Best Practices for Automated Software Development
If you have made your choice to go for automated development in transforming your business, it's best to start by knowing the best things to do as you begin your digital transformation journey.
In this short blog, we'll highlight some of the best practices that your organization should keep in mind while exploring automated development as the preferred choice for software application development.
Best Practices While Using Automated Development
Define your application development outsourcing goals clearly – Before going for outsourcing, you should have good reasons that justify that your business needs outsourcing services. When you have decided that you should go for outsourcing, then you should clearly define what business goals you want to achieve through outsourcing and how meeting these goals will be beneficial for your business.
Due diligence and conducting a thorough background check – The very first thing you would need to do when picking a platform or software development service provider is to have a shortlist of potential features it provides. This helps in a few days, one of which is to establish a baseline of what the market cost is for such services. Once you know this you can move on to picking a list of those you feel would be a good fit for your project.
But this is only half the battle. The next part involves doing extensive research into the platforms you have shortlisted. You need to know their strengths, average turnaround time, and what previous clients had to say about them.
Maintain clear and effective documentation – Our research suggests that miscommunication is one of the primary reasons why most outsourced projects don’t meet their objectives. This fact is compounded by the fact that most of the teams responsible for delivering projects would be completely remote. Whenever you are collaborating with your outsourcing partner, it is easy for miscommunication that can send a project off course. That’s why a Scope of Work (SOW) is such an important document for any project. Your list of criteria should match the specific characteristics of your project. This also includes accompanying tasks, duties, and responsibilities to be fulfilled by the outsourcing vendor.
Establish and agree on milestones and mini-goals – One grave error the company falls victim to is thinking the job is as good as done when they hand over all the requirements to the development team. There are so many ways this can lead to catastrophic results. Instead, certain milestones and mini-goals should be established for the total lifecycle of the project. This helps with keeping proper track of what has been achieved and what is still pending. Also, the various milestones let you see the various functional parts of your application. This is important because an actual functional section might identify issues, possibilities, and the overall flow of the software development process. This also brings modularity to the project.
Ensure IP protection – This part cannot be overstated. When dealing with third-party outsourcing providers, not only should you establish a secure means of transferring information on the project but a level of access control over the more sensitive data should be implemented on both sides. Fortunately, with automated development, you have code ownership and complete access to the IP developed.
Establish communication channels and schedules – One of the greatest issues with using an outsourced team when developing custom applications is the lack of understanding between parties involved which in turn leads to delays and in some cases, unusable software. To forestall this, proper communication channels need to be created at the very start of the project. The project score and deliverables should be clearly stated and explained. With both sides coming together and ensuring that the full requirements and scope are understood by all.
Following this should be periodic scheduled updates on progress, issues, actionable, and others. If there is a steady flow of information between both parties, it becomes easier to track where the project is at any point in time.
Be hands-on – Another issue which many companies looking to outsource software product projects is that once the scope is defined, they consider it off their plate. This sets up the executive team for a surprise, as you should always be in constant communication with your strategic partner to understand its progress. Having active participation in the development process is critical for the success of the project. While this might be less of an issue with automated development, it is nonetheless a concern and the more active you are with the development team with regards to the customizations required, the better it would be for the output and the delivery.