How To Overcome These Top 4 Software Development Challenges

How To Overcome These Top 4 Software Development Challenges
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The development is rarely a linear process. Unexpected software development challenges often arise during the process of creating custom applications, which can significantly impede progress. In the worst-case scenario, these issues may even jeopardize the final product’s success. The viability of the entire project could be on the line. So, how do you overcome potential roadblocks during the development phase?

Having a strong awareness of the top development challenges and how to handle them will help you ensure timely delivery of a quality product. Specifically, you may encounter these common issues in the development process:

  • Ineffective time management
  • Scope creep
  • Poor communication
  • Team shake-ups

Learning how to effectively respond to theses challenges can reduce time and resource waste during the course of a project. It also enables you to address the complexity software engineers have to work through.

With this in mind, let’s look at some possible solutions to the most common software development challenges.

Time Management in Software Development

Time mismanagement is a simple yet ubiquitous issue that can delay deliverables and push out deadlines. During development, you may often find the timeline is unrealistic and the corresponding workload is too heavy. This can reduce the overall quality of an engineer’s output and hamper the efficiency of the project’s progress.

The first step to improving your time management is to create a more detailed and realistic timeline. Break down the overall project scope into its component tasks. This way, you can provide adequate time to focus on and complete each step. Plus, you can set achievable goals and progress markers that keep the software development process on track.

It’s also important to minimize the amount of context switching between tasks. Multitasking requires additional brainpower to shift between distinct problems. Instead, you can increase efficiency by allocating time in a more targeted and focused way.

Finally, don’t forget that sometimes the best thing you can do to increase your efficiency is take a break and recharge.

Dealing With Scope Creep

A lack of clarity surrounding the project scope can quickly derail the development process. Scope creep is when changes to a project are requested without control measures. Generally, it happens when there isn’t a clear, comprehensive and stakeholder-vetted written definition of the project scope. This can result in extended timelines and budgets — both of which are critical to avoid from a project management perspective.

To sidestep scope creep, craft a written agreement that details the project’s requirements, priorities and ultimate deliverables. You should also outline your change management strategy ahead of time. This way, project managers can process requests to ensure they’re adhering to predetermined change control processes.

It’s also important to create a detailed schedule ahead of time so critical development processes aren’t left undone. This can be shared across teams to ensure everyone understands their role in the development process. It will also outline the total scope that will be covered by the end of the timeline.

Poor Communication Between Teams

Poor communication across teams is another common problem with the software development process. You may have to coordinate between time zones, language barriers and dispersed teams if you’re outsourcing portions of the process. A lack of collaborative workflows can cause miscommunications and result in development errors. These snags may delay deliverables or degrade the product’s quality.

But there are ways to combat the impacts of isolated development across teams or individuals. For instance, try to conduct regular meetings that keep everyone abreast of changes and project progression. This will also create natural opportunities for teams to come up with collaborative solutions.

In addition, create space for team members to discuss unique approaches, unconventional ideas and challenging questions in a group setting. This will encourage cohesive problem-solving.

Lines of communication — both digitally and in-person — should be open and clear. Better information sharing will allow for rapid responses to potential snags during software development. Also, consider conducting code reviews in smaller portions earlier on in the process. This way, you can refine the product as it’s being created.

Leading strategic technology partners such as Growth Acceleration Partners (GAP) place great emphasis on clear and open communication with their clients. They leverage “clear cube communication” that provides you with completely unrestricted access to the GAP team. Under this interactive framework, developers, product owners and scrum masters are in constant communication to ensure the project moves forward seamlessly.

Switching Coding Teams

Completing the software development process with the same team that started the project is simpler and ideal. However, if you’re consistently encountering issues surrounding the quality of the product or the developers’ ability to meet deadlines, you may need to switch teams.

Alternatively, one of the best ways to bring experienced engineers to your project is to partner with an outsourced team that can work with your internal employees. For instance, GAP offers team augmentation services, which provide you with highly technically skilled teams that can increase your project throughput. Plus, GAP hires, onboards and manages the team for you, making it easy to integrate new talent into your project workflow.

Understand that the new team will need additional time to review the existing code and get up to speed with the project scope. This will likely cause an initial lag in the process. Although, if you’ve found a better fit for the project, then making a change can ultimately be a smart move. So, be prepared with all the information your new developers will need to get started.

You may also want to consider incorporating automated QA testing to manage some repetitive tasks. This can reduce the time and costs associated with transitioning between teams.

Solving Software Development Challenges

Software development issues can be costly, time-consuming and draining on your organization. But you can overcome these software development challenges with four essential factors:

  • Effective time management
  • Clarity on the project scope
  • Proper internal communication
  • A skilled team of developers

If you’re experiencing consistent missed deadlines, try to pinpoint where your process is failing. The problem often stems from skill gaps within your existing development team that may be causing delays. In this case, it’s best to partner with a leading producer of bespoke software solutions like Growth Acceleration Partners.

Our team of world-class software engineers have the skills to build better applications at scale. They can fulfill the skill gaps that are causing delays in your development process to ensure your deliverables meet the highest standards.

GAP is the most efficient solution to software development. We can help you resolve the issues that are slowing down your processes without overextending your internal resources. Reach out today to learn more.