6 Ways You Can Improve Your Software Development Projects

How do you ensure effectiveness and efficiency in complex software development projects? If you can't answer this question easily in just a few minutes you'll want to read the methods explained below on how you can improve your software development projects. Whether you outsource or develop in-house makes a huge difference in the outcome of your projects.

Lay Out a Schedule

Often software development projects fail because they don't have an adequate timeline. If you are outsourcing your development projects you can set realistic goals and milestones you want achieved within a certain time. Do you want to take a phased approach? Set dates you want each phase developed by and factor in some extra time for delays on both ends.

Set Realistic Goals

In addition to an adequate timeline you need to set realistic goals for developers to meet. Being realistic when setting targets for development projects can help you manage expectations as a project manager. Once these goals are reached and approved, developers can move forward to the next one.

Be aware of your software developer's culture

If you are outsourcing you need to understand that there may be a difference in culture depending on what country your projects were outsourced to. Overseas vendors often want to supply their clients with quality products with repeat work and word of mouth referrals.

Communicate

Poor communication between software developers and product owners can lead to failure. You don't want that, the developers don't want that, so do your best to avoid it. Both parties must communicate in order for anything to work. If your developers are at a point where they need more information from you such as test data or test cases you need to deliver them in a timely manner so the team can move forward. You don't want a product that was not tested with actual data do you? Perhaps you can send test data samples up front so developers already have it when they are ready to test.

Accept the Fact That the Overall Picture is Vast

Due to the complexity of software development many developers have a specialty in one aspect of a project and only focus on that. If your developers had no focus and were working on several small pieces at once rather than one large piece nothing would get done. You would have a project with bits and pieces of the project done but not one single thing completed in the whole.

Incorporate Agile

While there are many agile scrum methodologies out there they share the same philosophy. Scrum is an agile project management framework which is applicable to management and control over incremental software development projects. In this methodology you as the product owner will work closely with the software development team to identify and prioritize the functions and features of the project in the form of a backlog.

This is a proven best practice in the software development industry that simplifies product development with scrum cycles known as sprints. Sprints are 30 day cycles in which a backlog is locked in and no additional functions or features can be added to cut down on time delays and distractions.

Conclusion

The tips explained above will help you get started down the right path to successful software development projects. With the agile framework in place you should notice a significant improvement in your projects. Timelines, goals, and communication are also key in the success of software development. If you don't talk to your developers or set goals you may not be happy with the end product and be left with a feeling of disappointment even though you were the culprit behind a failed project.