A skilled team, stockholders strategy, and project deadline, inside the mythical man-month!

This is a topic of controversy ‘Only a skilled team is good enough to make quality software‘. Let’s dive into this and make a clear understanding of it. Quality and user experience are critical aspects of any software development. It determines the functionality, reliability, maintainability, and usability of the software. Achieving high software quality is not an easy task. It requires a lot of effort, planning, and coordination among the development team, stakeholders, and customers. The ultimate judge of the software quality is the Final Customer.

In this industry, one of the most common misconceptions is that it solely depends on the skills and expertise of the development team. While the team’s skills are undoubtedly important, other factors play a significant role in determining software quality.

One such factor is the strategy of stakeholders. Stakeholders, including the project owner, investors, and managers, have a significant impact on the quality of the software. If stakeholders have a short-term mindset and are solely focused on delivering the project on time, they may compromise on the quality of the software to meet the deadline. This approach can lead to a rushed development process, resulting in the software being filled with bugs and not functioning as intended. Definitely, the skilled team may reduce time but many of the cycles of software development will be considered.

Let’s say designing the database and data structure are the major task to make software scalable and extendable. If the team member can’t spend enough time to prepare a few structures on the same concept and chose the best one, then the possibility is high to pick the less efficient structure.

On the other hand, if stakeholders prioritize long-term goals and quality, they will ensure that the development team has enough time to properly test and refine the software considering the maximum variety of user environments. Lunch a beta release to the final deployment and collect user feedback and adjust accordingly. This approach can result in a higher quality product, which can benefit the organization in the long run.

Let’s talk about the project deadline. If the deadline is too tight, the development team may not have enough time to conduct thorough testing and debugging. This can result in a product that is not up to par in terms of quality. In contrast, if the deadline is too far out, the team may lose focus and motivation, leading to delays in the project and decreased quality of the final product. To ensure quality software, stakeholders must strike a balance between deadlines and quality. The development team needs sufficient time to test and refine the software, while still meeting the project deadline. This balance is crucial for delivering a high-quality software product that meets the needs of the organization and its customers.

Besides stakeholder strategy and project deadline, several other factors impact software quality. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  1. Requirements: The quality of the software is greatly affected by the requirements. If the requirements are incomplete, the development team may not be able to deliver a quality product. It is essential to have clear and well-defined requirements to ensure that the software meets the customer’s needs. Requirements from the scrum master and from the development team both are equally important where the scrum master’s requirements represent the actual solution to be worked on.
  2. Design: The design of the software is another critical factor that affects quality. A well-designed software product is easier to maintain and modify, leading to higher quality. On the other hand, a poorly designed software product is challenging to maintain, leading to lower quality and needing to change frequently. Current trends and the user experience should be highly considered during the design process.
  3. Testing: Testing is a critical aspect of software development that helps identify defects and ensure that the software meets quality standards. Thorough testing can help catch bugs early in the development process, leading to higher-quality software. Before going live, need to consider the tests below.
    1. Unit tests
    2. Integration tests
    3. Functional tests
    4. End-to-end tests
    5. Acceptance testing
    6. Performance testing
    7. Smoke testing
  4. Documentation: Proper documentation of the software is essential for maintaining and modifying it over time. Clear and concise documentation makes it easier for developers to understand the software’s functionality, leading to higher quality. Text docs are fine enough but a video guide on each module would be great. The developer must need to involved in documentation which will make the documentation more informative. Offering free courses also be a good approach to educating the final user of the software.
  5. Code review: Code review is a process that involves checking the code for errors, bugs, and compliance with coding standards. Code review can help catch errors early in the development process, which also ensures the quality of software.
    1. Main development should be restricted
    2. Every single code must be reviewed before the final merge
    3. PR reviewer should check the description of the PR and check accordingly

In conclusion, achieving high software quality requires a combination of factors, including stakeholder strategy, project deadline, requirements, design, testing, documentation, and code review. And a skilled team contributes their best when all these factors are well managed. It is essential to maintain a balance between all these factors to deliver quality software that meets the customer’s needs. By prioritizing quality over short-term goals and ensuring that the development team has enough time to test and refine the software, stakeholders can ensure the long-term success of the company.

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