Software is an inevitable part of the modern life and businesses. We are heavily reliant on different kinds of software for the desktops, smartphone, tablets, and wearable devices to carry myriads of tasks.
Therefore, individuals, professionals, startups, SMB, and enterprises are rushing for various kinds of software development in the market to address their bespoke needs. Similarly, the number of software development companies, agencies, and freelancers are increasing exponentially.
It makes the right selection of software development service provider daunting and clients are eager to get fine clues in this regard. In due course, we have got inspirations to outline some best practices that can enable software developers to complete the project faster, cheaper, and better to sustain in the fiercely competitive milieu.
If clients find that the selected software development companies are following such best practices and minimize the project failure or substandard quality development rate, they can go ahead with those progressive software development companies for their next projects.
No.1: Define the Project
If a client is going to software development, she must have clear concepts regarding the project such as:
What do you want to achieve through software?
What features and functionality do you expect in software? Run audience research to know the actual requirements of software features and functionality.
What resources are needed for software success including hardware, software, network, and humans?
Do you have evaluated risks associated with the software and its usage? For instance, bugs, crashes, ownership, infringements, and much more
How may the software work and hit your intended targets?
Who are business representatives taking active parts during the software development project?
Prepare technical documents of the project and take approvals of both parties. Moreover, including NDA and other legal documents in the process.
Produce ballpark estimation first and take approvals of client team members to produce final project estimation, which should define project timeline, methodologies, strategies, payment terms, mode of payments, and mode of delivery of the outputs.
No.2: Plan the Project Development Process
- Planning is crucial to the success of the project development process and project itself. Define the team of designers, developers, and QA professionals
- Define the project development methodology/model based on the nature and budget of the project such as waterfall, agile, scrum, lean, and others
- Run brainstorming sessions to define project deliverables on each stage if you follow waterfall like traditional methodologies
- If you are opting agile development methods, define the stages accordingly
- If your payment is related to deliverables on each stage of development, define milestones accordingly
- The most important planning is timeline for each step of process and adjustments if needed
- Define testing of software on each step of development and at the end of the development
- Fix how to carry the tests and what time requires for it
No.3: Plan the Project Management Process
Today we have out-of-box project management software with communication facilities in a real-time manner. Therefore, use the most suitable one and fix the names and roles of project leaders, managers, and the entire team in the PMS.
Include the business-side team or main member/s in the PMS as active participants in the team to enable them to access the regular project reports and add their valuable feedback on any issue during the entire project process.
The active participation of clients makes project development environment highly conducive and collaborative.
No.4: Plan Monitoring of the Project Development Process
Procedurally, it is the duty of project manager to monitor the entire software development process. In practice, no project is completing by rigidly following the estimated timeline and budget. Therefore, flexibility on both ends is expected in this regard.
However, following tips may help the project manager to accomplish the project in expected ways beautifully.
- Take help of calendar features of the modern PMS and review the project on regular basis for work schedule and budget
- If delays are significant, try to revise and update the work plan accordingly
- Display finished activities and try to focus the team on upcoming tasks
- Monitor milestones if defined and budgetary constraints so you can estimate ROI of the project
No.5: Plan QA Parts of the Project Development Process
Quality deliverables are only possible with planned testing and hard efforts of QA developers. Today automated testing is trendy and applicable in the majority of cases. However, strict quality maintenance requires a mix of manual testing with automated testing, particularly in the case of cloud testing.
The best testing practices indicate several minor testing infractions of the development process. Therefore, developers have to carry debugging and guerilla user testing on the completion of each major phase of software development.
If you plan to test accordingly and add in the schedule of PMS, the entire team can learn what mistakes had made and how to avoid in the next steps.
No.6: Managing Scope of the Project
In the beginning, you have documented the project scope. In a technical sense, project scope defines a path of software development where features, functions, and sometimes UX/usability are defined.
During the development process, the chances are high that designing team or programming team divert from the scope path and add some undefined features or functions, which are looking good but may increase the burden of project budget and timeline.
Therefore, project manager, team leader, and business representatives who are participating in PMS should keep watch on the development process and constantly evaluate during each step of the process.
In the Agile, Scrum, and other lean development methods chances for innovation and customization are high. It ultimately changes the defined project scope and tempts project sponsors to invest more to get the stunning and useful product.
In such conditions, software development team and project managers should keep live contacts with the sponsor or business-side team. It eases the approval process and increases chances of success.
No.7: Design Optimization in the Project Development Process
Today we have to design our software interface mobile friendly, so responsive designing techniques are essential. The use of multimedia content like images and videos a lot. It requires optimization of images and other multimedia content for the best performance.
No.8: Code Optimization in the Project Development Process
We have multiple technologies for the web or mobile software design. Selecting object oriented programming languages give optimized code. You should learn the best coding practices such as clean, compact, and comprehensive coding for best performance of the software.
No.9: Deployment of the Software Product
Check that your software product is easy to deploy and keeping standards of the industry. Test installation and configuration process of the product frequently and on different OS as well as browser compatibility.
If you have a mobile app as a software product, consider successful upload in the respective marketplaces by following the given guidelines.
No.10: Think Marketing, Maintenance, and Upgrades of Product
If you have web design project, SEO, SMO, and other Internet Marketing techniques must follow right from the beginning. For the mobile app, different marketplaces have different standards and practices to achieve top ranking in the marketplace, so respect it all during the app development.
Tarang Vyas is a head of development team at Perception System, the leading custom software development company. He has been in the industry for 15 years.