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6 software development process tips critical for success (in outsourcing and elsewhere)

6 software development methodology tips for successThere are a number of different software development tools and methodologies to use for successful project completion. Drawing on years of experience, here are the six most crucial software development tools that will ensure a successful development process and good results for your outsourcing (and other software) projects.

Communication… communication, communication. Just talk to people!

Communication is the most vital part of software development. The Great Pyramids were not built by one person, neither was Microsoft software, and chances are, even your project requires more than one brilliant mind to show off their skills. If there’s more than one person involved, you better make sure everyone is communicating. If there’s no communication, or if there is anything that inhibits communication, the project will be less successful, with more misunderstandings and mishaps along the way.

Collaboration & documented everything.

Collaborate with the entire team to make sure all your projects are well documented. Create a process where you can track project development in writing. It will not only help to trace steps back if something goes awry, but it’s great for reviewing how you have dealt with similar issues in the past. Simply, it is your future best asset with relatively cheap maintenance.

Have you proofed your proof of concept?

Develop the project idea completely and identify your goals before blindly diving into the work. Know what will be used as a base for the project (“from scratch”, “open source”, “customizable off-the-shelf”) and what that means for your performance requirements. Are they realistic? Figure out the worst case scenario. How will you manage your project to avoid it? Finally, look over all the deliverables and potential pitfalls and find out if you have the sufficient budget for it. If not, what can you change and still reach the same objectives?

Get a (working) process.

A successful software development project needs to have some sort of systematic process. So yes Agile and SCRUM. Or Waterfall. It does not matter “which Agile” or how much “waterfall” is in your Agile methodology. As long as this is a process that you will follow and that supports your goals, do it. Remember that the software development process must be disciplined, with clearly defined objectives and milestones.

Look for embedded quality.

Quality is something internal that needs to permeate the entire project. It’s how things are done on a technical level. Source code quality is important. It’s the crucial technical component and if you’ve selected a good provider, then this question is usually solved. Still, this must be well-defined in practice, not just empty promises. If a provider can’t show you how good their code is, well, good luck. Another component of quality is design and how the provider is used to achieving business objectives. Verify and understand their business logic. How do they make decisions? What are their priorities? Do their definitions of your goals match yours or are they different? This goes back to Communication and…

…Plan on early user testing or a pilot client.

Plan the testing of your product from the outset. Beta group must be available at alpha stage, not when you think you are almost done with the development, otherwise you risk losing time and money. No one likes to find huge problems with their product two weeks before launch.

Whether you are developing in-house or if you have outsourced your project and are working with a third party each of these steps will help achieve good results. Make sure that all of these are present in your software development process.

How else can you improve your software development process? Download this free white paper on the one specialist who can transform your entire development process.

By Diana Kontsevaia

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