Software development teams are under a myriad of challenges with the development process taking a paradigm shift into, “build once, deploy everywhere”. This means a software developer has always to be on toes for keeping up with the trends, integrating various programs and offering support throughout the development. They will be in real trouble in a short time if they don’t find a solution to the on-going problems. In this blog we have highlighted some of the common software development team’s problems and their effective solutions.
“This is not what we asked for”: a common yet critical word that is quite oftenly shared by the client to the developers. The reason? They feel that the final product is not as per their expectations. So now what? You iterate and reproduce the product again.
In this journey of project development, a developer plays the role of a “doctor”, “psychologists” and “being himself”.
But till when will they continue to play different roles? We understand that it is difficult to come up with a sure shot key to success, however, we can always minimize the number of challenges the teams encounter every day. In the next section, we are going to discuss the challenges and ways to improve the development team’s performance.
A brief about development teams challenges:
The common challenges faced by software development teams today are:
Rapid technology advancement;
A rise in customer demands;
Delays in client feedbacks;
Lack of resources;
Juggling multiple projects at a time;
Unclear communication within the teams;
Lack of expertise due to evolving trends.
Who to blame for the inefficiency? Poor management or team inefficiency? well, we would suggest why get into this whirlpool of puzzles, instead, let’s find out ways in which we can improve the performance and productivity of developers.
What is productivity?
Productivity in IT terms means getting desired results in less time and effort. It is the measure of the output achieved from the amount of input given. However, for developers, quality and skills are the major inputs. And hence, it is difficult to measure productivity when it comes to software development.
What is performance?
Performance is the process adopted in order to achieve quality output that meets the standards. Using tools and reports, it is possible to measure the development team’s performance easily.
Let’s shift our focus on the ways in which you can achieve the goals, with quality work and also meeting the project deadlines.
Encourage Productive Environment:
“There are a million ways to lose a workday, but not even a single way to get one back.”- Peopleware
Distractions inside the corporate environment are never appreciated. There are times when a developer is engrossed in a problem, almost on the verge of finding a solution, but just gets distracted by the next table chitchats.This doesn’t mean that they need a strict environment, but, it just means that when you wish to progress, you need the right environment.
Hence, a team leader has to ensure that the development team is guarded against any such distractions in order to get the best out of them. You would be surprised to know that it takes almost 25 minutes to come out from a distraction. Can you afford losing those valuable 25 minutes every day? Quite not!
The environment around the employees creates a huge impact on work efficiency. The creativity can be brought out only when the developers are not confined within the space. Development teams should have sufficient corners of their own, in order to work freely and concentrate on the work.
Yes, it is important to give them comfort and refreshments in the office. Thus depending on the workspace type, the concentration and productivity can be increased. Hence, organizations need to focus on the quality of the environment to achieve quality output.
Chart out a plan and set a clear vision between the team leader and developer:
It is important that you chart out the project development process right at the initial stage. Note down the client’s expectations from the project, and accordingly, set out a plan. Discuss with the team and decide the milestones. This way, everyone will be on the same table and work together towards the deadline.
It is the duty of the leader to know how the plan will help in providing value to the business and thereby generate revenues. Hence, ensure that everyone involved in the team, be it the leader, manager or developer, they should have the same vision of development progress.
Planning a clear vision ensures that all other distractions during the development are ignored, and the scope of the project is met dedicatedly.
Offer them a chance to polish their skills:
Software development trends are changing every year. The practices which developers might have followed three years back, may not be much in practice now.
For overcoming such challenges, it is the employer’s responsibility to arrange for skill development programs or ask the developers to learn new techniques. By doing this, the developers get their time to polish or learn new skills and serve the organization in a better and productive way. Additionally, developers retain themselves into a mobile app development company that offers them skill development prospects.
Appoint an experienced team of developers:
The most important aspect of great project delivery is the “team” of developers. You need to hire mobile app developers specialists who will deliver the project in the best possible way.
In order to judge the performance of your development team, each of its members needs to have the required skills. They should know the subject from each and every corner of it.
The reason behind this ideology is that an inexperienced developer may delay the task, or can cause headaches to the other developers. Additionally, investing in such a developer is nothing less but a waste of time and money.
One more thing, if you have a team of experienced developers then you can easily define roles for the project which may not be the case if you have only a single skilled developer. If that is the case, then you would have to rely on that developer for every single problem. However, dividing the project role ensures that protocols and project standards are met effortlessly.
Improve organizational processes:
Needless to say, the work processes you adopt reflect the way you will deliver the project. Hence, audit every nook and corner of your work process, find out the areas where there is a loophole and can be groomed better.
Keep a check on the team's communication, quality control and assurance process, development bugs and the testing environment. If while auditing you find any of the above-mentioned processes needs attention or is blocking the progress, then figure out the problem and resolve the issue.
Start giving incentives :
Your dedicated team of developers is working day and night to deliver projects on time that can earn you millions of dollars (like literally). In return for their hard work, they definitely seek something as an incentive.
Also it is important that they feel that they are a part of something substantial and work more dedicatedly towards it. Giving away something as an incentive keeps them motivated to work efficiently. Trust us, this has a significant impact on the project and the business in return.
Recheck the performance management system:
Just like the vehicles need fuel to run, the app development process needs an annual check and performance check to keep going. Hence, if you are following the annual performance reviews then rethink this. Keep it either quarterly or if possible every month.
Also, start talking to the team quite often, like very often. Informational conversations many times give you ways to improve the performance of developers. The informal conversations and regular check-ins, work process reviews give you a clear picture of process loopholes and various priorities.
Upgrade software development tools:
As a project manager, it is your responsibility to know what more does the team need in the development cycle. Additionally new options for development are available in the market every other day(not literally) and it is necessary to ensure as a team leader that your team is equipped with it.
There are development tools, management tools and testing tools. Some tools integrate easily into the process which allows you to speed up the process of development. Many tools boost communication transparency and keep the things in thread.
Now that we know the steps which will boost up the development teams productivity, then let us shift our focus on how we will measure the effectiveness?
The below are the practices commonly followed to measure a development team’s productivity.
An organizational flow chart is the best way to measure the project progress. The reason being, a flowchart helps in defining the key roles of the project. Additionally, flowchart facilitates the team to know where they are stuck in an issue, which problem needs to be resolved and thereby give a clear picture of the development process.
A clear picture increases transparency and improves the communication between the teams. A root cause analysis can also be performed using the flowchart method.
A highly popular key metric for agile scrum is a sprint. Sprint is a defined timeframe in which mobile app developers are required to complete the task. It is usually planned for around one to four weeks. Everyone involved in the project is asked to communicate the time in which they will be able to complete the project.
As soon as the sprint period ends, a report will be generated that shares important insight of the project. The burndown reports define the app development productivity and the goals that you have achieved so far.
This further helps in gap analysis. Which means, you can gauge which team misses the schedule timeline, which team needs more resources and more. By doing accurate analysis of the report, the teams can be guided accordingly and the business goals can be achieved easily.
Let’s summarize the key takeaways of the blog to increase the development team’s productivity:
Create productive environment;
Chart out plan and set a clear vision;
Offer skill development program;
Have an experienced team of developers;
Improve organizational processes;
Upgrade software development tools;
Recheck performance management systems
As a tech leader, it is your duty to help your team in becoming more productive. You can also consider implementing DevOps ad DevSecOps in order to secure the processes and keep them aligned. Start having one-to-one conversations with the team members and get productive feedback.
However, if you find it difficult to implement, you can outsource your app development project to us. We have tried and implemented everything mentioned above and have every technology stack in place. Contact us anytime if you need help.