If you work in the software business, it can feel like you are always dealing with pressing deadlines. The reality of software development is that it is often slow with minimal visible results at first. This can lead to frustration and conflicts between software teams and management. The following are six ways that you can speed up development without sacrificing quality.
1. Implement Agile Practices
Agile is a methodology that focuses on developing software while expecting change. Rather than planning out a piece of software then making it, agile focuses on repeating cycles of planning, implanting, testing, and improving. The goal is to plan enough to stay focused while allowing for the possibility of change as the project evolves.
It has become very popular among software development teams. Using agile methodology (or one of its derivatives) can help your team stay organized and productive without being overwhelmed by planning and scope.
2. Divide Into Microservices
Small teams producing microservices tend to be significantly more successful than large teams working on large products. This has been adopted by many of the largest software businesses in the world. Even products that may seem like a singular item are often broken into smaller components that can be worked on discreetly.
This can also create better software in many cases. However, it needs to be architected carefully to ensure that everything works together seamlessly.
3. Implement a CICD Pipeline
Continuous integration and continuous delivery can help you to speed up your software development process. Continuous integration means that software developers are merging their code into a central repository multiple times per day (controlled by procedures, not as a free-for-all). Continuous delivery means that the software release is automated to allow the product to be pushed to production regularly.
When properly implemented, CICD can both speed up the software development process and improve quality. The goal is to bring code together into releases more frequently and make smaller improvements to the live version with each release.
4. Take the Time To Do It Right
It may sound counterintuitive but slowing down may help you speed up your software development. The software field is often plagued with crunch time and overworked teams. This can quickly lead to technical debt. This debt is all the bugs, legacy code, and undocumented code that gets put into a project when teams don’t have the time to do it right.
Technical debt can quickly lead to bugs and other problems that need to be fixed. Refactoring code to make it more usable takes a lot of time and investment. Plus, it means that the original time was essentially wasted. Take the time to do it right the first time.
5. Listen To Developers
Poor communication can lead to a lot of hold-ups and obstacles in the software development process. Perhaps the most egregious communication breakdown is when the developers’ voices are lost in a sea of expectations and deadlines.
Listen to the people working on the code. They often have valuable insights that can help to ensure that work stays on track and is high-quality. Furthermore, you can get a sense of their morale, which can majorly impact the progress of development.
6. Avoid Scope Creep
Scope creep is an issue when the scope (amount of work involved) of a project gradually gets larger and larger. This usually happens when features are added. While increasing the scope of a software product is normal, especially after its initial release, it can quickly become problematic. It is very important to consider the delays that may accompany any change in scope.
If plans are changing during development, they can also create sideways creep. While the overall feature set may not be any larger, the existing code may need to be redone.
Try some of the above strategies to improve your software development pipeline. With good tools, procedures and communication, you can streamline your timelines.