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How to improve the efficiency of your software development team

30th April 2018 Print

In today’s high-tech world, businesses rely heavily on software in order to conduct their daily deals, production, communication, organization, workflow, management, and more. To say companies are heavily reliant on software can actually seem like an understatement. With that said, your software development team needs to be highly efficient and be on top of what software your business needs, how software can help propel the business forward, how the current software is working, and what areas may be lacking.

All of this information needs to be collected and analyzed on a regular basis to be effective. A business that reacts to outdated software in a timely manner is likely one that will realize success down the road. However, not every company has a software development team that works in an efficient and effective manner, which ends up affecting the business in a negative way.

As the owner of your company, it’s up to you to be aware of the departments or areas of your business that need a little attention, so you can react in a proactive rather than reactive way. These tips can help you do just that when it comes to improving the efficiency of your software development team.

Take a Whole New Approach and Embrace Kanban Software Development

When looking for areas that need improvement, it’s not just important to look at the software itself, but rather, at the very purpose of the software. Perhaps the software your team is developing isn’t really what works best for your company. Maybe it’s not a question of speeding up certain areas or adding in extra features. Perhaps it’s time to scrap it all together and look at a new approach.

The practice of using Kanban in software development is nothing new, and in reality, this is something that businesses in all kinds of different industries can benefit from. The Kanban process traditionally relies on a whiteboard to allow for the visualization of the workflow. It’s meant to offer full transparency of the work taking place in the business, allowing all team members to see the same information in real-time. All aspects of the workflow are depicted on the whiteboard and nothing is left out.

So, how does this apply to software development? Well, that same whiteboard can be applied and built into the software, allowing everyone to have access to it at all times. The software can even be installed on mobile devices if needed, giving team members the ability to check in any time of day or night to see what is happening with the workflow.

The theory behind using a Kanban board for software development is that it takes into account the team's capacity and the amount of work currently in process. By keeping these two factors in mind, businesses end up benefiting from a more specific focus, faster output, the ability to be flexible with planning, and transparency from start to finish.

Always Keep the End Goals in Mind

Another tip during the software development process is to make sure the end goals are always in mind. It's very difficult to build software if the end goal of the business and the software is not clear. The end goal should be identified first. The team can then work backward from that point, building software that will make the goal achievable.

Ensure the Working Environment is Ideal for Developers

While developers should be able to work under any conditions, in most cases, providing an environment that is comfortable, free of distractions, and that encourages teamwork is usually the best approach. 

Many business owners are quick to assume distractions mean keeping other staff away so they aren't bothering the developers while they work, but distractions go deeper than that. Distractions can also mean constant meetings, emails, reminders, internal memos, and notifications, etc. They need to be able to immerse themselves in the project completely.

It can be helpful to meet with developers at the beginning and get their input on the ideal working environment. What do they need to be successful? 

Offer Training and Education Opportunities

Because the world of software development is always changing, it can also be useful to offer the team a chance to learn the latest techniques and tools through classes and seminars. Give them the opportunity to improve their skills and build on their knowledge; it will only end up benefiting your company in the end.

It’s An On-Going Process

Perhaps the most important tip when looking for a way to improve the efficiency of your software development team is to understand it’s an on-going process. What this means is that you can never just assume the job is done and things are as good as they will get - there are always areas that can be improved.