Painless Delivery

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🧑‍💻 Rubén Sánchez
📆 January 1st, 1970

Every software development team wants to avoid the so-called "death march" projects where the end seems never in sight. These are the projects with unrealistic schedules, where every new feature requires twice as much effort as expected, or where the code is an incomprehensible mess. Is there a way to avoid these problems?

Build Right Thinks for Delivery On The Right Way

There is no single silver bullet for software development and successful software delivery. But by taking a few key steps and following best practices, you can set your team up for success.

1. Define the path to deliver

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to have a clear definition of what it means for a task to be deployed. Ease the path to deliver as much as possible. This includes specifying not only functionality but also clear quality criteria such as performance, security, and maintainability.

2. Estimations don’t work

It's hard to set realistic expectations for what can be delivered in a given timeframe. It's often more helpful to break down features into smaller pieces that can be delivered incrementally.

3. Automate repetitive tasks, use CI/CD and implement DevOps practices

Infrastructure as a code, continuous integration, continuos delivery and automated testing can all help save time and reduce errors in the software delivery process.

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) help ensure that code changes are automatically built, tested, and deployed on a regular basis. This reduces the risk of errors and makes it easier to get feedback early and often.

DevOps is all about culture, collaboration, and automation. By adopting DevOps practices, teams can improve communication, increase efficiency, and deliver better quality software faster, while reducing the failure rate.

4. Monitor progress and metrics diligently

Make the developers part of tracking high-level project goals and detailed task-level progress using liable metrics. DORA metrics in software are a good example for delivery performance. This will help the teams identify issues early on and course-correct as needed.

5. Be prepared to pivot

Even with the best-laid plans, things can change. Be prepared to adapt your approach as new information arises.

By following these best practices, you can increase the chances of success for your next software development project.

Automate Quality Processes

If you are looking to improve your software quality processes, automating these processes can save you time and money. By automating quality processes, for example, you can avoid the need for manual testing, which can be both costly and time-consuming.

Automated testing tools can also help you to identify potential defects early on in the development process before they have a chance to cause problems further down the line. In addition, automating quality processes can help you to track and manage changes to your codebase more effectively, making it easier to maintain high standards of quality over time.

There are many different aspects to consider when it comes to improving software quality. However, by following the tips outlined above, you can make sure that your development team is well-equipped to deliver high-quality software products that meet the needs of your customers.

Avoid complex processes

It's easy to fall into the trap of overengineering your path to deliver. After all, the more complex the process, the more control you have over the outcome, right? Wrong! In fact, a complicated delivery process can actually lead to more problems and less control.

Automation is an area where it's easy to overengineer your software delivery process. Many teams believe that they need to automate everything in order to have a successful process. This isn't necessarily true. In fact, automation can actually lead to more problems if it's not used correctly.

So a first step is to understand all these tasks that are done manually and consume more time. These will not just reduce the time for those tasks, also the stakeholders will understand easily the impact that this automation can have on the system.

Overly complex processes often involve more steps than necessary. The more steps there are, the more likely it is that one or more of those steps will be skipped or not completed properly. A process that has too many steps is also likely to be very time-consuming. This can lead to frustration among team members, which can impact their motivation and willingness to follow the process.

It's important to find a balance between having a simple process that is easy to follow and one that is complex enough to get the job done. The best way to do this is to start with a basic process and then add complexity as needed. As your team gains experience with the process, you can gradually improve the steps or make other changes as needed.

Rubén Sánchez

Founding member of The Crafters Lab

Rubén is a software developer and founding member of The Crafters Lab.

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