Software programmer types into laptop showing software code on screen

When it comes to software production, there are several approaches you may wish to take. While some of these are more suited to certain types of projects, generally, a successful software production project will always contain certain elements. Trial and error and observing how the software production process works are the best ways to learn.

To save time and effort, here we share with you some of our top software production rules. We recommend keeping these in mind to help you build a reliable piece of software that will save you time, resources, and maintenance costs in the long run.

1. Software production vs software development

This is an area in which many companies fail at the very first hurdle. Software production has very different goals and practices from software development, but it is based upon this type of work.

Software development focuses on art and craft and needs a lot of concentration and technical knowledge. On the other hand, software production focuses more on the business needs. The focus is on what your customer expectations are and the team you are working with.

This allows you to help your team achieve goals, and you can estimate the project’s completion time. However, many individuals working in this field have roles that overlap the two fields, such as project managers and analysts.

2. Understand what you are working with

If it’s your first time working closely within the IT industry, you need to have a good understanding and respect for their work. This industry combines technology, development, science, business, and art, and these all come together in every project. With technology constantly changing, the industry can sometimes seem to transform overnight.

What you learnt a few years ago during a software production project is probably not relevant today. Before trying something new for your next project, ensure that this has been tested and has worked for other companies before. While there are no right or wrong answers in IT, sometimes you’ll find more suitable solutions for your current issue.

3. Documentation

During software production, it’s not enough to just rely on your memory. When moving at a faster pace or involving other people,  document plans and feedback throughout the process for anything that involves anyone else or that is not a routine test. You don’t need to use an expensive tool, just something that is quick and easy to use and is updated consistently.

When you’re having meetings or researching new ideas and updates, take a minute to write down ideas while they are fresh. Documenting every part of the process can help clear your mind, and document important conversations. You’ll have somewhere everyone can refer back to at any time in the future using this method.

4. Be careful with completion predictions

When you are working with different clients and unique teams or technology, it’s impossible to give a solid prediction for how long a project will take to complete. Even if you think the current project is like one you’ve completed before, it’s unlikely to be completed in the exact same time.

There are various ways to approach this, and we often recommend that clients break their project down into smaller stages. This will allow you to create a more realistic estimation of the completion date, but of course, this is also not completely reliable. As you become more experienced in this field, you’ll find your estimations do start to improve, but no one will always be completely accurate. We always recommend overestimating a project, and you’ll impress everyone involved when you complete your work ahead of schedule.

5. Focus on one thing at a time

While some individuals believe they can multitask while doing anything, there’s a huge risk and cost of using this technique in software production. By offering each team member a set task to work on and a distraction-free environment, you can increase their productivity.

While it can be tempting to mix and match tasks between employees, this often results in wasted time and poor communication. This eventually may result in more errors, and the task takes far longer to complete than initially planned. Teams have a much greater sense of achievement when they focus on one task and get it completed.

It’s easier to give updates to the project manager or client using this method and will allow everyone to find their best way of working.

6. Focus on your team

Focusing on your team and the teamwork organisation aspect is crucial for successful software production. The ability to communicate can make or break your team’s success, and this includes communicating with each other, managers, shareholders, and anyone else involved in the project.

On top of this, you’ll want to take the time to identify every member of a team’s strengths and weaknesses. Some people work best collaborating with others, while some individuals are better off working alone. Creating an environment that allows your employees to be productive and use their abilities to the best of their extent will help you to thrive within the software production world. You’ll want to take the time to develop a thorough hiring process to avoid employing team members who hinder rather than help processes.

In conclusion

These six production rules can help to make any project a success. While companies may have different approaches to software production, these elements should always be considered for a smooth and efficient process. By following these ideas, you’ll save time and resources in the long run and create a productive working environment for your next project.

If you’re thinking about launching your own project, speak to BSPOKE Software. We have developed many exciting apps and web portals which you can read more about here.