Software development is an essential part of building any web portal, website or online medium of communication with the different stakeholders like customers, suppliers, new leads, employees, etc. for any business entity. Building software equipped to deal with customized areas is a specialized and technical task. Software development is generally delegated to IT professionals who are skilled in the process of streamlining existing software to newer technologies and also building new software from scratch. In today’s times, computers have become an essential cog in the organizational wheel. Softwares are required for both internal as well as external communications.

Software development teams are under constant pressure to improve the speed of delivery, as the business environment has become more swift, agile, competitive and volatile. Essential business functions such as customer service, inventory management, employee payroll management, finance record-keeping, tax bookkeeping, stock purchase records, etc. are all tied to software. Any updation in existing software or creation of new software is bound to lead to cost overruns and loss of brand image. This is primarily the reason why software development professionals are always in demand for fast and efficient service delivery.

Factors that affect the speed of software development:

Size of the team:

Having larger teams in charge of developing software may not always be a good idea. Internal communication needs to be strong and effective for larger teams to function well. An optimum team size if upto five people. If there are greater than seven people in a development team, internal communication and coordination prove to be challenging. For larger projects, it is advisable to divide the team into subparts as per the project components.

Quality of code:

Developing high-quality code is an elaborate process, which takes time. For faster development of code, adherence to strict quality norms may not be practical. A software code developed in haste would have many errors (bugs), and it would be a costly and time-taking affair to remove each error. Investing in a quality code at the very beginning of a project is advisable to avoid cost and time overruns.

Human Factor:

Speed of software development is greatly affected by the members of the developer team. If each member is self-motivated, skilled, educationally well qualified and has domain experience in the software development process, the result would be favorable. However, a team usually has a mix of expertly skilled to moderately skilled people whose skill sets have to be effectively utilized.

Complexities in the development process:

Speed of software development is also affected by various challenges which developers face routinely while developing code. At times, the project requirements are not clarified by the client entirely at the beginning, which makes writing code difficult. Client requirements also keep changing as the months pass by, based on internal testing after which developers also need to rewrite code as per fresh requirements. 

Developers also find it difficult to work when actual work exceeds the deadlines issued by the client. Technical complexities also hinder the speed of software development such as integration with external party softwares, cumbersome software architecture, coordination with client teams and systems and developing software design from scratch, based on client interaction.

Strategies to improve software development process:

Outline project goals:

Before any software development company gets to work on developing new software; or creating software to be integrated to the existing IT framework of an organization, it is very important to understand the purpose and goal of the product to be created. Without goal clarity, it becomes difficult for developers to deliver the final software within deadlines outlined by the client. This can be achieved by team discussions with the client to understand the requirements. A clear outline of project goals helps to save time and energy later in making corrections to the software and rewriting code due to errors in software implementation.

Feedback mechanism:

Obtaining feedback from the client during the testing and development phase is essential to understand any flaws or changes required in the software developed. Regular client interaction is vital to build a strong software system rid of bugs and errors, which works to the optimum benefit of the client. Feedback from customers and other stakeholders with lesser technical knowledge is also beneficial to measure the end software’s user-friendliness. Although each developer team has a quality control check, obtaining feedback from end-users is very important.

Team size adjustment:

For larger projects, increasing the team size helps to manage the workload. It is advisable to divide the overall team into smaller cross-functional units based on skill and aptitude level. Subdivision can be done to manage workflow and improve efficiency. When larger teams have a division of roles and responsibilities, it is easier to take the overall work forward. The optimum size for a developer team is 5 to 7 people. However, this size may not be feasible for larger projects with various technicalities involved. It is important to integrate the overall workflow by management of smaller sub-teams.

Implementation of Standards:

Software developers have preset codes of conduct and industry norms that they follow for any given project. Some examples are- client information confidentiality, adherence to timelines, obtaining timely client feedback, etc. Apart from these industry standards, developer companies must also implement internal standards and regulations among their employees to ensure maximum productivity and quality work. It would be best to have these company standards accessible to all developers in the team, to ensure implementation at all levels. Standards are especially beneficial for developers who have little domain experience.

Avoidance of technical debt:

Technical debt’ is defined as the development of a code that is lesser than the optimum level to gain on the speed of project implementation. Sometimes, technical debt becomes a necessity for large projects requiring almost instant deliveries such as operational software development, media software development etc. It is best to avoid technical debt wherever possible, as it ultimately is fraught with risks of underlying errors and bugs. With a code written with technical debt, the biggest risk is that of rewriting the code later when the client faces issues in the implementation of the software. This leads to duplication of work and wastage of time and energy for all the parties involved- client and developer team.

Simplification of systems:

Software development in itself is a complex task with many technicalities and skills required from the developer team. It is advisable to have simpler systems in place to ensure easier spotting of errors and their rectification. A complex system would inhibit the developers from making actual work progress, as they would get lost in the system itself. Highly skilled developers can create and maintain seamless and simple systems which work efficiently. Thus improvement of the skill level of the developers in the team is essential for any software team.

The Lean Approach:

Optimization of time and other resources such as manpower, equipment, the skill set of employees, etc. is vital to speed up the software development process. This is because every project is time-bound, and clients expect the best results for the payments they make to IT developers. The lean approach benefits both the client and the developer team, by reducing snags in the implementation of the software. Each member of the software development company needs to focus and prioritize the important tasks. Obtaining regular feedback from the client helps further the lean approach of working.

Reduce WIP:

Reduction of work in the process helps to reduce pressure from the developer team. With many tasks in progress, it is difficult to focus attention on a specific issue, and the team is forced to multitask. Software development is an intricate task, and multitasking can lead to many errors in the code. Most managers utilize a ‘Kanban Board’ to help visualize the task flow management and keep a track of upcoming, ongoing, and completed tasks in the project.

More Automation:

Writing code for software development is a repetitive task sometimes. Although the creation of code cannot be automated, certain other parts of the workflow can be automated to save time and improve efficiency. Regression tools can automate the testing of sample programs created daily. This would give more time to developers to focus on other key areas of software development. CI (Continuous Integration) and CD (Continuous Delivery) are also great tools of automation for developers. CI helps team management as each developer in the team merges/integrate any changes to the code in a central data system. CD automatically delivers the finished software to the client at the end of a certain period, to obtain feedback.


Software development services are very technical involving multiple stakeholders, challenges, and risks. It is also always a time-bound assignment, and meeting client expectations is essential to get further work and improve the brand image for the developer company. It is best to achieve speed in software development by regular client interaction, division of work as per skill sets of members of the team, automation of certain tasks, and reducing technical debt. Effective team management is one of the major factors that make or break the outcome of any assignment. Software development is not only a technical task but also a managerial task. Goal orientation, planning, organizing, and improvement of efficiency at each level goes a long way in delivering optimum results for the client.