How to Improve Your Software Development Process

When it comes to software development, processes are key. Without a solid process in place, your software will never come out as intended. But not all processes are made equal. Some work better than others for different reasons. As a result, some processes can be improved while others need to be scrapped entirely and redesigned from the ground up. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of different development process types so you can get the right kind of process for you and your team.

Waterfall Development

The waterfall development process is a product development process that proceeds from the start to finish linearly, with a strict schedule and limited flexibility. The start is the analysis phase when you identify the customer’s needs and analyze the markets and competitors. The next step is the planning phase, where you break down the features and functionality of the product into a plan with detailed plans and timelines. The bulk of the project is spent in the development phase when you build the product as detailed in the plan. At the end of the project, you go through a series of review phases to make sure the product meets the customer’s needs and is correct. If it isn’t, you have the plan to fix any issues before shipping.

agile development

Agile development is a next-generation way of developing software. It’s a method that blends the best aspects of waterfall development and rapid-response, lean methodologies, resulting in a faster way to get software into customers’ hands. In an agile development process, development is a continuous process that’s driven by customer needs, with each stage flowing directly into the next. The focus of agile development is the customer, so agile development processes are designed to be customer-driven. This means you put the customer at the center of the process, instead of the project. This can be done in several ways, such as focusing on the customer’s needs and requirements at each stage of the process, giving customers the right amount of information at each stage, and creating customer-facing roles, such as product managers, who are on the customer’s team.

Lean startup development

The lean startup approach is integral to agile development. The lean startup approach, which is a direct outgrowth of the lean manufacturing movement, is built around the idea that startups can’t take shortcuts. That’s because startups have to test products and services, build them, and then get customer feedback to learn from and make adjustments. That way, startups have to be lean from the beginning, instead of being lean as they go along by constantly making adjustments. The lean startup process is customer-driven and similar to agile development in that it’s focused on the customer’s needs and requirements at each stage of the process. The lean startup also has its roots in lean manufacturing, meaning lean startup uses lean methods in product development, including frequent feedback loops and the decision to release early and often.

Continuous integration and delivery

In a world where there are constant interruptions, such as meetings, social engagements, and job responsibilities, it’s practically impossible to be 100 percent on time. But as an industry, we don’t want to be late at all especially when it comes to delivering software. Enter continuous integration and delivery, or CI/CD for short. In a CI/CD-based development process, developers don’t wait for a given time of the day to start their work. Instead, they continuously integrate code from version control systems, such as GitHub or BitBucket, into the latest release. Once they’re in the release process, they continue to deliver software by using a continuous deployment pipeline, which includes scripts to automate the release process. CI/CD is important because it keeps development processes agile, but it’s also important to maintain the organizational culture of software development. That’s why development teams in your company must follow the same processes and adhere to the same rules as other teams.

Behavioral development

Behavioral development is all about analyzing the customer’s behavior and how they interact with your product or service. You do this by creating personas fictional characters who represent your customers and interviews to get a better understanding of their needs and behaviors. From there, you create a scenario-based flow diagram that shows how your product or service should work. Once you have a flow diagram, you can start creating tests for your product to ensure it behaves as expected. That way, you have a better idea of how new features will work and make sure everything is correct before shipping.

What is next for software development?

The development process is not about the tools you use, such as Agile Unified Process, a methodology for project management, or a framework such as Behavior-driven development. Those tools help you get to your end goal, the development process. They help you get there, but they are not what makes the difference. The development process is what makes the difference. The development process is how you create software and how you create software is what will set your business or organization apart from others in your industry. For this to happen, you need to understand how each stage of the development process works and what the pros and cons of each step are to give your development process the best chance of success.

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