How to Organize Your Software Development Process
Have you ever wondered what does a more or less ideal software creation process look like? What are the necessary ingredients for the IT development process? After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
The software development process presupposes joint-effort cooperation and synergy between different colleagues of the development team. When hiring a team of developers to create software, you need to be sure that they’ll provide the optimal means for reaching your goal(s) on time with the maximum efficiency.
In this blog, we’re going to unpack some key models and essential steps to a successful development process. Pull up your bootstraps and let’s hit the road!
Strategy for a successful software development process
Based on our experience in working with many clients, we can easily distinguish between a poorly organized process from an outstanding one. A well-adjusted process presupposes a lot of competent organization, insight and just plain hard work on the part of skilled people.
It’s not a great idea to hire people from all over the world. It’s far better and smarter instead to go with one trusted company or team. Hiring people from many different places is a recipe for disaster.
Why? For one, people disagree with each other from time to time. Secondly, you’ll end up taking control over the whole process which will inevitably become unglued. Just as the old saying goes:
“Too many cooks risk spoiling the broth.”
You might possess some technical knowledge, but the road to success leads via a Project Manager (PM) who’s got the necessary organizational skills and can maneuver the development team for your project to come to life successfully.
Make the right choice. Turn to an established IT company. Let them commit to do EVERYTHING for you from A to Z. You’ll be still involved, but the whole process will be under the control of your PM. Meanwhile, you can focus on how to develop your business and how to find additional investors. Let the experienced team make it happen for you!
Let’s look at a more optimal way for your software development process.
Models for the software development process
A good software creation process should be as uncluttered, straightforward and lightweight as it can be. All the extraneous elements should be eliminated from this process. You have to eat the elephant one bite at a time. It should consist of small manageable units that are easily analyzed.
Thankfully, smart people have already created explanatory process models that aid greatly in seeing this process from a bird’s eye view.
For starters, what is a process model? Very simply, it’s a working pattern (schedule if you want) that gives a sketch for the succession of software development lifecycle from initial conception until the final de-installation and dismantling of the product if there might be a need for that.
So the main phases are:
Ideation phase (the birth of a commercial idea)
All of these phases have their respective sub-phases: engineering stage requirements, design phase, verification phase (testing) and etc.
For our purposes here, we’ll examine two main process models: the waterfall model and the agile model, and one supplemental: the spiral model.
The Waterfall Model
This model underscores the necessity of a logical progression of steps during the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Just as you would step down the path near rapid waters of a cascading waterfall, your team would step further with each successive phase of the software development. This provides a sense of direction. You know the current progress of your team and where it’s going to be over time.
The waterfall model is a non-repeatable process. However, your development team might run your project in the weekly framework. Theoretically, if your team is going to kick off a new waterfall project, eventually a non-iterative process later becomes a repeatable one.
According to the waterfall model, your team needs to know the specific requirements. You’ll need to narrow down your idea to single final product. What kind of software do you want to see at the end of the tunnel? Consequently, your team will be following other subsequent stages from systems engineering to maintenance. This last bit is crucial as the software development process generally involves constant support and debugging.
So after several soothing cups of coffee with your PM, you can decide if the waterfall model is the best option for your software development lifecycle.
2. The Cherished Agile Model
The agile model is a worthy alternative to the waterfall model. It’s a favorite model among many developers due to its facilitation of a smoother check-up process to reassess the software plan. The theme of this model is “customer satisfaction.” The entire software process is divided into several repeated cycles. Every iteration phase is under the constant scrutiny of a team of professionals. Customer satisfaction is achieved by enabling the client to check a demonstration of each cycle of the process from the requirements to the final product stage.
3. The Spiral Model
The spiral model is considered to be a useful development model that could assist in a more precise risk-handling of your optimal software development organizational structure. The spiral model depicted in diagram representation is basically a spiral with many coils:
The exact number of coils in the spiral can vary depending on the project. Each coil is called a phase of the software project development process. Your PM determines the exact number of phases based on the project challenges.
Unpacking phases of IT development process
Let’s uncover some phases and sub-phases of a tentative development process with a close-up view. How will you know that your product is about to be completed? Should you second-guess the progress of your development team? Not necessarily. You can actually know where your team is by examining the phases of this process.
First of all, you need some solid documentation. If there’s no documentation for pre-development, then there’s a slim chance your plan will succeed. Your team has to lay out an acceptable tactical plan before any coding ever starts. Paperwork helps to keep everybody on the same page. It efficiently focuses on an individual order’s specs.
Your team can do only so much. They can’t create one-size-fits-all solutions for all their clients. Your team should possess an ability to have a laser-like focus on your project to see it successfully completed. For that to happen, they have to be in a constant loop of communication.
Admittedly, it’s worthwhile investigating how unique your product will be. Your team should spend the lion’s share of their time envisioning the versatility of your project as well. Tesla is an exceptional example of this differentiation with their ground-breaking lithium-ion battery.
This battery inserted in an electric car became a real game changer in the market of electric cars making them highly competitive compared to gas-filled cars. This was achieved by reducing the battery’s weight and increasing its storage capacity. Eventually, Tesla moved on to build supercharging stations.
The next crucial stage is to touch base on all ins and outs of the planned architecture with all members of your team to see what’s already been built and what needs to be built from scratch.
Don’t stop after your team’s product has been completed. Continue to work with your development company to constantly clean up any rough edges. There’s always more issues to be debugged and more maintenance work to attend to.
The next stage is operations readiness. All new technologies need to be installed, supported and planned accordingly by server and database administrators. Keep your development team informed as early as possible. In an ideal setting, development and production operations teams should work under one common goal for a single project.
This is the code-writing stage – and you are moving closer to a finish line. Your product manager should act as a symphony orchestra conductor directing all the pieces of work among all the team members. This non-technical part requires tactfulness and organizational skills. Some developers shun new, challenging tasks, and some consider themselves the chosen ones for a particular piece of work. There’s no easy solution here. Therefore, a PM should create a necessary balance in the equal distribution of work for an elegant final software solution.
Let’s fast forward this process a bit. Supposedly your hired team has done “test coverage” (the piece of the code that is being verified) and is at the stage of ready-made code. A disclaimer: the main code is written, but additional bits and pieces can still be further developed.
In a dynamic development process, the work is assessed at multiple checkpoints before arriving at a final deadline. Through the iterative process, the final blemishes are scoured, and your baby will rise and shine.
At this time you are ready to conduct pilot testing where your product will be partially tested as a sort of beta version of your team’s final product. The testers’ role is to test the product to see if it could further be optimized and if the design meets your needs. The bugs are then addressed and the final touches are applied.
Once your team is done with testing all of your code, the release can now happen. The code is finalized. The stage is set for another code review. A form of peer code review is handy at this stage. Documentation and security are double-checked as well. A technical person should re-examine any weak spots in the product safeguarding against possible server attacks or data leakage.
After all the code reviewing is done, it’s ready to be finalized as a product. Yet, it’s not at a production stage. Your team has to see whether your code can be deployed for production. Your team should have a roll-back plan if something goes wrong, reverting the code to its original condition.
It takes genuine expertise and group effort to transport one single idea into life. For that, you should find a proven software company with one contact person gifted with people skills who can rally the troops when necessary.
A mutually beneficial process is when a client hires one IT company – not many. A client can be better assured that one software team will do their best for the most optimal software development organizational structure that is both time-efficient and cost-effective. After all, a single manager can target the results more accurately.
We offer a wide range of IT services from extreme programming, systems development to software design. An outstanding software development team organization is our top priority. Contact us if you are in need of the professional team to kickstart your project and see the power of our PMs for your product’s successful launch.