Council Post: 16 Strategies For Fast, High-Quality Software Development
When it comes to software development projects, business leaders and consumers alike tend to believe the sooner it’s done, the better. While speed is imperative, demanding an abbreviated turnaround time might mean the quality of the final product suffers as a result.
As a tech leader, it’s important to focus on maintaining both quality and efficiency in your team’s work. That’s why we asked members of Forbes Technology Council how they recommend speeding up software development while still focusing on quality assurance. Their best responses are below.
1. Focus on creating transformational value.
Creating transformational value should be the end goal for any technology implementation. When considering the impact a digital transformation can generate, the focus should be placed on value creation, not just the cost of the technology. Ask yourself this: What’s the true cost of postponing your digital transformation? – Tal Frankfurt, Cloud for Good
2. Fail fast and course-correct.
“Sooner” is another term for “time to market.” Perfect is the enemy of good. DevSecOps processes allow quality software development in the direction of generating business value. Having an end-to-end vision with a continuous feedback loop and allowing experimentation for innovation is the best strategy. It allows you to fail fast and make quick course corrections. Be agile. – Sandeep Shilawat, ManTech
3. Break up the deliverables.
What has always worked is breaking up the deliverables into an iterative model. Start with a minimum set of features that is acceptable, releasable and doesn’t compromise on quality. It helps in multiple ways: You delivered something “sooner,” and you can also now get real feedback from customers instead of building the whole set of features based on assumptions. – Shashank Singh, Flyx
4. Prioritize features based on immediate user expectations.
“The sooner the better” is a highly contextual notion. So is quality. Keeping a measure of scope, time and quality in mind, make frequent, accretive deliveries to your end-users, creating continuous growth and improvements. Focus a release on features, another on experience, another on performance. Mix the priorities based on the immediate expectations of your users. – Florian Quarré, Exponential AI
5. Manage project scope.
Tech leaders should go back to the project management triangle: Balance scope, budget and time. Many product managers and business leaders genuinely don’t understand the impact of a particular feature on value delivered. With the right level of analysis, the scope can always be managed without impacting business value. Managing project scope is your best bet to deliver quality software rapidly. – Pradeep Ittycheria, Kasasa
6. Lay the right foundation.
Laying the right foundation, choosing the right infrastructure and identifying the most relevant methodology are just a few of many considerations to take into account when fast-tracking the development of a project. Deployment strategy is also of importance when it comes to iterating and deploying the features frequently, which would allow for further prioritization. – Jahn Karsybaev, Prosource IT
7. Expect and plan for mistakes.
Expect mistakes, and plan to capture and mitigate them quickly. After all, to err is human. Establishing a vulnerability disclosure and/or bug bounty program to engage hackers to continuously assess newly cut code is an effective and scalable way to achieve this. – Casey Ellis, Bugcrowd
8. Utilize modern development tools.
Utilize modern rapid application development platforms instead of traditional and costly custom software programming. Also, having a solid agile project management approach will allow for rapid development and deployment of the minimum viable product and timely subsequent releases of new features after the MVP is developed. – Nooshin Yazhari, Optimum Consultancy Services
9. Focus on sprints and incremental changes.
Do more with less. Focus sprints on making incremental changes over time. Instead of releasing big changes all at once, it’s important for DataOps and quality integrity to avoid lots of changes happening at the same time. Ensuring stability is critical to delivering value for your customers. – Ryan Chan, UpKeep Maintenance Management
10. Maximize parallel development and automation.
We recently faced a similar situation where it was almost impossible to deliver a new software release, but we achieved it through testing automation and parallel development across the user interface and backend teams. I guess there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer here, but the key is to maximize parallel development, test automation, improve code coverage and keep your team’s motivation high. – Sanjay Vyas, Diyotta
11. Hold frequent meetings and follow up on roadblocks.
Holding regular meetings and following up on any possible roadblocks that could slow down the production is one of the most effective ways to understand what is holding production back. It will also help you find the best ways to speed the process up—all while saving even more resources. Plus, it makes brainstorming sessions easy and effective. – Daria Leshchenko, SupportYourApp Inc.
12. Appoint the right project manager.
One of the biggest things for us is having the right project manager to gather all the requirements from the customer, to speak the language of business and technology, and to talk to our teams in the development areas. If you can bridge that gap between business and technology, it will go a long way toward making projects run smoother and faster for the customer. – Christopher Carter, Approyo
13. Leverage no-code platforms.
The expansion of no-code platforms will dramatically reduce time spent on software development while improving quality. Eliminating manual coding expedites deadlines and allows non-technical employees to play a role in development, lowering economic barriers for small- to mid-sized companies and enabling creative solution design and problem-solving through increased employee involvement. – David Wenger, Bridge Connector
14. Invite the customer into the development process.
Continual customer feedback is the perfect catalyst to help both the product and engineering teams build cadence and expose new use cases. Release cycles typically slow when market research and product development are misaligned. – Steven Khuong, Curacubby
15. Use beta testing to refine and show progress.
Leverage beta testing. Once the development team says the project is ready, release it to an internal team. Fix any bugs they encounter. Then release this version to a small subset of your actual users for beta testing. Make modifications according to the feedback from beta testers, then release it to all users. This process assures quality, and the continuous progress keeps leaders satisfied. – Vikram Joshi, pulsd
16. Conduct a ‘cost of delay’ analysis.
A “cost of delay” analysis is a highly effective approach that takes into account the shape and type of the delay with a certain outcome and then links it back to financial results. This analysis allows you to moderate a discussion between user needs, business opportunities and quality assurance requirements. It can also help to identify possible labor costs and product value. – Robert Weissgraeber, AX Semantics
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