Tag Archives: software services

10 Best Practices for Software Development

software development servicesRight Resources, Right Talent in Software Development

Hiring the right talent makes all the difference in the world when it comes to software development. When going through the hiring process you’ll want to make sure those you’re considering have the right skills and relevant experience to get the job done. This will enable you to allocate work to the appropriate person. Once the team members are in place, make sure they have whatever they need to put their expertise to the right use. From the correct software and hardware and the appropriate automated tools to the right development and testing software and platforms. Doing so will ensure that robust products are being created.

Consider Outsourced Teams

Sometimes outsourcing software development is more beneficial than trying to do everything in-house, and often costs the same or even less. In 2017, nearly one-third of companies outsourced their software development, and 78% of those companies felt good about making that decision. As with anything, there are best practices to implement and mistakes to be aware of when it comes to outsourcing software development.

First, we’ll talk about best practices to implement:

  1. Consider whether your project is right for outsourcing. Can someone else do it better than your team?
  2. Make a plan. Don’t just hand off a project without having a clear and detailed plan for what needs to happen and when.
  3. Look for a trusted provider. Vet whoever you’re planning to outsource to in order to ensure they can handle the work you’re giving them. Make sure they’re up to date on the latest trends relating to the project.
  4. Have a dedicated team. Even if you’re outsourcing a project, you should still have an in-house team to keep an eye on things. It doesn’t need to be a big team – a couple of people can manage the gig.
  5. Go Agile. Break the project into multiple iterations that are a few weeks each. Don’t forget to allow time for testing throughout the process.
  6. Pricing isn’t everything. Just because someone is offering a good price doesn’t mean they’re the right person for the job. You get what you pay for.
  7. Research and development. Don’t outsource a project without doing your homework.
  8. Document. Leave a paper trail no matter what.
  9. Communicate. Be sure to keep the lines of communication wide open with your team and the team you outsourced to.
  10. Own the project. Take ownership and be prepared to adjust along the way.

Second, we’ll talk about mistakes to avoid:

  1. Lack of research. Do your homework on the companies you’re considering outsourcing to. You want to be sure you choose the company that has a firm grip on providing software services.
  2. Unclear requirements. Be explicit about what needs to occur during the software development process.
  3. Not on-trend. You don’t want to outsource to a company that isn’t keeping up with modern trends.
  4. Lack of tech-savvy manager. You want the project manager to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.
  5. Don’t underestimate quality assurance (QA) and testing. These are two of the most vital aspects of software development.

Think About Your Development Process

When it comes to choosing a software development process, you have a few good options, including the waterfall model, the agile methodology, and the iterative spiral methodology. Choosing the best methodology for your project and strictly adhering to it will lead to greater success. It can also be helpful to create a prototype to study the feasibility of and explore new technology.

Don’t Forget to Budget

When it comes to budgeting a software development project, it’s not just about creating a financial budget. You also need to budget a schedule, resources, and efforts involved in the project. When creating estimations, you want to use proven techniques that won’t lead to a short-scheduled project. Not leaving enough time to complete each aspect of the development can quickly lead to disaster.

Keep it Simple

When it comes to software development, especially those projects that are being outsourced, it’s important to keep things simple. There’s no need to overthink it. Create processes and plans that will ensure the project runs smoothly and will keep the lines of communication open between your team and the outsourced teams.

Code, Code, Code

It’s important to keep the actual coding process as simple as possible. Max Kanat-Alexander came up with the idea of code simplicity in order to “reduce unnecessary complexity in software development.” Code simplicity works in tandem with Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) and You Aren’t Gonna Need It (YAGNI), both of which are mantras in agile development.

Effectively Implementing Code

When it comes to effectively implementing code, there are a couple of things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. The most widely used method is creating smaller modules that are coded and self-tested throughout the development process. Automating processes also helps ensure that functionality is not broken within the software being developed.

Test, Test, Test

We cannot stress this enough. Testing is vital to successful software development, especially if you’ve outsourced the development. If you’ve outsourced the project, be sure the company doing the development is testing along the way. You’ll also want to do your own testing when you get the final version before releasing to the public. If you’re doing the development, build testing into the development process so that you can make changes as issues arise.

Leaving a Paper Trail: Documentation

The documentation related to the software is just as important as the software itself, especially if you’re outsourcing the development. You want to have a consistent paper trail of communication between your company and the outsourced company to ensure there are no issues. Some important documents include a project plan, requirement specifications, high and low-level design (HLD and LLD), test plans and reports, status reports, and user documentation. This documentation can also be helpful if staffing changes occur at your company in the future.

Deploy and Review

Build reviews into your software development process. All deliverables, including code and documents, should be reviewed by both peers and experts. Having reviews of the software also ensures that there are no bugs before the software is released to the public.

Conclusion

Outsourcing software development has both benefits and pitfalls, but it can be done successfully if you follow the recommendations here and in our newest e-book, Santex’s Ultimate Guide to Development Outsourcing. If you still have questions or need more guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out; we have a well-rounded team who can assist with whatever your needs might be.Download Ebook Software Development

 

7 Steps for Software Implementation Success

Software ServicesWhen implementing new software at a company, you want to ensure that the implementation is going to be successful and that the transition will go smoothly. The last thing team members want to be dealing with is obstacles when it comes to learning and understanding new software. Here, we offer seven ways to ensure that the software implementation process goes off without a hitch.

Planning

Having a plan for successful software implementation is the most important step. You want to know right from the start what processes the software will help with and what it will take to implement it. Will new security measures need to be put in place? Will team members need to be trained on how to use the software? This phase helps you think through the implementation process before launching anything. Planning ahead will always make for a smoother implementation.

Process Design

Companies use process design to figure out how to run their businesses. Most of the software you will purchase will have a process design already built in, especially if it’s for sales or other day-to-day things. If you’re not sure how to implement process design, you can hire a design analyst or work with a specialized web development company like Santex to figure it out. You want to have good processes in place before implementing the software so that you can stay on top of any issues that may arise and have methods in place for troubleshooting any problems that might come up after implementation.

Solution Design

After you’ve created the process design, it’s time to come up with the solution design, which is essentially the roadmap of business requirements and processes. During this step, you will map the software to your business requirements so that everything is working in tandem. It’s key to remember that these initial requirements are just a starting point. As you learn the software, you may find that other methods work better and you can then implement those.

The ultimate goal of solution design is to figure out which aspects of the software you can use as they are and which aspects you will need to customize to fit the needs of your business and your team members.

Configuration and Customization

During the configuration step of software implementation, you’ll spend time installing the software and configuring the capabilities the software has right out of the box. This step really needs to come first, before any processes are defined and any customization is done. What you’ll find during the configuration process is that some aspects of the software will easily meet your company’s needs out of the box, while other aspects will need to be configured and connected to the roadmap you designed previously. Once you’ve done the out of the box configuration, you’ll be able to do custom configurations and customize the software.

During the customization phase of software implementation, you’ll be able to create solutions that meet your specific business needs. During the customization phase, you can add new fields, new screens, and new processes that weren’t initially part of the software. Customization of software is very useful when it comes to the financial aspects of your business. For example, you may want to set specific pricing for your customers. Customizing the software allows you to do this. Keep in mind that you should only customize processes that make sense for your business. Don’t just customize for the sake of customizing.

Integration

Integration is an important step in the software implementation process and involves migrating data from one system to another in order to meet the processes outlined in the system design. By having integrated software systems, you can avoid having to manually enter the data from one system into another system. Avoiding this redundancy increases the accuracy and completeness of the data you’re logging.

When working on integration, the timing is key. An important question to ask is whether you will need to run the integrations in real time or if they can be run behind the scenes, outside of normal business hours. Ideally, you should be able to run them behind the scenes so that the usual workflow isn’t interrupted by systems going down.

Reporting

During the reporting phase of the software implementation, time should be spent figuring out what information your business will need to make tactical and practical decisions. You want all reports created to provide useful information to the person requesting those reports. It’s important to have a format for reporting so that there’s no confusion when someone requests a report. When creating reports, users need to be very specific about what data they want included. For example, creating an Excel spreadsheet, even with mock numbers, can help bridge the gap of understanding between those producing the report and those reading the report.

Training and Testing

When it comes to successful software implementation, training and testing are two important components.

Training can come in different forms, from training the project team to training the end user on how the software works. When implementing a new software, it’s important to offer training, even if people might have used to software at another company. Software gets updated often and aspects change. By staying up to date, a company can have a successful and smooth software implementation. Training shouldn’t be a one and done thing, either. Whether there is training on software or other business components, it should be ongoing and based on the company’s needs at the time.

The final step in successful software implementation is testing. There are four different types of testing: unit, project team, integration, and end user. Each of these should be done at various stages of the software implementation process to ensure that things are running smoothly and that the entire team has been properly trained on how to use the software.

As with training, testing is an ongoing process that should be done throughout the software implementation process, and when the team has been using the software for a while.

When implementing software, it’s important to follow these steps in order for your company to be successful. Once you have a method for implementing software in place, it’s easy to apply that method to other software installs.

When it comes to successfully implementing new software, Santex can be a great support. Not only can we assist with engineering and consulting, we also provide a level of general support. Be sure to check out our newest e-book, Best Practices for Software Outsourcing, for even more information about software development and software outsourcing.

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