Building a high quality product is the end goal for any organization, but software developers often run into a myriad of challenges on the way, while staying on top of new technologies and trends. The software development process is going through some unusual changes – development tactics are evolving, automation is becoming rampant, and new tools and libraries are emerging daily.
If you want to create value, products must evolve, adapt, improve, and be a source of innovation almost every day to sustain market pressures, technological advances, changing customer needs, and changing industry dynamics.
A process as complex as software development comes with its own set of challenges – challenges that you might encounter every day; challenges that need to be addressed almost immediately to reduce the impact they have on your end product.
So, what are the biggest software development challenges and how can you overcome them?
1. Project Infrastructure Issues
An unestablished project environment is always a common challenge in terms of its impact on project delivery. To ensure efficient project development, test and pre-production environments should be made available during the development, testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT) phases. If the environment is not available, then there is no way you can proceed with your project on time and under budget.
2. Requirements Volatility
A major reason for the complexity of software projects is the constant changing of requirements. Not surprisingly, 33% of the respondents of the 2016 Stack Overflow Developer Survey consider building products with unspecific requirements, as their biggest challenge. Requirements gathering is a lot more than a handful of business consultants coming up with their ideal product – it is understanding fully what a project will deliver.
3. Ignoring Best Code Development Practices
Not reviewing code, or suppressing errors are just a means that developers use to save time and meet deadlines. Following a formal quality assurance process is imperative for a successful launch. If you witness developers trying to cut corners in the development process, discourage it immediately. Encourage them to use best code development practices to meet the requirements sooner and in a more efficient manner.
4. Undefined Quality Standards
Defect identification is inevitable during functionality testing, even if the product has been through thorough unit testing during the development phase. When you come out with the test approach, scenarios, conditions, cases, and scripts to complete the functional testing of your project, make sure your test plan covers all the requirements that are to be delivered by planning several cycles of testing.
5. Adapting the Latest Market Trends
Catering to the latest technology requirements such as mobile first or mobile-only or desktop-first is often challenging. If you don’t have resources with hands-on experience in the latest and trending technologies, it is sure to impact your time to market. Make sure your resources constantly polish their skills to remain relevant.
6. Managing Design Influences
Product designs are under constant influence from stakeholders, the development organization, and other developmental factors. Managing these influences is essential for maximizing the quality of systems and their related influence on future business opportunities. The increase of easily accessible, simple applications has resulted in user expectations growing exponentially. Make sure you streamline your design and offer a consistent experience across devices, operating systems, and form factors.
7. The integration Challenge
There are thousands of different technologies, systems, and applications available for businesses. Integrating third-party or other custom applications, such as your ERP, website, or inventory management database adds substantial complexity to your project. And the bigger challenge with integration is that they remain hidden throughout the development process, and surface only at the end, leading to extra costs, delays, lowered quality, and sometimes even failure of the project. If you want your software solution to conform to the external constraints of other systems, you should:
8. Juggling Projects and Tasks
Very often multi-tasking might give you more trouble than expected. Resources cannot focus on a single task or module if their manager bombards them with tasks.
“To be successful in project management you absolutely have to be an excellent planner,” says Ryan Chan, founder and CEO of UpKeep Maintenance Management.
And, one obvious way to be an excellent planner is to leverage project management tools like Project Pro in O365 and keep projects, resources, and teams organized and on track. Stay on track, meet all deadlines, work seamlessly across applications, and efficiently and effortlessly manage your projects. Always keep task allocation sequential rather than parallel, and encourage resources to give their best in whatever they do.
9. Test Environment Duplication
Testing a software system in a controlled environment is difficult since the user is not immersed in a completely realistic working situation. It’s impractical to gauge how a user will really use the application in different situations on a regular basis until it’s deployed. However, with software applications for both B2B and B2C segments becoming more and more diversified than in the past, controlled testing is not sufficient. Therefore, testing the software or app or product in a separate real-life test environment is critical to your software’s success.
10. The Security Challenge
Security breaches are on the rise; a recent study estimates that 96% of all web applications contain at least one serious vulnerability. How do you cope with evolving security threats? How do you keep each layer of your software or application secure?
Stay Clear and Focused
No matter how big or small, solving software development challenges never comes easy. From challenges in requirements gathering to integrating new technologies with a customer’s existing technology environment, from ensuring end-to-end security to challenges of duplicating the test environment, from adapting to the latest technological advances to handling requirements volatility – software product development requires you to be clear and focused about the problem you’ve set out to solve in order to achieve what you’ve set out to achieve.