In order to remain competitive, companies must constantly work on optimizing their processes. These must be continuously made more efficient, faster and cheaper. Especially in the area of software development and software testing with its rapid technological development, it is all the more important that internal development processes also keep up. If this is neglected, a technical responsibility is built up, which can ultimately lead to existence problems because the customer demands rectification or payment on account. With ditCraft we offer an efficient process to optimize your software development and in the following the necessary steps are explained.
Process Optimization in Software Development
The main goal of process optimization is to reduce or eliminate wasted time and resources, unnecessary costs, bottlenecks and errors, and still achieve the same process goal. The challenge for software companies is usually to deliver more code of higher quality in less time with the same resources. In order to be able to fix errors in such a process, it is first necessary to gain knowledge that a problem exists at all and to admit that this problem actually exists. Especially when software development is done under time pressure, problems grow faster and developers can often have very defensive and persistent attitudes towards their work. An open and transparent insight into the process works wonders at the first step of process optimization, namely identification.
Think of a process in your company that costs you more than it should, or that causes customer dissatisfaction or even stress between employees. Next, examine this process to identify the core and the processes that cannot be changed. The following questions could be helpful for this:
- What is the goal of the process? What should the result look like?
- Where does the process begin and where does it end?
- Which procedures are part of the process and go through which individual phases?
- Which departments, groups and persons are involved?
- What information passes between the individual steps?
In this way, it is possible to find out what the current process looks like.
The next step is to map the process and think about how the individual steps are to be carried out, how the process runs and where optimization is necessary. Ask yourself and your development team the following questions:
- Is there a better way to conduct this process?
- How exactly is this process carried out?
- How many Jira tickets, for example, are created/distributed during the process?
- How long does it take to complete the process?
- How much time is lost through rework and error correction?
- Where does the process stop?
It is important to view the process from both the micro and macro view. Every detail is relevant, from the customer's e-mail to the finished implementation. Compare the answers to these questions with the previous ones and you may already find that some processes that were previously considered important are dispensable.
After the process has been specified to this extent and the possibilities for change and the need for improvement have been identified, it is time to reimplement the process.
This is a delicate part of process optimization, and it is critical to both the process and the purpose of the optimization that everyone embraces the new process and implements the changes rigorously, so that the results can be verified and data collected. It also determines whether the improvements were effective or not.
It may happen that the optimisation does not go down as well as expected. For example, developers may not get used to the changes or the implementation may not have been performed correctly. In this case, a re-optimization of the process should be considered.
Once the process had been optimized and implemented, the next step was to automate the individual phases. To learn more about automating software development processes, read more about pipeline automation here
During the entire process optimization, everything measurable should be constantly monitored. Especially after automation, new improvement points and bottlenecks will certainly be discovered. Identify these, revise the process, implement and automate it. Consider this process as a cyclical project. If implemented once, it will not necessarily give your team of software developers the desired results, instead the optimization must be internalized by the team to improve customer and employee satisfaction. During the monitoring and also during the automation process, great attention should be paid to a reliable and suitable software, because only if the process has been implemented satisfactorily, the results of the optimization will be profitable.
The optimization of such a process in software development requires strong and neutral partners at all stages. With ditCraft we offer both consulting and concrete implementation in this matter. We work closely with our customers and always try to achieve the best possible result for all parties involved.