The following is the final of a five part series excerpted from our whitepaper Top Four Frustrations of Software Engineers. Read the first part here.
The drive to win applies considerable pressure on the entire product delivery team to introduce new, innovative products, faster. But accelerating a product’s time-to-market is a slippery slope when the quickened pace risks adversely impacting architectural integrity and subsequent build quality.
Often, getting a product release “exactly right” takes a back seat to getting it “basically right” for the sake of expediency. Agile software engineers know they can navigate defects immediately, and repair during subsequent iterations.
But what if those downstream fixes continue to pile up as the pace of delivery accelerates? At some point, unaddressed technical debt becomes a major burden, particularly when the repeatedly disregarded issues are architectural in nature.
Ignored too long, the mounting technical debt begins to affect the pace of product delivery the entire team worked so hard to accelerate, which ultimately risks causing a highly undesirable result: unhappy customers.
When that endpoint occurs, it becomes abundantly clear that the sting of delivering poor quality lingers much longer than the satisfaction gained from meeting the schedule.
So what’s the answer?
Convince management the pace of delivery needs to slow down? Good luck with that.
Hire more software engineers? Not a bad idea in general, but assuming good ones are even available, bringing aboard additional headcount won’t fix a fundamentally flawed system.
With a specialized product delivery solution developed to include the tools you need to stay agile, technical-debt fixes become integrated with a more streamlined development cycle.
Product delivery is often accomplished with an ecosystem of integrated solutions, optimized to functional roles but integrated through data and collaboration.
But beyond that, you need a platform that frames a structured system of collaboration, one that enables all stakeholders—business analysts, QA and UX teams, and your engineering resources— to be aware of each other’s activities early in the development life cycle so as to promote a more cohesive workflow in an iterative loop.
Once again, it’s clear that the problems you encounter when pressured to innovate faster, be they technical, systemic, or human in nature, can all be solved with a better system of all- in collaboration; one designed specifically for teams of creative minds collectively focused on building great products.
While it won’t necessarily be easy, it’s easier than you might think. And you can be your organization’s change agent.
Show your leadership how a system of better- structured collaboration will focus the entire product delivery team on meeting the most critical business objectives. Demonstrate your commitment by engaging all stakeholders business wide and clearly articulating your perception of how changes will impact your structured collaboration will focus the entire delivery process, both upstream and down.
Download the full whitepaper, Top Four Frustrations of Software Engineers & Tips to Avoid Them.