VP of Delivery at Relevant Software

Top 7 Tips on How to Speed Up Software Development

August 27, 2021

Relevant Founders

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Have you ever seen a business that doesn’t care about the software development speed? Or a client that couldn’t care less about the release date? Neither do we, and it’s not surprising. 

Every organization we’ve ever worked with was under pressure to reduce time-to-market and maintain their market share. Unless you have a significant market dominance like Microsoft or Apple, you’ve got to move faster than your competitors. 

Unfortunately, very few teams can handle overwhelming task loads and tight deadlines. Regular burnouts and high turnover rates become a norm for many software development companies, but it surely is not the way to go. 

In this article, we’re sharing actionable tips on how to speed up software development and optimize overall workflow in a tech company. These simple changes can make a day and night difference for your team.

What software development speed depends on? 

The speed of software development depends on a few key factors:

  • development process complexities;
  • quality of code;
  • team size;
  • human factor. 

Let’s discuss each. 

Development process complexities

Every developer faces numerous challenges during the working process. These complexities may be associated with: 

  • the technical side of the project (such as complex software architecture, third-party integrations, innovation, and so on);
  • project requirements (unclear goals and objectives);
  • unreasonable deadlines (e.g. when the estimated project length does not match with the actual scope of work);
  • structural mismatches and internal issues within the company, etc.

Software production becomes even more challenging when the team has to deal with several complexities at once. The more problems they have, the slower the development speed will be. 

Quality of code

Everybody knows that writing a high-quality code is a time-consuming process – it’s either done well or done fast. However, super tight deadlines aren’t going anywhere. Whereas cutting down some corners is inevitable, compromising the entire code quality will eventually increase project duration. You’ll have to fix the errors anyway, but it’s going to be much more difficult (and more expensive). 

Team size

The success of each project depends on the efficiency of internal communication. If there are more than seven people in the team, finding the common ground becomes more challenging. The optimal team size for the most productive cooperation is up to five people. The solution for large projects that require more people is to divide the developers into smaller groups based on the project components each of them is working on. 

Human factor 

The performance of the whole team depends on the contribution of each member. If everybody on the team is skilled, experienced, and self-motivated, the job will be done much faster. That’s not to say that less-skilled developers are a no-go. They may eventually become the most valuable asset in the entire organization, but it’s still going to take some time to get them on board and help them grow. 

Read about employee time tracking and delivery app development.

How to accelerate your software development process without wearing your devs out 

The efficiency of the software development process is easy to hamper, but there are quite a few things you can do to make sure your team doesn’t run into these challenges. 

How to speed up software development without compromising the product quality and wellbeing of your devs?   

1. Expand your team 

Sometimes, the project deadline doesn’t match its scope. The obvious solution to this problem is adding more resources. If you want to handle more code, hire more developers.

You may wonder how to hire remote engineers.

Good news! That’s what we do for many of our clients here at Relevant. With the help of our staff augmentation services, an organization can get any desired specialist or even a whole team for the required period. We take over the entire recruitment process whereas the client’s team stays focused on software development.

2. Work with small teams and small components 

Something as simple as breaking down a big piece of work into smaller manageable chunks is also applicable to software development. A recipe for highly productive software development, according to Venkat Rangan (Clari Inc) is entrusting small components to small teams. Combined with systematic tests and integration, it brings amazing results and lets the developers accomplish their goals much faster.

3. Set clear requirements and roadmap 

You’re going to achieve much better results if you take time to plan every step on the way. If the development team is very clear on the project requirements and goals, if they know exactly what to do and when to do it, you already save a lot of time on discussing what’s next. Create a roadmap of the entire project and discuss it with the team before the beginning of the development process. While they’re still going to be some challenges along the way, at least they won’t have to rewrite the code.

4. Limit your work in progress (WIP)

One thing that helps us make the development process more efficient is limiting the amount of work in progress. When there are too many tasks, things tend to get overwhelming. Not only it hampers the development as multitasking goes up, but it also puts extra pressure on the team. Many project managers use a kanban board to manage the development process. If you use it too, try to specify the maximum number of tasks allowed on each column. It will give enough time for planning, feedback, and review. 

how to develop software faster with kanban
Source of board template

5. Leverage the Lean approach 

Taking the Lean approach to software development means optimizing development time and resources, reducing waste, and focusing only on what the product really needs. It basically means working on what truly matters. To make sure your team is moving quickly and efficiently, build your software in small increments and get user’s feedback as early in the process as possible. With this information, you’ll be able to make necessary adjustments while the development goes on.   

6. Avoid technical debt 

Technical debt is a conscious decision to choose a not-so-great solution to speed up the development process. It’s not a bad thing if you do it strategically and have a plan on how to make up for it later. Otherwise, technical debt leads to system complexity. You may cut the corners now but you’ll still have to deal with it later. Until then, the problem is going to get much worse. So whenever it’s possible to write a proper code from the get-go, do it.

7. Automate as much as you can 

Although you can’t “automate” software development in a traditional sense of this word, you can still take a lot of work off your developers’ shoulders. Here are some of your options. 

Automated testing

Automated testing is probably the best way to reach a compromise between speed and quality. Thanks to the repeating scripts, anyone can run tests in regression without the need to repeat the same steps manually. It gives more time for working on the new features as the old ones are being checked automatically. Whereas it’s much more effective than manual testing, running multiple tests across various devices and browsers still takes a lot of time. When the product quality is not as important as getting it to the market on time, you might want to leave testing for the users.

CI/CD pipeline 

Continuous Integration (CI) is a software development approach, according to which every developer in the team merges code changes in a central repository several times a day. Continuous Delivery is the practice of automating the software release process. Implementing a CI/CD pipeline can significantly increase development speed due to lots of factors. It removes manual errors, provides instant feedback, and enables fast iteration. See how to hire a CI/CD engineer.

how to accelerate software development with automation
CI/CD Pipeline

Workflow automation tools 

Your team needs to communicate. Such aspects of the development process as task management, project meetings, workflow discussions, and so on seem insignificant, but they tend to stack up. You can easily save at least an hour per day by implementing an automation app like Zapier, which will automate repetitive tasks. 

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Here at Relevant, we know from experience that it’s possible to speed up software development without sacrificing product quality. We’re actively using these tips to help companies extend their development teams. Check out our case studies and visit our service page for more details. 

Written by
VP of Delivery at Relevant Software
I ensure delivery excellence and high-quality of software development services our company provides. We carefully pick each employee and stick to high standards of product development to ensure the highest quality of code.

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