2021-03-18 - 7 MIN READ
Project development

5 Tips for Reducing the Duration of the IT Project

Companies are making large-scale changes with one most important goal: to increase the speed at which they deploy resources, launch the product to the market, and implement new technological solutions. All this to improve project planning, internal processes, and effectiveness, increase profits, and in turn become a leader. Speed is and will be an essential ingredient and significant determinant of a business’s outperformance.

Project time management

IT project development is often a part of processes that need to be improved to accelerate and operate better under time pressure. Another challenge appears when you consider how your development team can do just as good or even better work but in less time.

According to research 56% of CIOs expect to implement Agile software development, DevOps, or a similar flexible IT delivery model to increase IT responsiveness and help spur broader innovation ambitions (source: Deloitte).

You can get a grasp of smart project management by checking out the below list of five tips for reducing the duration of the IT project.

1. Pay attention to the quality of developers’ code

Product development can be subject to different constraints at different stages. When it comes to the code itself, it is often being handled as the least important aspect. In fact, low-quality code can cause delays in the entire project plan sooner or later. It also can lead to financial losses or a waste of time due to maintenance or adjustments.

Most businesses assume their product will be continuously developed. It means developers will need to come back to the code they produced and make modifications. Imagine you need to introduce a change in one of the features of your product. If the code wasn't written properly, one change may cause errors and disrupt the entire operation of the software. In such a case, it may be necessary to rewrite a large part of it from scratch.

In one of our earlier articles, we explained the Pareto Principle and why “vital few” might be better than “useful many”. It is a good idea to implement a similar approach when working on a software project. While focusing on speed you shouldn’t reward employees for the number of lines of code produced but rather on its efficiency.

Efficiency is strictly related to speed and software performance. Remember that high-quality code can be re-used and re-developed. Code that is easy to read is also easier to review.

2. Develop a complete testing strategy of a built software

In order to reduce costs, some companies resign from conducting extensive tests of delivered software. However, assuming that simple unit tests written by developers are enough is a misconception. Software developers focus on proving that the code they wrote does what it was supposed to and works when used in predictable ways.

While the primary goal for testing should be finding possible errors and helping to make the product more intuitive. That’s why you should consider introducing quality assurance which is a more systematic approach. You also definitely need to develop a strategy for testing if you want to ensure you will deliver a satisfying product to your customers.

Decide what stages of your product development you will conduct tests. You don’t want to push code to production before your QA Specialist tests it. It would help if you thought through what is the best way of delivering the product to your QA and how to make sure they are testing the correct version of it.

Also, having a QA onboard can increase your development velocity even over two times - it’s worth investing in it because there can be a return on investment.

3. Project planning: hire an IT Project Manager if you don’t have one already

Small teams rarely have communication issues - each team member knows their responsibilities and project requirements, they track their tasks and deadlines. However, when an IT project is more complicated and includes more than ten roles, a workflow may get confusing and lead to delays because of weak task management. Then it is high time to hire an IT Project Manager.

Project Managers play a significant role in every IT project planning. First of all, the tasks of the Project Manager are very fluid and depend on your company’s needs. However, an experienced specialist will help you determine the best way of finishing projects within the available time and budget. Moreover, you will free up some of your time since the Project Manager is usually a link between the team and the clients.

Such professionals will inform clients about the progress of project development and bridge the gap between the development team and executives. On the one hand, they can explain executives' product vision to the team and guide the work in the right direction. On the other hand, explain the technology and jargon characteristics for software development to the clients.

Although having a Project Manager is crucial for project development and reducing project duration, you don't necessarily need to hire them as an in-house employee - you can opt for a freelance professional.

4. Introduce working in sprints to focus on what's most important

Organizing workload and setting up priorities can significantly reduce the duration of an IT project. People tend to distract easily, and from our point of view, also a tendency to work on too many tasks at once should be considered a distraction. Sprints allow you to avoid a never-ending list of to-dos; instead, you map out the problem and approach it to step by step.

The sprint describes a period while your team and each member are working on implementing the selected tasks. It helps everyone figure out where exactly they are going to focus their attention. The sprint often lasts 14 days but can take even up to 30 days. If anything along the way blocked a task from progressing, you could move it to the next one.

Introducing working in sprints in the organisation helps to keep the sustainable pace of work and improves progress. Smaller work chunks are easier to approach, and the chances that everything will be finished on time are getting bigger. Sprints also incite faster follow-ups - when a team has a fixed time frame to solve a specific problem, they tend to collaborate and engage in working out the solution on time.

5. IT outsourcing: consider outsourcing skilled developers to work on your project

Building a product and developing the entire system is a large project. It may turn out that you don't have enough developers and IT specialists on your team to meet all the deadlines. No matter how hard your development team tries, they may not be able to complete the specified scope of work. That's why it's worth considering outsourcing IT experts who will fill in the gaps.

However, it is important where you will find these needed experts. Hiring freelancers from an unverified source can do more harm than good. When you decide to introduce a software developer from a professional outsourcing company, you can be confident that they have a particular skill-set and seniority level, which your project requires. In turn, such specialists will be developing your project efficiently while still maintaining high quality.

This article will help you find out if a dedicated team service may be right for your project needs.

What also matters is that you don't lose control over the whole team. Outsourced developers act like an extension of the existing one, and they feel equally responsible for the project. Moreover, they often have a lot of experience that comes from working on various projects. It may turn out that your product can be built more easily, or it may have additional features not included in the initial design phase.

Using proven solutions and not wasting time working out new ones by trial and error can bring many benefits in product development.

Summing up

Each of these five tips may help you in reducing IT project duration. However, it is not the only benefit. Working with outsourced and skilled IT experts, focusing on the most critical aspects of the software, constant testing, code quality, and the proper project time management will also positively impact the product quality.

In the IDC's report, it's stated that 25% of IT projects fail outright, and 20-25% percent don't provide ROI, which proves that quality is also a factor worth taking care of.

According to Clutch and our Client's reviews, Blue House is one of the Top B2B Companies in Poland in the IT Services category. We can help you with IT staff augmentation or building a dedicated team. Find out more about our services.

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