7 Ways to Improve and Speed Up Software Development Productivity

It’s not always easy for individuals to remain productive at work. The same is definitely true for teams as well. From office noise and excessively chatty coworkers to back-to-back meetings and excessive multitasking, sometimes we can become too busy not being busy. We’re human so it happens. For some of us, it happens more often than not.

Being a team leader or project manager of a custom software development company in Chicago is already tough without trying to ensure deadlines are being met and quality of work lives up to or exceeds standards with a team where productivity may slow down due to a variety of variables. In tech companies, especially software development companies, developers can get burnt out pretty quickly with high expectations, constant deadlines and work that spills over into the weekend. This is one of the reasons the turnover rate in the software development industry is incredibly high.

Don’t fret. Help is on the way with these 7 tips to help improve and speed up the productivity of your software development team.

Adjust the size of your team.

If you want to speed up your team’s productivity, you would probably consider hiring additional employees. While your productivity will increase in the long run, the immediate outcome will be that of pulling your developers away from tasks to help train and mentor new employees. To counteract that, make sure you have set schedules, tasks and checklists. You want to make sure you stick to your schedule so that you and your team do not fall behind.

Also, consider dividing your team into smaller units and dividing responsibilities so that they are able to work together to make important decisions and make headway on projects.

Make sure your developers understand what is expected of them.

Your team should know what their responsibilities are on each project. Communicate, clearly, your specifications to avoid developers playing the guessing game as to what is required. Remember, most bugs are the result of miscommunication.

Encourage your team to increase their skills.

Though you may not have the budget to hire a lot of people, you can still maximize your team’s overall skill set by encouraging them to continuously upgrade their knowledge. This can be done by sending developers to conferences and workshops or have internal, employee-led workshops. After all, developers with higher skill levels are able to quickly solve more complex problems.

Simplify and improve your systems.

One of the biggest opponents of productivity is a complex system. Though software development is no stranger to complexity, it can still be an inhibitor of getting work done quickly and efficiently. Complex systems make it difficult for developers to spot and fix bugs or add new features. It can cause confusion as to what’s going on with the project. And this is a prime reason to encourage your team to increase their skill levels – developers who are highly skilled are less likely to build complex systems.

Focus on quality, not quantity.

Of course you want your team to build the best product. That’s why it’s important to work smarter, not harder. By focusing on speed, developers can try to rush a project, cut corners and, in turn, may end up building complex systems that will slow down the project. In this regard, you want to find bugs early on and build good specifications.

Don’t be afraid to ask for customer and client feedback early on.

Just like in retail, customer or client feedback is important for those providing software development services. Feedback helps in knowing whether you and your team are doing well and are on track. Sketch, create prototypes, perform A/B tests, gather and analyze data, and ask for feedback before launching a product.

Create a workspace that encourages focused work.

Software development requires a high level of focus. Creating a workspace that is conducive to developers’ concentration should be a priority in boosting productivity. You can help create focused workspaces by:

  • Encouraging your team turn off their mobile phones and wearables periodically because phone notifications and messages steal focus
  • Creating dedicated team workspaces to escape the office noise
  • Encouraging your developers to avoid multitasking and focus on one thing at a time
  • Encourage your team to have a healthy work-life balance.
  • Encouraging a healthy work-life balance

When work spills over into the weekend, it contributes to burnout because developers don’t get their much needed relaxation and time away from work. You want to encourage your programmers to spend time with their family and friends, indulge in a hobby or two, and just take it easy. Being well-rested allows developers the clear mind needed for custom software development.

Though you won’t be able to solve every single problem, these 7 steps will help increase your team’s software productivity.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.