Software development can be a lengthy and expensive process, mainly if you’re not using the proper techniques and tools to get your job done more efficiently. By 2024, there will be 28.7 million software developers globally, up from 26.4 million in 2019. The right team will always go further than trying to be a one-man-army when building products. The larger your team becomes, the longer it takes to make a decision. Large groups are harder to communicate with, which means some more miscommunications or details are overlooked.
I’m a tech blogger working for PixelCrayons which is a leading software development company in India
No matter how big or little, every company is always looking for ways to speed up software development projects to stay ahead of the competition.
According to Statista, enterprise application software revenue will reach 271 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2021. This is a 14 percent increase from 2016 and a 25 percent increase from projected 2017 revenue.
But as it said:
You can mass-produce hardware; you cannot mass-produce software; you cannot mass-produce the human mind. — Michio Kaku
So, how do you speed up software development?
Well, it can be a lengthy and expensive process, mainly if you’re not using the proper techniques and tools to help get your job done more efficiently.
Here are ten strategies to speed up software development, so you can get your app or website ready for the market in record time and with an affordable budget.
9 Strategies That Will Speed Up Your Software Development
1. Hire Quality People to Build Great Products
The right team will always go further than trying to be a one-man-army when building products. Besides, a good rule of thumb is that you should focus more on finding talented people rather than putting all your effort into growing and managing a large team.
Genius is the gold in the mine; talent is the miner that works and brings it out. – Marguerite Blessington
It’s not easy, but one of the most critical investments you can make in your company is to hire software developers who are proficient. You can’t become an overnight success without an excellent product and world-class software developers.
Simply put, they’ll get more done in less time with fewer resources than just about anyone else you could find.
By 2024, there will be 28.7 million software developers globally, up from 26.4 million in 2019.
Image Source: Statista
2. Build the Right Things by Focusing on What Matters Most
Focus is essential when working on a project, and if you want to build software quickly, you need to know what that focus should be. Otherwise, you might waste time trying to do everything at once or, worse yet—not doing anything well.
If you can find a way to focus your efforts so that they’re relevant and address a significant concern of your audience, you will have done what is most important before you even start building it out. Moreover, the best way to do that is by answering these two questions:
- What problem are we trying to solve?
- Who has that problem?
Now that we’ve identified who has a problem and what problem we’re solving for them, it’s time to create solutions for them using lean product development principles.
3. Keep the Team Small & Lean
The larger your team becomes, the longer it takes to make a decision. The software development process is already complicated enough without running things past a larger group of people every time you need to make a move.
Keep your team small and autonomous. They can make decisions quickly, which will result in faster development overall. Moreover, when dealing with fewer resources (which tends to be easier), delivered work comes in higher quality. This is because fewer bottlenecks or people are second-guessing themselves. You get better results with less work!
Need more convincing?
In a study published in Systems Engineering, researchers looked at how large or small project teams affected cycle time.
They found that as team size grew from 1 to 8 members, cycle time decreased from an average of 33 days to 20 days. And as team size grew from 8 to 24 members, cycle time increased by 9%, back up to 27 days on average.
Another study found that team members’ problem-solving skills decline as group size increases. But why does group size affect productivity?
It all comes down to communication. Large groups are harder to communicate with, which means some more miscommunications or details are overlooked.
When people are working independently, they tend to be more productive. They also find it easier to figure out how their work fits into a bigger picture since they know how other team members work on their projects. Overall, keeping your team small helps you reduce miscommunication and leads to faster delivery times!
4. Adopting DevOps & Agile Methodology to Build Better Software Faster
Businesses using DevOps and Agile have a competitive advantage in the market today. Their success is because these methodologies help achieve continuous delivery of high-quality software, leading to better customer satisfaction and increased revenues.
In fact, businesses that practice DevOps/Agile outperform their competitors by 220%. The success of companies practicing Agile & DevOps can be attributed to a range of factors such as:
- Low development time
- Ability to meet business goals on time
- Automation that reduces errors and saves time
By leveraging these strategies, your organization can also reap all these benefits and enjoy a significant boost in productivity.
There are several other benefits that DevOps & Agile practices can deliver to your business. Businesses that adopt these methodologies enjoy faster time-to-market by reducing development cycles, shorter delivery deadlines, and better communication with stakeholders.
For example, automated testing through Continuous Integration enables quick code reusability and seamless migration from one platform to another.
In addition, automated deployments with Continuous Delivery enable business units to test features as soon as they’re developed for a better user experience.
It also allows for a faster rollback in the event of a problem or defect. These capabilities enable your organization to consistently release new functionality without waiting for software development cycles, which is a critical differentiation in today’s competitive industry.
Though both Agile & DevOps are frequently used in the software development process, they are still different. Here’s what makes them differ:
5. Use Test-Driven Development (TDD) Where Possible
Test-driven development, or TDD, is a process of iteratively writing tests for your code. Once these tests are in place, you can confidently develop your software, knowing that you are not accidentally breaking functionality.
Because there is so much initial up-front work with TDD, it’s an ideal candidate for speeding up software development. If you can bring yourself to use it. To start small, just try adding TDD to smaller parts of your application.
If that goes well, then incorporate more and more into your workflow. You may find that something as simple as using a testing framework pays off quickly and dramatically to improve productivity and fix bugs early in development cycles.
6. Adopting the Right Tools for the Job
Do You Know What Tools Are Right for You?
The chances are good that your company uses software, but how much thought do you give to what kind of software it’s using and what specific tools might best suit your needs?
Start by first identifying just which tools will have an impact on your day-to-day work. Some common examples include:
- Platforms for managing projects
- Customer relationships
- Time tracking, and even finance.
- Then, think about whether you prefer to use a desktop or online tools.
Do you need something full-featured with advanced capabilities, or are simpler functions enough? It may also be worth considering which business partners should be involved in any selection process, so everyone uses systems they’re comfortable with. Getting these things right upfront can help improve productivity and save a lot of unnecessary frustration later on.
A GoodFirms survey found that 46.20% of participants use Visual Studio for their development projects.
7. Automate Everything to Save on Cost & Time
When building software, spend as much effort as possible to automate your processes. No rule says you need to re-invent every wheel. Besides, spend your time and money developing new features or improvements, not reinventing existing ones.
It’s expected that up to 90% of costs associated with software projects go toward maintenance and enhancement rather than initial development.
Automation leads to greater productivity because it allows limited human resources to be focused more efficiently on specific tasks with higher payback. Besides, the only thing you have to consider is if a third-party company has already done a better job developing an automated solution for your needs or if you have enough time & money for developing your solution from scratch.
8. Involve Your Customers While Building Great Products Quickly
Involve your customers as much as possible during your software development process. Let them see your idea develop and give you suggestions for improvements along the way. This will speed up software development by allowing you to get more feedback early on.
Once you finish building something, your users will appreciate that their opinion matters; they’ll be happy with your product if it meets their needs. And they’ll likely be eager to share it with friends who might benefit from it too!
Find ways to involve people throughout the entire project cycle. Make sure everyone has a voice. For example, have an internal meeting where each person gets five minutes to discuss what they want in a new app or improve something.
9. Leverage Open Source Technologies
Many of your technology problems can be solved with open-source software, a powerful and cost-effective option. Some of today’s most common enterprise applications are built on open-source, which isn’t discussed nearly as often as it should be in some circles. Consider the following examples: Salesforce, SAP, SugarCRM, and Google.
The open-source services market generated over 17 billion dollars in revenue in 2019 and is predicted to rise to a 30-billion-dollar industry by 2022, a figure that represents a threefold increase in size in only five years.
While there is some debate over how much savings comes from going with an open-source solution instead of a custom one built from scratch or on proprietary technology from a third-party vendor, there’s no question that these solutions allow for speedy development and robust functionality.
Moreover, if you can build what you need using open source technologies, you don’t have to shell out big bucks for developing something on your own.
The software-building process is complicated, and having the right guidelines can help you succeed in your project.
Though we’ve touched on some valuable strategies above, it’s important to note that there are many ways that software development companies undertake the development of projects. And what worked for one company isn’t necessarily guaranteed to work for another.
In the end, the way to stay agile and flexible in a quickly changing environment is to constantly learn, explore new technologies, and implement successful strategies.
Q1: What are software development strategies?
A1: Software development strategies are about how one writes, organizes, and facilitates projects. You can think about these strategies to look at how all the different pieces fit together.
Furthermore, here are some tips you can use to optimize your software development strategies:
1. Analyze the project
2. Research the latest trends in the software development industry
3. Draw out a plan and prioritize your objectives
4. Make small and incremental improvements over time, and adapt to feedback about what’s working and what isn’t
5. Stay away from jargon and buzzwords when communicating with other developers or non-technical members of your team, as these terms can be confusing and off-putting
Q2: What are the critical factors in selecting a software development methodology?
A2: The first and most important factor in selecting a software development methodology is: understanding the needs of your product and the intended audience.
A few other factors include:
1. Project size and company size
2. Availability of team members to dedicate time to the project
3. Time-frame (speed) for product delivery
4. Customer and stakeholder involvement.
5. Allotted budget.
6. Access to resources (infrastructure, people, software)
Q3: How do you determine whether a software development project is successful or not?
A3: Software development is successful if it meets or exceeds customer expectations.
Other factors in determining software development success are:
1. Quality of the deliverables, whether functional or non-functional (user-friendliness, bug-free, etc.)
2. Meeting business goals and objectives
3. Meeting timelines, budgets, the scope of program/project
4. Customer and stakeholder satisfaction
5. Level of participation from stakeholders, customers, and team members
6. Quality of documentation (in terms of readability and ease-of-use)