If you work or have worked for a tech company, you know the pressure that software developers deal with due to project timelines. Every so often, managers move deadlines and allocate developers new projects to work on. In these work environments, time is never enough and employers are always pushing their employees to get more work done within shorter periods.
But this often comes with its own cost as software developers can only put up with the pressure for so long before calling it quits. It’s no wonder tech companies have the highest staff turnover rate compared to other industries.
However, things don’t have to always end this way. Companies can find ways to make their software development processes more efficient without demotivating employees. If you’re running a software development project, here are some tips to help you increase efficiency and help your team to achieve more within the set period without making them quit in the process:
1. Create Semi-Autonomous Teams
The first step towards boosting software development efficiency is to ensure that you have a strategic team that can deliver set goals without you having to manage them. For most people, the initial thought might be to onboard more developers to boost productivity levels. However, it’s important to consider the time that you or your technical team will require to conduct interviews, which essentially takes them away from the critical tasks you want them to focus on.
Also, orienting new developers to the job could take months, and coordinating a large team of developers will eat into your time. If you must hire additional developers, strategic considerations such as building cross-functional and semi-autonomous teams that can make critical decisions and push the project forward would be critical.
When you divide software development teams this way and assign them responsibilities, your software development project will always be moving forward, which increases efficiency.
2. Enhance The Skills Of Your Team
The efficiency of your software development team largely depends on how skilled its members are to deliver on projects. Highly skilled developers can solve problems and develop less complex solutions faster. Unless your company hires highly skilled software developers, getting your team to this level of performance will take time.
However, you can enhance their skills level gradually by encouraging your team to actively engage in continuous skill development and learning. You can achieve this either by creating a learning library, encouraging the formation of book clubs, and facilitating developers to participate in conferences. You can also conduct internal employee-led workshops and conferences to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and knowledge sharing.
Boosting your team’s skills level will enhance software development efficiency by increasing the development speed and improving the quality of the final product.
3. Reduce System Complexity
One of the things that slow the process of developing software down is a complex system. While it’s virtually impossible to avoid complexity in software development, it becomes a hindrance to efficiency. This is because the more a system becomes complicated, the harder it is to spot and fix bugs, add new features, or even understand what’s happening within the system.
While you can solve this problem partially by enhancing the ability of developers to create simple systems, consider reducing cowboy coding. This form of coding happens when developers take shortcuts to finish the work faster. In the process, they tend to ignore the process, and code without considering how their actions will impact product quality or team performance. This attitude results in complexity over time.
4. Embrace Agile Development
Agile development is the emerging alternative to the conventional approach to project management. Tech developers created this approach because they had experienced the limitations of conventional management in software development. Agile development increases efficiency in the sense that it provides an easy framework for keeping software development teams focused and creating a technical landscape that is constantly evolving and progressing.
5. Reduce Software Reworks
Another great way to enhance efficiency is to keep reworks at a minimum in every stage of software development. Generally, there are three main sources of software reworks bugs, incorrect completion of tasks, and unclear requirements.
Though it’s hard to completely eliminate reworks, you can reduce them significantly by doing the following:
- Detecting and fixing bugs early
- Providing developers with clear specifications
- Ensuring that they understand the solution.
In most cases, bugs occur when requirements are not clear. This leaves developers guessing, which leads to mistakes and results in reworks.
A great way to address this problem is to have kick-start meetings with developers, product owners, and testers to communicate software features in detail and get everyone on the same page.
If you want to increase efficiency in software development, you’ll need to focus on addressing the different factors that affect the speed of developing software. This is not something that you’ll be able to achieve overnight. However, applying the tips discussed above will get you started on the right footing.