Your software project is your blood, sweat, and tears translated into the arena of code and UX design. In an ideal world, you could take all the time in the world to perfect it, but you're on a deadline. In software development, time is money. Not just your time, either. Every minute each coder loses to fumbled communication or testing comes out of your bottom line.
The longer each project phase takes, the more you spend without seeing profits. Perhaps you have investors breathing down your neck or supervisors biting their nails for the next quarterly deadline.
Even for projects with a certain amount of flexibility, the faster you can complete the work, the sooner you can start on the next project. Fortunately, a few simple tips will help speed up the pace and keep you ahead of schedule.
Tips for driving efficiency
Keep in mind that some processes can only move so fast. Specific steps of any software development take a set amount of time. This stopgap model makes it all the more crucial to optimize efficiency in the areas you can control, such as testing outsourcing.
Hiring software testing firms like these can dramatically speed up your time-to-market and with fewer bugs to boot. Identifying where simple changes will have the most significant impact is the first step to putting your project on the fast track.
Establish focused goals
Setting clear, narrow goals upfront and sticking to them is one of the simplest and easiest ways to keep your team on track. Avoid changing the plan, and the overall scope of the software itself, as much as possible.
The more often you change the ultimate goal, the more often people will need to rewrite code or create new plans to reach that goal.
Divide and conquer
The principle here is the same one referenced by the “too many cooks in the kitchen” adage. With smaller teams working on component parts of your project, you reduce opportunities for communication breakdown.
As part of this strategy, applying continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pathways can help developers working on separate aspects of a single project integrate their codes on a set schedule to help you detect any errors early.
Allocate time effectively
Remember that allocating enough work hours to each aspect of your project may require expanding your team, even temporarily. When working to a deadline, it might make sense to spend the money to hire more coders and ensure you make your deadline, receive payment, and maintain your reputation.
In this day and age, it’s hard to come across professionals who question how vital test automation is. Without, if you wish to enhance the efficacy of your cross browser testing, test automation is the way to go. In fact, it's the backbone of DevOps and CI/CD along with faster software delivery.
Practically speaking, your developers, coders, and other team members may have any number of goals or projects running concurrently. However, the more you can limit work in progress for specific individuals, the more efficiently they will generate results and move on to the next task.
Humans like to believe we are good at multitasking, but the truth is that no matter how good we are at switching between tasks, we still work faster when singularly focused.
Automate where possible
In delivery and testing especially, automation can save you wasted time. Figuring out where to introduce automation will likely be well worth the time spent. Consider measuring each component of a project process.
Then, ask yourself which time frames seem longer than necessary, then consider how automating a part of that process might reduce time loss.
Outsource software testing
More time is lost in the back-and-forth of testing than almost any other step of the software development process. Part of this involves sticking to the essentials.
User testing and feedback immediately before launch will often help you determine where and how to incorporate any extras beyond the basic requirements. It's simple: if you want instant acceleration, outsource your testing.
Avoid technical debt
It's easy to fall into the trap of so-called “technical debt” by saving time with less than perfect work while planning to make corrections later. However, there is always the possibility that you won't have time or resources to make necessary corrections.
These corrections then eat up future time spent on new projects. Actual efficiency results from taking the time required to get it right the first time.
Remember your team is human
Studies show that humans work better and faster when they are happy. Though your developers probably churn out results like machines, that doesn't mean they feel comfortable.
Keeping your team well rested will help reduce time spent correcting manual errors later. As a bonus, teams with high morale tend to be more creative and innovative.
While not all these tips may apply to your project, the odds are good that implementing even a few of these time-saving tips will help you maximize your team's efficiency and drive productivity.
After all, the more efficiently you use everyone's time, the faster you can move on to developing your next project.