Product Innovation Trends

Top Frustrations of Software Engineers: Endless Rework

Jessica Davis | February 13, 2014

The following is the third of a five part series excerpted from our whitepaper Top Four Frustrations of Software Engineers. Read the first part here

Your engineering team’s in a perpetual state of iterate, iterate, iterate. Things run smoothly for a while, with releases being pushed on time and on budget. But with each successful release the pressure builds to do more, faster. And with no system of timely, open communication in place, a wrench is sure to be thrown into your well-oiled machine. wrench-in-gears[1]

Though not ideal, it’s almost expected that when product delivery teams are focused on their distinct tasks, pushing full-speed ahead on parallel tracks, communication glitches happen from time to time. But if communication breakdown becomes a systemic issue, that’s when you, as a software engineer, end up wasting time developing iterations that no longer jibe with the bigger picture.

In an iterative development process, rework is inevitable and beneficial up to a point. A major advantage of an iterative system is that it allows mistakes and experimentation, early enough in the cycle to provide ample time to properly implement corrective actions.

But when requirements aren’t accurately described, or changes aren’t communicated proactively, you will be reworking problems you thought you already solved.

Say you’re building a solution described by its requirements as “needing to link fields in an online entry form to a particular set of database subdirectories.” So that’s what you do, knowing that based on the requirements such functionality is integral to additional downstream iterations.

But after your team releases the solution, you learn during QA testing that the requirements changed and because your iteration includes the “wrong” functionality, that iteration and your subsequent releases must all be reworked to address the requirements, of which you were never made aware!

Such a scenario describes a costly, frustrating, waste of time. You’ve been disheartened by what could have been easily avoided. Any business that makes a habit of performing crucial tasks with such inefficiency risks not only burning through its development budget, but also burning out its engineers.

How can you stop constantly spinning your wheels in a frustrating cycle of react, repair, rework, repeat?

How can you discover more daily bandwidth so your creative problem-solving talents can improve the entire product delivery process?

With the right product delivery solution,
you’re no longer caught off-guard after the fact because you’re constantly tapped into the flow of communication among the entire delivery team. Such visibility enables real-time discussions that serve to clarify shifting requirements and foster decision-making based on collective collaboration.

Read the next part in the series, Top Frustrations of Software Engineers: Legacy Code.

Download the full whitepaper, Top Four Frustrations of Software Engineers & Tips to Avoid Them.