Software Development Solutions That Can Help Your Business Excel

Dec 19, 2018 by Matt Dixon

Since IT budgets have led to trillions in spending annually for American companies, it's only going to climb higher. If your software team is not effective, you'll quickly waste thousands without even realizing it.

Software development can either be a waste or a huge benefit depending on how you structure your team and push a culture of problem-solving.

Here are four ways to ensure that every move your team makes leads to a productive problem-solving solution.

1. Rotating Scrum Leaders

If you're not running scrum, you're losing out on the opportunity you might have to catch up with your staff. When there's a problem or a hurdle in the way of succeeding, it's vital to find out about it as soon as possible and ask how it needs to be solved.

If you don't know there's a hurdle to begin with, how are you going to get over it?

Talking to your staff is essential to getting to know what's going on, but it's pretty inefficient to go around to everyone's desk individually. More and more teams are adopting a 10 AM daily standup meeting. No, it doesn't have to be at 10 AM, especially with distributed teams, but a meeting in the morning helps get the day started right.

Rather than trying to go over everything that's happening, a quick round up of what everyone's working on and what problems there are is helpful. The daily standup should last more than 15 minutes. Ever. Otherwise it's not a standup. Each person should cover: 1) What they worked on yesterday, 2) What they plan on accomplishing today, and 3) Anything blocking their progress.

Your scrum leader makes sure this meeting happens. However, you need to have a series of rotating scrum leaders to ensure that the tone is never dull and everyone feels involved.

You may find that a quiet leader emerges once they're tasked with helping monitor the scrum.

It also ensures that whoever is leading your scrum brings along their own clever problem-solving tactics to get problems solved.

2. Mentoring

Software development is an academic subject that has a vast and complex knowledge base behind it. A master's in computer science provides a lot of tools for tackling problems in the workplace.

However, there are a lot of problems that only emerge later on, when the code starts running in the real world.

Theoretical software design is a lot like theoretical physics. Everything changes once the rubber meets the road.

That's where it's important that everyone on your team has a good set of mentors to help them troubleshoot their toughest hurdles.

Creating a mentoring relationship between your team members means that you'll be inviting people to work together. The concept of competition between staff members gets mitigated once you start mentoring each other.

Mentoring gives everyone a chance to be a teacher and a student. When you allow everyone to share their knowledge, you're also going to keep your staff on your team for longer.

When people feel like they contribute something real to a team, they have higher job satisfaction and stay loyal to a company for longer.

3. Go Mobile First

If you want your team to be successful and to create software that helps your business excel, you need to go "mobile first" in every way.

As more of our lives are conducted online, smartphones and mobile devices are the gateways to communication at work and in our personal lives. As mobile internet browsing has definitively surpassed desktops and laptops, it's clear that that's where your business needs to be.

Whether it's to allow your employees to work remotely, to access their projects at all times, or to communicate with your easier, it's vital to go mobile.

Mobile first means that you're also giving your customers and clients what they need, the way that they need it. If you provide products and services to your clients via the web, consider getting out of the browsing environment and going the direction of an app.

When you have an app, you give your clients the opportunity for easier integration of all of their tools.

Mobile first also means that you get everyone using the same tools, whether it's your development team or your customers. If you can get both groups on the same application, you ensure that your team knows where the problems lie and start working to fix them ASAP.

Nothing motivates someone to fix a problem more than when they have to deal with it every day.

4. Make Sprints More Granular

When it comes to your projects, how you organize them dictates how they get done. A disorganized or jumbled mess of a process ensures that your products and services result in chaos.

When you have a tightly organized process, you get organized products released in an organized way.

To do this, make your production sprints nice and granular. Granular sprints ensure that you see regular progress on your project.

It's hard to imagine the end goal if you don't see progress as you build.

Make sure your team has all the tools they need, not only to manage the sprint but also to do their work efficiently. There are some great productivity tools to ensure that you track sprints carefully and ensure that each step leads closer to success.

Granular sprints also allow you to see when your staff is snagged on something. When you can't get over a hurdle or someone has spent twice as long as projected on a problem, the team can rally around and lend a hand.

If someone else dealt with this problem in the past, they'll provide useful insight to help.

Software Development is Exciting But Messy

The kinds of amazing products and innovation that software development encourages at any workplace will surprise you. However, if your team isn't organized to be nimble, flexible, and resourceful, it could be a pork barrel of waste in your company.

To ensure that your development is lean, nimble, and powerful, follow our guide to building a strong team.