Bringing together an awesome team is the first step to pulling off a successful software project, but without the right structure there is bound to be major challenges.
Failure to properly structure your project can result in delays, budget overruns and bugs. Check out my list of Do's and Don'ts that will help you mitigate the likelihood of any of these. Here's a few of our secrets that will ensure a win for your team.
1. Always start with clear design/ wireframes
A well thought out design plan helps to outline the flow of the application and makes the development process interactive, visual and clearer for everyone. So much time is saved when a product is built right the first time. Upstack recommends using Invision or a similar tool to visualize the different screens and paths a user will encounter.
2. Clearly define goals
"Measure twice, cut once” might be a carpenter’s idiom, but in principle this is just as applicable in the development world. To thoroughly design a comprehensive product, multiple team meetings with everyone the project will impact must be conducted. Gathering as much insight as possible will ultimately support optimum productivity and a successful project.
3. Break down tasks
Clearly breaking a project down into smaller and simpler tasks is a proven productivity hack and a way to make remarkable and constant progress without creating a stressful and counterproductive environment. This is really often overlooked and one of the biggest issues can be lack of a clear backlog of tasks and a process to ensure they get done.
4. Use Project management tools
Image courtesy of Asana
My personal favorite is Asana, but utilizing any project management software to regularly update the progress of tasks makes collaboration highly efficient. These platforms allow every team member to visually follow the workflow and give input on tasks, whether they are in development or ready for testing. Some of the more popular project management platforms are Asana, Jira and Trello. They are all great options to keep the team on schedule, integrated and on mission, especially when teams are remote.
5. Prioritize tasks
Finishing tasks in order of importance is the most effective way of ensuring that a project is off the ground and running smoothly. Keep a clear backlog in order so the team know what is coming up next. Software projects tend to be more successful once the critical elements are built sooner allowing more time for testing to iron out any potential bugs.
6. Adopt a screen by screen approach
I have found that approaching your application development screen by screen or feature by feature results in seamless integration from the front end code, the databases, other components and the backend giving the developer the opportunity to see and correct any issues that may present itself during deployment to the server. Projects become more streamlined and simplier to troubleshoot with this approach. Quite often I have seen a project go off the rails by focusing only on backend code for example with out completing a full integration with the front end.
7. Conduct Daily standup meetings
The Daily standup should be an integral part of any project or organization for its progressive team building capability and must be seen as a sacred time to connect, collaborate, provide updates, give feedback, solve problems and define the direction of a project. Remote development teams benefit tremendously from these daily standup meetings because they get to showcase their talent and projects, building moral and a team enironment.
8. Create a team environment
Using Github integrated with Slack is an ingenuous technique to implement that will bring major benefits to your project. This technique helps to cement a collaborative and openly communicative environment that ensures that developers are always in sync. Use your team chat to keep the flow of ideas and fun infused into your team atmosphere.
1. Don't try for the big reveal
Try to avoid hammering out a final version of a project on the fly, this method results in more time being spent ironing out kinks. Debugging a huge project broken down into several smaller projects as opposed to debugging it all at once, is a much more efficient and effective method. Projects can be accomplished in record breaking time by utilizing a team of developers to code several smaller projects simultaneously.
2. Don't be afraid to build on your project on a server
Having a fully operational product that functions in a real-world environment as opposed to building locally is a more hands on approach that ensures a great experience that has been tried and tested. Get it out their into production faster and save last minute stresses and delays.
Follow these tips and I can guarantee great results on your next project.