Have you ever heard of a project without a deadline? Neither have I. There’s always the pressure to get the product ready to hit the market as soon as time allows. And it’s no surprise this is the case. You have an idea and want to get it to the market quickly. In today’s blog, I will dive into what influences the speed of software development. And how this impacts your project. I will explore the best practices for improving workflow. As well as what has worked for us in getting products ready for release.
What affects the speed of software development?
How fast your project is finished depends on a few factors.
- Code quality
- Team size
- Human factor
It’s worth exploring them in more detail to give you a better picture of how they affect the process.
Factors that determine software development speed
Depending on the needs of the project, different solutions will be considered. These can range from the technology used to whether the project is already building on existing infrastructure. Before starting we gain as much information as possible from you in the discovery phase.
Other factors that impact the speed of delivery are:
- Delivery/cooperation model
- the size of the project
- If the project is being built from the ground up
- The technology used
- The scope of work
Depending on whether you are after custom software development / dedicated teams or team augmentation services this process may change. You can discover more about the software delivery process here.
When it comes to writing high-quality code, there are no real shortcuts. Outside of editors such as IntelliJ, that can help make suggestions and check for issues, all code is written around the project. Working to the deadlines set in the roadmap is important. However, saving time at the beginning of the project with low-quality code and architecture can increase the timeframe. A poor start can lead to problems later and impact the scalability and long-term success of your project
However, managing technical debt at the start of a project can be a strategic decision. Saving time at the start can mean getting your ideas to the market quicker.
As a rule, use a manual code review as a second pair of eyes to scan the code and catch any potential errors or bugs. Additionally, it’s important to review the log to track all changes. For a more automated approach, we suggest using a static code scan tool such as Sonar, which can check for code quality and enforce quality gates.
It’s obvious that the more members on the team the faster the project will be, right? Well, no. Finding the right size team for the project is crucial, too many and communication becomes a problem. Too few and the speed of progress slows. There’s a balancing act between team size and speed. This is why we often start projects with a smaller number of developers and scale up over time when needed. We recommend keeping teams between 4– 8 people. If more people are required, build smaller teams and divide the project into chunks.
The experience of the team and the management style used will also impact the speed of development. Using Agile strategies can speed up development time as it uses rapid iteration with frequent feedback (Discover if Agile is good for your project). The experience of the team will affect the timeframe. However, there is a cost factor to think about.
To make it easier to support and maintain the project and avoid unnecessary discussions, build teams by combining senior, mid, and junior members. Balance knowledge with experience and ensure each team has a leader with the final say. In the case of several teams, there should be someone responsible for, communication between the teams, who ensures that the same technological standards and components are used.
Delivering software on time: techniques and strategies to boost software development speed
There are of course other factors that affect software development speed. What matters is how to mitigate them next, I’ll discuss techniques we’ve found successful.
Plan and prioritize
Understand the project from the start and design an effective roadmap. Understanding your requirements means that our proposed solutions are compatible with your project. Getting the roadmap right is key to keeping the speed of development constant. To properly manage a project, follow these best practices.
- Define environments: Determine the purpose of each environment and establish a flow between them.
- Set up the following environments to cover different stages of the software development process:
- DEV: for development and testing purposes
- TEST: for testing the software in a controlled environment
- PRE-PROD: for final pre-launch testing
- PROD: the live environment for end-users
- Ensure similarity to production environment: Keep all environments as similar as possible to the production environment to minimize issues during launch.
- Keep environments stable and ready for use: Each environment should always be kept stable and ready for use.
Use the right tools
Choose the right tools for the project. Choosing the right technology is important. It helps make sure the software is secure and built to work. This involves things like the time it takes, the resources needed, and how hard it is. By knowing this stuff early, we can make a good plan for the software to work well and be done on time. As a rule, choose Architecture based on the project’s needs, not the other way around.
Communicate with the team
Keep the team updated about the direction of the project. Make sure developers know their goals, tasks, and responsibilities, and how they relate to others and the project. We use JIRA for this, with almost the same flow in every project. For project management, we typically use either SCRUM or Kanban. Having clear criteria makes sure the project stays on track.
We suggest running dailies to keep everyone on the same page. And to make sure tasks are assigned effectively and progress can be checked.
Communicate with your partners
To manage a project effectively, schedule regular feedback sessions. Take the time to discuss the project’s progress, how to make it better, and what actions to take for better collaboration. This means everyone is up to date with the timeline and process. This helps you make informed decisions around issues affecting development speed. We would encourage the product owner to take part in the daily meetings, since most are only 15 minutes long, to help clarify and discuss possible issues. With a more in-depth review at the start of any sprint.
Importance of testing in software development
Check the code regularly. CI/CD practices ensure code changes are integrated, tested, and deployed quickly and safely to production. Continuous Integration catches bugs early by regularly integrating and testing code changes. Continuous Delivery automates code deployment to reduce errors and downtime. These practices help projects stay on track by addressing issues early and ensuring safe and timely code deployment.
Our testing strategy includes:
- Automated integration and end-to-end tests for main business flows, using tools such as Cypress, Selenium, and scripting.
- Manual tests for areas where automation is not feasible or cost-effective
- All tests are written consistently and follow defined standards.
Measure progress and adapt your strategy
Measure project progress. Use metrics to measure the progress of the project. Examples are:
- task completion
- burn-down chart
- code coverage
- bug count
- and customer feedback
These metrics help predict the completion date. As well as ensuring software quality and identifying areas for improvement. One effective technique used for estimating work is Planning Poker. This approach allows programmers to discuss and evaluate the tasks by rating them. By giving a number to the tasks, you can see how much you have accomplished in a sprint allowing you to measure progress. Incorporating these metrics and techniques into project planning and execution, it improves the ability to meet deadlines. And if there is an issue with the project, tweak your workflows to meet the project’s needs.
How clarity in project goals can improve software development speed
A well-defined and structured development process is crucial for delivering software on time. It ensures clarity in project goals, consistency in processes, improved communication and risk management, and promotes continuous improvement. It enables efficient planning, tracking, and delivery of the software while tackling delays.
Conclusion: understanding the factors that impact software development speed
The speed of software development is impacted by various factors, including complexity, code quality, team size, and the human factor. However, by implementing the right techniques and processes, the software development process will keep on track. By prioritizing tasks, you can ensure the timely delivery of quality software.
A well-defined and structured development process is crucial to achieving these goals, as it promotes collaboration, communication, and continuous improvement. At the end of the day, effective communication, collaboration, and a focus on continuous improvement are key to delivering quality software on time.