How to Streamline Your Software Development Process

Software development is arguably the key strategic component of IT today. Chief Information officers (CIOs) face constant pressure to deliver custom software development projects that meet set business goals. Ensuring effective project planning and requirements management results in a smooth software development process.

The planning, development and realization of a new application can help enterprises create a competitive edge in the market, expand business and customer possibilities and drive enterprise growth. But with up to 18% of projects failing, development efforts getting abandoned and projects finishing late, how can you ensure that your development team is equipped to deliver?

Here are some ways you can streamline your software development process:

Ensure the Business Supports Process Change

Among all the crucial things that CIOs have to do to streamline software development processes, this one is the most overlooked. The fact is, the enterprise provides the funds for the project, and without their overall support, the project is doomed to fail. While introducing automation may be much easier, distributing changes across a business requires more preparation, according to expert insights learned when discussing software development with Kanban.

If a business is not ready to embrace change and implement proposed software changes, then users will likely resist the new process. An important business sponsor has to play an active role in critical decision-making, trade-off and open communication with all potential software users. When it comes to business process change, CIOs must identify the risks involved and actively review and revise the impact of software distribution across the enterprise.

Have a Software Development Plan

Without a project plan, setting and managing expectations can be challenging for CIOs. It’s important to strike a clear balance between major software development project drivers. A clear project plan should outline the scope of the development project, the deliverables expected, the planned budget, key milestones to be achieved, delivery timeline and the resources required.

According to a CIO article on project management tips, the whole purpose of having a software development plan is to identify the scope of the project, estimate the amount of work involved and create a more realistic and achievable project delivery schedule. On top of that, CIOs must ensure that software quality is determined at the project onset.

Have the Right Amount of Processes

Processes are what define software development projects. The more complex an application or software is, the more essential processes become. Think of the processes as development structures. If done right, they can provide the necessary framework for the team to consistently achieve the desired results. To streamline your software development processes, CIOs and IT must determine the right development method for the software or application.

Assemble the Right Development Team

While implementing the above practices can position your project approach for success, choosing a development team for your project can ultimately make or break your project. Assemble a team with the right mix of soft and hard skills, as well as substantial experience and a strong commitment to delivering high-quality software.

Keep in mind that internal software development projects are designed around strategic business needs, so they require more input and involvement from teams on the business side of the enterprise. While assembling a development team is not always easy, it should comprise of experts from your IT team and business side. In some cases, you may not have the necessary in-house skills. A Forbes article shares some tips on outsourcing software development.

If you do decide to set your search overseas, make sure to read reviews by previous clients to guarantee the company’s credibility and ability to deliver the service on time and to the level of quality your company needs. Make sure the cost of the service fits in your business’s operating budget as well.

Use Proper Software Development Techniques

Now that you’ve already set up the project for success, gotten the right development team in place and defined roles, the final step is identifying the proper software development techniques and project management process that is going to enable smooth execution of your project. Up to 50% of software development rework is attributed to requirements problems. How can you avoid this?

Software development teams should ensure smooth project planning and requirements management by investing in lean project management tools that streamline project organization, documentation, data analysis, communication and other tasks throughout the project life cycle. These simple guidelines form the basis of any successful software development project.

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