A fast development process comes with a lot of challenges. When things are well-optimized, they will run smoothly. When things are hectic, they can take twice as long. Here are some best practices for refining your operations.
1. Consolidate your communications.
Team members need to be able to communicate effectively with each other. If the team is bouncing through different communication systems, they’re going to get confused. They won’t be able to get responses to their queries in time and may find themselves repeating the same tasks.
A consolidated communication system will ensure that everyone knows how to connect with each other, when everyone else is busy, and which tasks are being worked on when.
2. Have regular meetings.
Fast standup meetings are the best way for everyone to get on the same page. This prevents people from falling behind or falling prey to tunnel vision. Regular meetings give everyone time to chime in regarding problems that they might have or stopping points that will be important to address. Often a project may change course suddenly and everyone will need to revise the work that they’re doing.
During meetings, consider using a structured project management system such as scrum. Team members will be able to see what they’re responsible for at-a-glance, and will also be able to quickly interact with each other when needed.
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
Templates, modules, plug-ins, and APIs should always be leveraged to reduce the amount of code that needs to be designed from scratch. Taking advantage of existing solutions is critical for fast development, as is building out your company’s personal code base. When code can be reused effectively, it should be.
If the company can build its own code base and code library over time, it can more effectively remake and rework its products.
4. Test thoroughly and test often.
To make sure that you have a clear and complete final product, you need to test thoroughly. Testing at frequent intervals is the best way to improve the reliability and stability of your end product. Testing infrequently leads to complex issues that take a long time to test and debug. Testing in an iterative, agile way will make sure that small bugs are continuously fixed. The entire project is managed with greater levels of consistency and coherence, and the product remains consistently presentable to the product owner.
By keeping the product owners in the loop, you can also decrease the chances of a potential rework. Reworks cost money and time, but can easily be sidestepped by product owner reviews and testing.
5. Don’t sacrifice the end product.
Regardless of how fast the product has to be completed, it’s important that you don’t sacrifice quality. Quality is what will lead to customers coming back, and poor quality work can equally lead to a poor reputation. Have rigid guidelines in place regarding the project’s requirements and avoid finalizing products until they’ve been completed to these standards. Quality assurance should work closely with the rest of the team.
Fine-tuning your development process takes work, but by following the above best practices you can ensure that your team delivers the best products on time. A fast, agile process is necessary for controlling production, and keeping all members in task, and will ultimately improve time management and cost-effectiveness for the organization.