Never before has the software production planning been so discussed as it is today. A more efficient and qualified control over production has made Brazil become one of the main markets in the adoption of agile methods of development. According to CA Technologies, we are already the fourth global reference in this area.
Having that in mind, we have listed some technical and practical tips that you can adopt in order to grant improvements to the planning and controlling of software production.
Keep reading this post to understand what you can do to enhance the results and performance of your business, aligning the IT initiatives to the macro business objectives.
Planning on the production of software: tips to enhance it significantly
Let’s get started with production planning. Check out some of the steps you can take in order to improve it:
Clearly define the development project’s objectives
At the beginning of the project planning process, it is important that you clearly understand the reason why this project exists and what it intends to accomplish – this will help in the guidance of the decisions that will need to be taken throughout the entire process.
Let’s say that the objective of a project that your company is trying to implement is to enhance a process that takes a long time. If you have a comprehensible understanding of the project’s purpose since the beginning, you will be able to be attentive to the opportunities and the hindrances.
Know beforehand what the intended objectives for the project are
Part of the process of the planning of software production needs to be considering the intended outcome. The best way to monitor this is through tangible metrics, which can be tracked over time.
To exemplify: a decrease of 25% on the rework or a decrease of 20% on the amount of time the solution packages take to be delivered to the client/user are both easy metrics to monitor in order to check if the project is being carried out according to the expectations.
Get to know all the restrictions and suppositions of the project
This part of the process of production planning identifies the environment in which the project will be carried out and the possible associated limitations. There are various different limitations that must be taken into consideration. Three of the most common ones are: technological, physical and resource restrictions.
The lack of tools may represent technological restrictions. The restriction in resources foresees the fact that there might not be enough resources available that, in the last analysis, can extend the timeline of the project. The physical restrictions englobe aspects such as limited office space or not having a proper location to host the needed servers.
During the process of planning the project, it is essential to verify these suppositions and list them, so that the people involved in the project are able to see them clearly.
Establish the team’s functions and responsibilities
This is the “who is who” part of the project. Think about that as the first time a group of people gets together for a meeting. It is the opportunity for each and every one of them to get together and present themselves.
Make a compilation list of who is responsible for each different aspect of the development team. Include the project manager, the technical leader, the executive sponsor and other key employees.
Detail the project programming
The project programming should be as detailed as possible at this moment of the planning. You can concentrate on high-level phases, difficult dates for the main products to be concluded and other essential points.
Everybody wants to know when a project will be carried out, and the first date established is what remains in the professionals’ minds. People need dates for the sake of their own planning, and you must be in full conditions to provide them with that.
However, professionals also need to understand that in the same way that more facts come to light during the project, the schedule may also change.
Lighten the risks and uncertainties to the most
Do you remember the technological, physical and resources restrictions previously mentioned? Those are important issues to follow and therefore to grant that everyone understands what this might mean to one’s project.
A critical part of the process of planning is to make sure these restrictions don’t perpetuate and turn into risks that later on become problems and failures during the development.
It is up to you, manager, to identify how to administrate any risks that may be introduced in the project and how to deal with the fact that there are some factors that are not known at an initial stage.
Try excellence at the communication of the expected quality in the project
When it comes to planning the production, one thing that you don’t want to leave to chance is communication.
Part of the process of planning the project is to start thinking about how precise, opportune and relevant the information will be; and also about how they will disseminate among the ones involved in the production.
At last but not least, you have to think about the quality aspects of the project you are managing – and how people will be informed and constantly reminded of them.
Get to know what the acceptable quality limits are, what may happen if these limits are not respected, and create ways of transmitting them (channels, routines, forms, etc.).
Control over software production: tips to raise it to a better level
Now let’s talk about the control over software production. Check, as it follows, some tips to make it efficient:
Choose an agile method of development
The agile methodologies of software development are basically used in order to make the process more interactive and to obtain a higher probability of achieving the expected results more timely than it would traditionally happen.
Here it follows the most used on a global scale:
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM);
- Extreme Programming (XP).
Use automatized tools in software quality
When using automatized quality tools, you are able to keep track of all the changes done in the software.
Tools such as “Linting” are used to keep the models consistent. Automatized tests can also be used to detect regressions in the already existent resources as soon as the change is done.
The code covering tools may provide a discredited metrics when it comes to knowing whether the effort tests are being eliminated; the duplication detectors can help identify where the same code block is used in various places on the app, etc.
Monitor the application in the production
The monitoring of the application in the production might offer useful information on how the app will be executed in the real “world”. It can help to identify common mistakes and it can highlight the areas of the app which have a performance that is below the desired.
Being able to correlate, timely, a loss in the performance of any of these metrics for a software change can be extremely useful, allowing corrections before handing it to the client.
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