In this article, we’ll be talking about some of the ways your software development company can be more productive, including how you can better address the needs of your customers, manage projects, and improve collaboration among team members.
No matter what size or type of software development company you are running, it is important to assess how you are achieving productivity. It’s worth taking an honest look at the following 5 items in order to see what improvement opportunities there may be.
Before jumping into the 5 ways we have included there are a couple of suggestions to bear in mind:
Make sure you understand exactly what productivity means. It’s not the same as “time spent working”. You may view these 5 items as projects, but without addressing these areas there is no way to improve your productivity. You need to be able to address each in detail and deliver tangible results.
Always work towards improving your process . What does that mean? Find out what makes sense and let others know about it, if you want something done differently then explain why you think it will work better.
Make sure you record your productivity review and share it with other members of the team.
Improvements to productivity will vary from company to company, but there are a few common themes. This list isn’t set in stone, so feel free to add your own ideas if you discover something we haven’t considered. Whatever you decide remember it’s about results and not about process or methodology.
1. Improve or eliminate the review cycle
The review cycle can be an overhead for software development companies because it involves independent reviewers testing and grading the code and providing feedback to the developer, as well as producing a detailed report on their findings. The question is can you improve the process without increasing your overhead? Once upon a time this might have been considered that way, but if you’re not paying developers then why should they spend time finding out if they’ve done a good job? If there is no pay attached to doing the work then they can focus on delivering that solution without worrying about whether they’ve done so in an efficient manner.
Of course creating a better process for the review cycle does not mean you should stop paying. The idea is to free up the time being spent on reviewing and grade, so that it can be repurposed towards creating better solutions.
2. Focus more on Continuous Resilience Testing (CRT)
How many times have you heard about clients who insist the software checks to see if their database is corrupted, or if their application runs in different browsers? If they are doing CRT then that means they have automated tests running all over the place, which means they are covering all of these areas already.
Some, but not all, of the projects run by software development companies may have some automation already in place. If you are not doing CRT, then you need to start. It’s one of the main process improvements that can reduce your risk and increase your productivity.
This is an area which a lot of software development companies seem to struggle with. You might have seen organisations that have put very little emphasis on CRT and others that aggressively test everything manually before deploying anything to live systems. This is something our developers really enjoy doing as it makes them feel good about their work and there are plenty of benefits for all sides. Let’s explore just a few of them:
– Reduced risk of failures and downtime
– Keep your software up to date.
– Reduce the time spent on integration testing and bug fixing.
– To reduce technical debt
There are many reasons why you might not be doing CRT. For example, maybe you can’t get your developers to create automated tests to cover all of the possible success and failure scenarios. Perhaps they don’t have the time, or perhaps they just don’t think it’s worthwhile. Maybe they don’t see the benefits coming from doing CRT and continue to do manual testing instead.
3. Establish a process for daily standups
This is a critical process improvement that can help improve the productivity of many software development companies. There are a few reasons why this could be, but the main ones are as follows:
You don’t want to waste time spent discussing things that aren’t urgent and important. It’s also important to clearly define what is considered urgent / important and remember, if your team isn’t on the same page then things won’t get done very quickly.
If you put yourself in your client’s shoes then they will be more likely to work with you and will have better knowledge of what you’re doing and why.
Standups are a way to align everyone with the strategy and vision of the company. It’s also a good idea to have other people involved as observers, so that they understand what’s going on. You can do this by having other team members attend your daily standup.
4. Use different networking technologies
If you’re using the same networking technology for your company that was used when you were a teenager, then it might be time for an upgrade. There are a lot of great benefits to using newer networks and technologies, including better speed, higher security and increased functionality. As you grow your business then it is a good idea to be able to continue to increase the power and functionality of the network.
Many software development companies are still using unsecure technologies such as FTP which may be fine for small projects, but it can’t hold up on larger projects with thousands of users. We’ve seen more and more companies upgrading their networks in recent years as many of them have grown past the point where they need FTP servers.
5. Upgrade your office and technologies
This is probably something you would agree with us about! The office that we work from has been upgraded many times over the years, meaning that we are no longer bogged down with technology that is outdated and not working anymore. It is a good idea to do the same for your office. If you use the same technology that’s been clogging up your office for years then it’s time to upgrade.
By upgrading your office you’re also able to increase the functionality of the office and make it more efficient. This can help with efficiency in other parts of your company as well – if the hardware and software in-use in an office just isn’t cutting it any more, then there are opportunities for improvement here as well.
As your business grows you will be able to start using more powerful technologies to help you with your work. This is a good thing, as each project becomes more efficient and easier than the last. Make sure that your office is modernised and upgraded to stay on top of the latest technology. You will also need to upgrade your networking technology so that it’s able to handle everything that you’re going to throw at it in the future. It’s important not just for productivity but also for security and protection too.