The software development industry is one industry that has consistently boomed with the introduction of every new technology in the past two decades, therefore it has always been challenging to stay on top of these trends and stay productive for IT professionals. Every year, new products and services are introduced in the market to gain a much-needed edge over their competitors.
If you’re struggling to help your software development team improve their productivity, you are certainly not alone, says Yash Mehta, an IoT and Big Data Science specialist. There are many productivity tools available, but besides having the right tools, you also need a comprehensive, extensive system wherein your development team can get the most out of their work hours and attain all of their goals as a team.
So, how do you keep your software development team productive? Here are a few ways:
Exploring new technologies
Staying updated and open to explore new technologies is vital for IT professionals. It is normal to be comfortable with a particular technology, but new technologies can open doors to new opportunities. This is a simple concept, however can be quite difficult for some teams to implement. Finding innovative ways to handle problems will push developers to become adept at adapting to new unpredicted situations.
With the quick technological advancements, software developers have to evolve. Moreover, the varying industry dynamics and ever-changing customer preferences demand developers to adopt better tactics. To achieve a sustained competitive advantage in the market and stay productive, developers have to keep abreast of the latest technologies and developments.
Promoting an environment of exploration and learning introduces new ways to deliver superior software, and also keeps the development team motivated and excited by opening to innovative ways of thinking.
Make the most of tools
Productivity tools — More projects, more tasks, more time needed today one has to be productive and proactive. Development teams are always busy coding for client’s projects, and that’s where the magical productivity tools can help. Productivity tools help you not to get stuck and optimise those tasks and make use of them at the same time.
An efficient productivity tool is designed for
- Team collaboration and communication
- Time tracking
- Project management
- File sharing
Trello is one of the popular projects management tools for software developers. It is based on Kanban-style boards representing projects in the form of lists and boards. It is extremely easy to use and self-explanatory and has movable cards with ease to drag and drop functionality. With Trello, you can;
- Prepare checklists
- Task management
- Set due dates
- Add comments
- Add attachments
- Integrate with other apps such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
GitHub – It is usually known as Google Drive for software projects. GitHub is a repository hosting service to upload private and public projects or find open-source code. Over the years, software developers from across the world have become a part of the GitHub community to discover, collaborate, share and develop better software.
Microsoft Office – Yes, you read it right. From planning to managing the application development, Microsoft Office’s Spreadsheet works as a map. You can use a spreadsheet to explain each page at a glance to the client, to keep a track of any changes or updates made in the application, body content theme of every page can be summarised in the spreadsheet. Developers can use a spreadsheet to organise pages and content systematically without missing anything. Use a spreadsheet to plan for design, development, data storage, analysis, planning, marketing and strategy it’s a great time saver!
Converter Tool – Now, you have created an application development plan in a spreadsheet which needs to be shared with your team members or client for finalising the outline. Instead of sharing the spreadsheet, you can convert it into PDF format and share, because the formatting can become a mess if the file is not opened on the exact same version it is meant for. PDF capability is essential to make your business run smoothly and efficiently without stumbling over document sharing challenges. I have been using free tools from GetLua that have the capability to convert excel sheets into PDF without any hassle. Converting the spreadsheet into PDF will make the file size compact, well-maintained format throughout and supportable by any OS.
Follow process for process
Implementing a development process is not enough you have to actively assess and improve it over time. The way you iterate on your products, similarly iterate on your process. So, how can you start analysing your team’s process?
- Start gathering process KPIs
- Review the workflow areas that are too slow, and start applying new experiments.
It is vital to maintain the inflow of feedback. Regular feedback leads to stronger customer relationships and more engaged customers and also better productivity. The earlier you get the feedback, the easier it will be to include, improve and create value. It will help your team to decide what features and requests to work on and when. Gather feedback from different channels and work on it to your processes to make feedback loops; gather feedback, analyse it, incorporate changes, and again gather more feedback. Embrace these and see the productivity improvement.
Invest in your people and motivate them
Training in communication skills, teamwork, time management, and even latest systems will make an impact with better performance and enhanced productivity. It is vital to building a culture of continuous improvement and reflection for enriched productivity improvements.
The best thing you can do for your development team is to motivate them. Foster the culture of creativity, innovation, recognition and reward, and keep their motivation level high. A well-bonded and highly motivated team performs way better than their counterparts!
If you belong to the software industry, you probably already know the importance of productivity. With proper planning and execution, productivity can be improved over time and a good team can make all the difference! After all, development projects are mostly team-based and need good collaboration on each level.
The author of this blog is Yash Mehta an IoT and Big Data Science specialist.