The success of a project doesn’t come by chance. The quality of a product is a reflection of the work process. A good end product comes from an efficient work process.
A work process that delivers good results is carefully planned and designed. It’s the synchronized effort of a group that communicates and cooperates smoothly. Think about your favorite sports team. Its success is likely due to the combination of good players and a great strategy.
You may find the best of the best to form your software development team. But without the right work strategies, the team will become stressed and frustrated, yielding poor results.
This article created by our team at TMS suggests some tips on how to create a process for your development team to follow.
How to create a process that works
A work process can be defined as “a set of steps that leads the team towards its goals, namely efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction.” (Encyclopedia of Human Resources Information Systems: Challenges in e-HRM by D. Shwarts-Asher, N. Ahituv, and D. Etzion)
Clear goals are essential for a clear journey. Every team member needs to be aware of the group goals and how they contribute to them. They need to know the various stages of the project, the deadlines, and their role.
The plan should lead to effectiveness and satisfaction. As noted in the definition, a set of steps will ensure the work process takes place in an organized manner. Every project is unique, but the principles of an efficient work process can be used over and over again. The team may change, but the process will remain.
Start by meeting with the team and deciding on an effective strategy. Everyone must know the objectives and the process. They can then commit to playing their part in the success of the project.
The first step
The work process definition pointed out the need for “a set of steps”. The first step happens to be the most important.
Anyone would agree that before setting off on a journey, it’s a good idea to have a map. A new project can be exciting, but a bad start can lead to a disaster. So it’s important to begin with a good plan.
Discuss where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Everyone should know what resources are available to them. Outline and define how they’re going to collaborate as a team.
Being aware of what’s expected and the importance of their role gives each team member a clear focus. They can then set their mind on working towards the group goal. Knowing who to turn to for assistance guarantees smooth cooperation within the group.
This can happen but it’s never too late to go back to the drawing board. In fact, it’s essential if you want to avoid running into roadblocks again and again!
If the current process is not working smoothly, don’t wait too long to fix it. Think again about the definition of a work process. If the established “set of steps” is leading to frustration rather than efficiency and satisfaction, it’s time to act.
Start by identifying what part of the current process is not working. Talk to the developers. Get a clear understanding of what they need and why they are not getting it. Based on this information, change those parts of the process which are inefficient.
An in-depth and honest assessment of your strategy may be time-consuming, but the end result is worth it.
“[A] team is a group of people who are interdependent with respect to information, resources, knowledge and skills and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a common goal.” (Professor Leigh Thompson of the Kellogg School of Management)
A team is not a group of people working together. It’s a collective of individuals who combine their effort. They each need to have an allocated role in the process. It’s the integration of their unique contribution that makes it real teamwork.
Right from the start, individuals must understand what their responsibilities and tasks are. A skilled project manager should oversee the organization and collaboration among the developers. They need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team. The manager also ensures that the group is sharing information and communicating well.
Keeping everyone informed
Once you have put the team together and assigned roles, the project is ready to roll out. In order to ensure a clear sense of direction, keep the group informed. Having access to the project documentation keeps the team up-to-date with the progress made.
Following the development of the project will keep teams motivated and on track. Everyone likes to see what they have achieved and the status of individual tasks. A clear picture of the completion of tasks can help to identify the weak points of the chain and to fix them. You can also foresee possible delays and setbacks which may put extra pressure on some members of the group.
Project management software helps to track individual tasks and the progress of the work. Everyone in the team can see how their completed job moves to the next stage. It’s a great tool to help you stay organized and keep control of the planning, the deadlines, and the progress. There are a variety of software options available. Some software can even help with budget management and communication.
The right process for your software development
Moving on to the next step, it’s important to choose the right strategy. In software development, there are various approaches and work processes. These are called SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) models.
The Waterfall Model
This model promotes a gradual execution of each stage of the project. Every phase is finished one at a time, like a cascade.
A waterfall flows in one direction. According to B. Unhelkar, this model also proceeds in a single direction. There’s little possibility to go back a phase if you need to improve or correct something.
The advantage of this model is its clarity and simplicity. It works well with smaller projects, moving phase to phase without alterations.
The Agile Approach
This model divides a project into smaller iterations. This makes it easier to apply changes and corrections. Based on client feedback, the implementation of new requirements is quickly accomplished.
This is a dynamic model, but it comes with some disadvantages too. It may be hard to determine the final cost of the project.
Always moving forward
Once you’ve got the project rolling, it’s important to keep it progressing. If workflow problems occur, stop and think – but not alone. Get the team involved!
Identifying the roadblocks is in the interest of the entire group. After all, they are all interested in the success of the project. Setbacks, delays in meeting deadlines, and accumulating workload can be discouraging.
Regular team meetings and status updates will likely clarify the matter. Good communication can reveal what part of the process needs tweaking and what’s preventing it from moving forward.
Outline again the steps leading towards the goal and reflect on the current project status. This will help to pinpoint the bottlenecks. A regular review of the priority tasks and deadlines will ensure that everyone is moving in the same direction.
Accelerating the process
Are there any other tips that can prevent the slowing down of the software development?
- Avoid multitasking. Having the team working on too many tasks at the same time is counterproductive. Make sure to limit the amount of work in progress.
- Limit the size of the workgroup. If you need a large team, divide it into smaller units. This will enhance communication and collaboration within the individual groups. They’ll be completing their tasks faster. “Agile methodology combined with many small components/micro-services and team organization around them leads to small, highly productive teams.” (Venkat Rangan, Clari Inc.)
- Find the right tools. Look for an automation software that will help you with your tasks.
- Help your developers to improve their skills. Having more professional team members leads to fewer errors and more efficient work results.
- Define the scope right at the start. “Often, the initial plan isn’t ultimately what gets done for a given project, so we take the time to ensure that we clearly understand the problem and outline what success means before we start.” (Marc Jensen, Space150)
- Run enough bugs and security tests. Detecting a problem early will save you time in the future stages of the project.
- Use SCM systems. Source control will help you to track and manage changes to code.
FAQs about how to create a process in a development team
1. What are the key steps involved in creating a process for a development team?
Creating a process for a development team entails a number of key steps, including defining the goals and scope, identifying the stakeholders and their requirements, defining the workflow and steps, choosing the right tools and technologies, creating documentation, testing the process, training the team, and finally monitoring and continuously improving the process.
2. How do you determine the scope of the process to be developed and its alignment with business objectives?
Engaging with key stakeholders and comprehending their needs is crucial to determining the process’s scope and its alignment with corporate goals.
In order to do this, input on present processes will be gathered, areas for improvement will be noted, the process objectives will be established, and they will be in line with the overall business plan.
3. How can you ensure that the process developed is agile enough to accommodate changes in project requirements?
It is crucial to establish a flexible framework that allows for iterative adjustments in order to guarantee that the process developed is agile enough to accept changes in project needs.
Agile approaches, interaction with the team and stakeholders to obtain feedback, and ongoing process monitoring and improvement over time can all be part of this.
4. What are some common pitfalls to avoid when developing a process for a development team?
When creating a process for a development team, common mistakes to avoid include not including important stakeholders, not clearly defining the process objectives, not thoroughly testing the process, not providing enough training and documentation, and not monitoring and continuously improving the process.
5. How do you communicate the new process to the team and ensure buy-in and adoption?
It is crucial to include the team in the development process, give clear documentation and training, describe the advantages of the new process, and provide continuing support and feedback channels in order to convey the new process to the team and achieve buy-in and adoption.
6. How can you measure the effectiveness of the new process and make improvements over time?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be established, stakeholder feedback should be gathered, the process performance should be monitored, and data should be used to pinpoint areas that need to be improved in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the new process and make adjustments over time.
7. What role should documentation play in the process development and how should it be maintained?
Documentation is essential to the development process since it gives the team a clear roadmap to work within. To guarantee that it accurately reflects the current process and that any changes are successfully conveyed to the team, it should be maintained and updated on a regular basis.
8. How can you ensure that the process is aligned with industry best practices and standards?
Engaging with industry experts, conducting research, setting benchmarks against other businesses, and keeping an eye on market trends and developments are all crucial steps in making sure the process adheres to industry best practices and standards.
9. How can you involve stakeholders in the process development to ensure their requirements are met?
It is crucial to engage stakeholders early and frequently, collect their opinions and requirements, include them in the design process, and give regular updates and feedback channels to make sure their needs are being addressed.
10. How do you incorporate feedback from the team and stakeholders to improve the process over time?
Establishing a feedback mechanism, actively gathering feedback, analyzing and prioritizing the feedback, making changes as necessary, and effectively communicating the changes to the team and stakeholders are all important steps in incorporating feedback from the team and stakeholders to improve the process over time.
Ending thoughts on how to create a process for your development team
The success at the end of the project starts right at the very beginning of the job. The initial planning will affect the entire process.
Once you have given the project a good start, make sure to maintain a good pace throughout. Encourage good communication, keeping everyone informed of the progress at regular team meetings.
Evaluate priority tasks, upcoming deadlines, and workflow regularly. Be quick to identify the weak parts of the chain and make the necessary changes. Give your team the best strategy that will lead to efficiency and satisfaction.
If you enjoyed reading this article on how to create a process, you should check out this one about web development team workflow.
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