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9 tips for a successful software project

This article defines 9 recommendations which we consider helpful when starting a software project. Some of them are common sense, however, teams often forget to focus on them.

  1. Specify business, system, and architecture requirements

    Prepare a detailed as possible plan for the software project. Revise it multiple times to make sure it is polished.

    The plan should include:

    • Business processes
    • Project data
    • Technology Stack
    • Functional and non-functional requirements
    • Constraints
    • Software architecture concept
    • UI designs
    • Project management processes and methodology

    It will also be advisable to answer the following questions before proceeding:

    questions to answer software project

  2. Keep it simple

    When preparing for the project always try to keep everything as simple as possible.

    It is always better to start small and expand later. Slow but steady wins. If you start with an easy objective you will be able to test and validate the processes easily in the future. This will allow you to recognize patterns and tackle problems at their root.

  3. Delegate responsibilities beforehand

    Before starting the development phase it should be very clear who is responsible for what.

    This includes both the technical and the business side of the project. When an argument or a decision-making point arises it should be easy to navigate to the person responsible.

  4. Define milestones

    This way the project team will always have something to look forward to in the near future.

    You should define several important milestones according to functionality and time. Moreover, it will also be a lot easier to plan and define deadlines. Of course, the milestones should not be mistaken as sprints when using agile methodologies. Sprints should be a separate project with a clear set of deliverables. However, having something big to look forward every few sprints boosts productivity.

  5. Arrange customer participation and feedback

    The most successful projects have a customer representative on board in order to give a constant feedback.

    This person or group of people test the system on regular basis and provide feedback to the project team. This feedback is of utmost value since, after all, the customers will be the ones who determine how successful the software project will be.

  6. Don’t rush! Take the necessary time for things to fall into place 

    Do not rush the project at the beginning rather take some time for the team to get on track.

    Always start the project small. It takes time before the team starts to work together efficiently. Give more time at the beginning of the project until everyone has a good feeling about it. Do not rush it. Team building is extremely important.

  7. Focus on quality rather than deadlines 

    The focus during the development phase should not be on deadlines but on quality.

    The system has to be tested as much as possible to make sure it is bulletproof in all aspects. Define deadlines based on functionality, not on time. Unnecessary time pressure can change the group dynamics and decrease the efficiency of the team hence overall quality of the project.

  8. Develop a release strategy

    If there is a strong release strategy, the product will have a strong community base.

    It is very important to have a release plan as early as possible. This will allow the software project team to adjust the development phases according to it. If the strategy is done correctly, when the product is completed and released it will already have a community behind it.

  9. Keep evolving

    Most important advice – No piece of software survives long staying the same.

    If you want your product to stay competitive, you have to evolve it. This means that changes are actually a good thing – the project is shaping into its proper version and is adapting. It also means that after the completion of the first development phase, there should either be a plan for additional phases or a continuous integration procedure. Therefore, you will be able to update the project on regular basis or often enough to keep up with trends and satisfy its user base. Depending on the complexity the update cycle can range from one month to one year.

Here is an infographic which summarises the aforementioned points:

inforgraphic of 9 tips for a successful software project

If you like the tips, here is an article which lists the advantages of outsourcing a software development project

Author: Ronald Klacman

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