Eight Ways Shortened Delivery Cycles Can Impact Software Teams | Inflectra

Eight Ways Shortened Delivery Cycles Can Impact Software Teams

July 23rd, 2018 by inflectra

When a software developer likely hears that delivery cycle times are getting smaller, the first reaction is probably one of understandable panic and frustration. Will quality suffer? How can we meet deadlines if we don’t have the time? How will the budget be affected? There are tons of thoughts that will race through the mind of a software developer met with this new decision, but this can turn into a positive thing.

There are many ways a shortened delivery cycle can impact software teams, and if it is framed in the right way, it can mean good things for the whole team. Read on for eight ways a shortened delivery cycle can positively impact software teams.

Encourages an Intentional View of Time

With less time to work with, software developers have to begin to take a step back and discuss how they can best use their time. What can be cut? What needs to be improved? How can meetings be optimized to diminish the amount of time wasted while also allowing everyone to have questions answered? With less time, developers have to re-evaluate their approach and see if there is a more organized and streamlined approach to accomplishing tasks.

Project Management Will Become Even More Critical

Since there is less time to work with, project managers will have to assess how they are providing their teams with the tools to accomplish projects. Is there a quicker way to provide feedback? How often should team members submit a project for review? Do I need a more robust project management system that allows me to not only monitor progress but also seamlessly assign projects? Having less time makes you question everything you do, and if you are a manager, it makes you look at the process as a whole.

The Integration of Automation

Manual testing is going to have to take a backseat. Developers and managers have to search for ways to efficiently speed up the process, and a great way to do this is through automated software testing. Automated testing is faster, is likely to prevent human error, and it frees developers to work on complex parts of the project process that may have to be done manually. Knowing when to automate instead of relying on manual testing is an art in and of itself. However, its inclusion can significantly streamline progress.

Facilitating a Constant Flow of Communication

Email is not going to cut it here. It takes too long to sift through them, and it is almost impossible to organize messages to retrieve them when you need them. When delivery cycles are shorter, time for communication is at a premium, so it makes sense to take a look at programs that allow you to communicate continuously.

Project management and communication software can enable workers to communicate with one another as they work, and integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) software ensure that sales and customer support teams understand your release schedule. Find CRM and communication tools that fit your software development needs with TechnologyAdvice’s reviews and recommendations.

Embracing Incrementalism

A reduction in time encourages teams to release small batches of changes and smaller increments of work at a time. These smaller batches of tasks are easier to complete, and it is easier to catch problems before they impact the larger project and system. This practice reduces errors and program processes that can increase the time for delivery cycles. On another note, this can also help teams feel less overwhelmed as work is completed in more manageable batches instead of in one sizeable continuous project.

The Examination of Servers

How are network speeds and servers? Managers may think they do not have the resources to invest in equipment that allows them to be more agile and responsive, but a shorter delivery cycle will require attention to these tools. To appropriately deliver an excellent product to clients, software teams have to have the best equipment. So, a more rapid process cycle will encourage managers to finally take care of any materials that are not facilitating a streamlined process.

Specialized Groups

A faster delivery cycle also requires some intentionality when it comes to setting groups up for success. It makes a lot more sense to assign specific tasks to groups on the team depending upon their expertise. Builds, testing, and emergency situations should be divided into groups so that the team as a whole does not have to be plagued with worrying about the whole process. It also makes it easier for project managers to go directly to groups where issues arise instead of addressing everyone, which can also take some time.

Parallel Processes

DevOps is rising in popularity in software development and IT operations management. Instead of software building activities and the related IT processes happening separately, many teams are putting these two together. Building, testing, releasing, and maintenance are happening continuously, and there is not a distinct break between software development and IT. Not only does this make processes move more rapidly, but it encourages continuous review and improvement.

Final Thoughts

We live in a world where client experience is king. It is vital for developers who service clients to remember that these individuals want a product that is free of errors in a quick span of time. This may seem daunting for many teams, but a faster delivery cycle can cause teams to take a step back to assess how they can improve their processes. Less time helps teams cut out inefficiencies, better streamline communications, and better distribute tasks to those who are prepared to handle them. As client expectations continue to rise, groups who assess how they can improve efficiencies now will keep clients coming back.

 

Chanell Alexander is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a freelance writer and digital marketing strategist. She has over seven years of experience in the nonprofit field, and enjoys blending innovative technology solutions with communications. When she is not writing, Chanell enjoys traveling, contributing to video game blogs, and embracing her inner foodie. See what else Chanell has been up to on her LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

1. Beyond agile: Reorganizing IT for faster software delivery, www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/beyond-agile-reorganizing-it-for-faster-software-delivery 

2. Doing continuous delivery? Focus first on reducing release cycle times, techbeacon.com/doing-continuous-delivery-focus-first-reducing-release-cycle-times

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