Because of our technologically demanding lifestyles, software has become a vital element of our daily lives in the twenty-first century.
Today, it’s difficult to fathom any activity that isn’t aided by computer-assisted procedures.
When it comes to software product development, the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a highly organised process with specific protocols and well-defined steps (SDLC).
When you need a complex system, software suite, or end-user web or mobile app, your excellent project delivery is primarily dependent on a set of processes followed by the software development team, in addition to all other critical elements.
Isn’t it true that crossing things off your to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment? At least, that’s how I feel.
But it’s no longer enjoyable if you’re drowning in work and have too many things to do, or if you’re juggling too many balls at once. That is what kills employee motivation and makes them miserable.
But it doesn’t have to be that way; in most cases, such situations may be avoided! In this piece, I’ll share three simple things that can make your workday a little happier while also helping your product development process run more smoothly and your team accomplish more.
If you start with tiny, incremental adjustments, improving your work process does not have to be a large undertaking.
These don’t necessitate your entire team reading a new methodology textbook or even learning new skills. These are quick fixes that you can put in place right immediately.
1. WORKFLOW CREATION
This may appear simple, even elementary, but I’ve encountered far too many teams who haven’t thought through their basic procedure.
A workflow, in the broadest sense, is the method through which an organization accomplishes its goals. A task’s life and the condition are frequently more complicated than just completed or incomplete.
Your tasks will usually go through several stages before being done, and in software development, these stages include planning, doing, evaluating, and deploying.
It should be obvious and explicit regardless of the context of your workflow. Most systems allow you to tailor your process so that, for example, you may make code review an obligatory step for each new feature.
It becomes a habit, similar to brushing your teeth, and you don’t have to force yourself (or another member of your team) to do it every time.
But how can you determine if your workflow is effective? You can start looking for inefficiencies and bottlenecks in your process once you’ve made your workflow explicit.
If you feel that your work isn’t moving smoothly through your workflow, here are a few things to start paying attention to:
• Is your workflow painfully slow at times, or is work piling up for a specific person or activity?
• Are certain tasks reopened after they have been declared as complete?
• Are there a lot of “dead tasks,” that is, tasks that were killed before they were completed?
It’s acceptable if you don’t get your workflow right the first time. Several loops of your process can reveal insights that can help you optimize and streamline your routine.
For example, you can discover that the review stage consumes the majority of the time required to complete a work.
Perhaps the Product Owner is not committing enough time to the project and, as a result, has unwittingly become a bottleneck? The more open your process is, the easier it will be to recognize and address these types of issues.
Also Read: Chatbots – Everything You Should Know About
2. DEFINING “DONE”
The approval criteria are known as the Definition of Done, or DoD ensures that activities are genuinely completed, not only in terms of functionality but also in terms of quality. The term “done” is defined as a collection of rules that include:
• The feature has been implemented.
• The unit tests have passed.
• The documentation is current.
• QA examines the feature.
• The master branch contains the code.
• The code is put into production.
The Definition of Done guarantees that everyone on the team understands exactly what it means when something is “done,” and it clarifies the question “are you done with this feature?”
Without DoD, you’d have no way of knowing whether the developer has only completed the core programming portion of the project or if the feature is ready for people to utilize.
Clear completion criteria can help lessen the ping-pong effect, which occurs when QA is forced to re-open a task that has already been finished owing to unmet requirements (see step 1 above – establish and optimise your workflow).
It’s usually better to take a little additional time and finish a task once rather than having to go back and repair it numerous times.
Have your DoD prominently displayed somewhere in the team area where everyone can see it once you’ve agreed on it. Ideally, it should be close to your workflow’s visualizations.
Having a DoD not only forces you to arrange your working habits and processes in order to reduce your work in progress (see below) and ‘rework’ of previous tasks, but it also forces you to think about how you work.
It also makes you think about what you’re attempting to accomplish and how your team contributes to the business’s value in terms of outcomes. All of this information is quite beneficial!
3. CONTROLLING WORK IN PROGRESS
Multitasking reduces productivity. When a system is overloaded, the total output decreases. When individuals are overworked, throughput slows and the number of faults rises.
It’s a mathematical reality that the more you multitask, the longer it takes to perform any single task.
But how do you combat multitasking’s creep? To begin, you can shorten your cycle times by completing fewer things at the same time.
Consider limiting the number of WIPs in your workflow. If you’re using a kanban board, you can limit the number of jobs that can be assigned to each column. You could, for example, set a limit of no more than two tasks in progress per developer.
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but you’ll soon discover that better focus combined with fewer context switching allows you to complete activities faster overall.
Furthermore, you will feel better because your workday will be less stressful and task-juggling. Workers who are joyful produce higher-quality work. It’s a win-win situation!
Setting WIP limitations doesn’t mean you can’t start a new task before finishing the one you’re working on now. Rather than being definitive regulations, they should be seen as suggestions and warning indicators.
However, if you do go over your WIP limit, you should try to figure out how / why you got into this scenario in the first place, and how you might avoid it in the future.
Similarly, if tasks become trapped as WIP on a regular basis, your task size may be too large. Consider breaking jobs down into manageable chunks so that workflows smoothly across your board.
Because of the numerous boring and pointless actions that have been linked with the term process, it has acquired a bad connotation.
Although it is easy to become overly bureaucratic and top-down in its execution, the reality remains that without certain processes in place, your firm will struggle as soon as it expands beyond a few personnel.