adequate for companies that have a rigid plan for development. They have strict and inflexible schedules and directions that they are used to implementing during a development process. A waterfall model will not be effective if there are often changes in the software development process. The waterfall model is also advantageous if your company has extensive documentation needs.
The waterfall model is ideal for small-scale software development companies or companies new to the software development game. Small agencies generally require proper and detailed documentation. They cannot afford any last-minute changes because of strict deadlines and the hunger to make an impression in front of their clients.
The Agile software development model is ideal for development teams that are constantly involved in some development. The Agile model is dynamic and can be used even if any change is introduced into the development process.
Agile is comparatively more popular as far as development models go. The main reason for its popularity is the fact that it is more user-focused than any other model. It involves updating an application repeatedly until the exact requirements of the users are met. So many startups, whose main aim is to satisfy the customers and grow in the process, use the agile model. The agile method involves releasing small iterations of an application to the users, taking their reactions, recommendations, and complaints into account, and modifying the app accordingly.
Encourage Workflow Optimization
Your current development team maybe are used to working and developing applications by following a specific workflow. As a business owner, how can you understand that a particular workflow is ideal for your current development team? A proper workflow ensures that a project is completed and submitted to a client on time. To understand if your company runs according to the most effective workflow, ask yourself the following set of questions:
- Are slow and weary development stages a part of your workflow?
- Is an employee or a group of employees getting affected by extreme work pressure?
- Are tasks, which are already marked completed being repeatedly reopened?
- Do you often see that specific tasks are being killed before even being completed?
Another practical thing you can do to improve your workflow is to arrange a meeting or discussion with members of the development team. Do not jump to conclusions. Listen carefully to everything each member has to say about the workflow of the company. Ask them for suggestions about which changes can help in improving their workflow.
The COO at Sun scrappers, Kamil Sabatowski, had this to say about workflow management, "For example, you might discover that the product owner becomes a bottleneck because they're not dedicating enough time to the project or that the review step takes up the majority of a task's journey to completion. Once you know what's not working, you can start fixing it."
Reduce Wastage of Time
Frequently, developers who have expertise in developing complicated applications are given other roles in a company. They often have the pressure to take care of multiple job roles, which steals their attention from every job role. It is substantially taxing to the company if a development process is carried out correctly. The existence and growth of any application development company depend mainly upon the kind of impression it creates upon its customers and clients.
As a company owner, to ensure the best quality product, you need to ensure that no time or effort is wasted. Assign specific projects to separate development teams and leave them to focus entirely on that.
Detection of errors or bugs in the development process is most effective if done in the early stages of development. As early an issue is detected, the better. In the code of the later stage, reworks become immensely complicated and time-consuming. Make sure in the early stages you implement checks such as check-in policies and code reviews.
Reduce Technical Debt
Even though according to popular belief technical debt is beneficial for keeping a business afloat, it is actually a silent killer. It will bring in losses without you even realizing it. The faster you can get debt-free, the better will it be for your business. The presence of a debt means that you will always be stressed about how you can pay it back. Thus, stay as far away as possible from technical debt.
A robust software development process will deliver a high-quality application to the client, but it also guarantees that as little money as possible is used. It also ensures that a project is submitted within the deadline.
In the present time, building an impactful online presence is crucial for a software development agency, no matter its scale. With the help of a top-notch software development process, which you can implement using the tips mentioned in this article, your business will reach new heights.
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