Software Development – Risk Management

The first thing to accept is that software development is unpredictable. No matter what new fangled software is implemented and how many function points are estimated, experience has shown that making the target date (let alone achieving the desired quality outcomes), is a hit and miss affair.

Risk may arise due to loosely defined requirements, difficulties in estimating the time and/or resources needed for the software development, dependence on individual skills and rapidly changing requirements due to changing needs.

Here are some thoughts on how to make the unpredictable a little bit more predictable.

Spend more time setting objectives

Project objectives are important. A project should not be initiated without well thought out objectives. Spend time analysing what the project is trying to achieve. The project objectives need to provide guidance to the programmer for every programming task. Pin up the objectives for each programmer to see.

Here is an example of setting an objective. I was asked to analyse the requirements of a busy manager. His manual filing system was constantly in use, and never in order. A system was needed that would maintain the current details, and ensure that records could always be found. That was easy enough. However, during the interview, the phone rang constantly, with requests for information. The objective finally agreed on was “Eliminate the phone requests”. This led to a very successful solution, but completely different to that originally envisaged.

Having set the objectives of the project, do an exhaustive analysis of how the objectives can be achieved. This should eliminate unrealistic objectives – like “The best and nicest and cheapest and quickest”.

Do not spend too much time gathering requirements.

Rigid analysis stifles programmer and user creativity. It is also no guarantee against a software disaster. Where the documentation of the requirements runs into several volumes, it usually guarantees a software disaster.

Users frequently do not know what they want, but they will recognise it when they see it! What was the original requirement may not be what was wanted at all. Rather spend time on creating a solid project framework that will enable you to achieve the major objectives.

Break a project into multiple tasks.

Wherever possible, a large project should be broken into smaller tasks. Each task will then be more predictable with less to do and less that can go wrong.

The initial programming task should be to create a framework with minimal functionality. Create dummy procedures to show the style and the intent – it is important for the users to see the “look and feel” of the project early in the development cycle. It is equally important for the users to get involved right from the start. What you want is users to start “owning” the project.

With the project objectives soundly set, the basic functionality should be subject to little change. The dummy procedures can be completed once the project concepts and design have been approved. Later tasks can then add the “bells and whistles”.

The project must be “infinitely modifiable”.

The project must be designed so that it can handle major changes to requirements. With a soundly defined framework and infinitely modifiable design, the effect of users changing their minds will be minimal. As will the consequences of new or better ideas as the project evolves.

There needs to extensive thought on how an “infinitely modifiable” system can be created. This must be done before any programming is initiated. “Top down”, modular design standards will help.

The consequences of having a rigid system are unpleasant. When change occurs, and it will, you will have very unhappy management when the target date needs to be extended. Equally unpleasant is to send the programmers on a “death march” to get the project finished on time.

Do not use new or complex technology

Using straightforward, tried and trusted Software provides a head start. There is always some advantage in using the latest version of software – but there can also be a heavy cost. If new technology is essential for the project, then an independent trial of the software is needed to ensure adequate technical knowledge and that all the software bugs have been ironed out (are they ever?).

Relying on immature software with limited programmer exposure to the software is a recipe for disaster.

Hire only the best and brightest

The success of a software project is mainly dependent upon the abilities of the developers. They determine, more than any other factor, the viability of a project and have a tremendous influence on productivity.

A few tips: The successful applicant should have a keen sense of humour (see De Bono and Lateral Thinking) and a good grasp of idiomatic English. Excellent communication is all important.

Do not proceed with a large project where the best and brightest have recently left the company. The company will be suffering from the “skim milk” syndrome – and you need the cream of the crop for successful development.

Reusable code

It is always productive to collect a large library of reusable code. The procedures should be used to standardise: error handling, database access, edit routines, grid handling, etc. The reusable code will reduce debugging times, as each procedure will be called multiple times. It also lessens the amount of coding needed.

Key Pointers to Know Before You Invest in Software Development

Developing a usable enterprise software is a daunting task as it involves plenty of complexities. Issues related to security are some of the major obstacles observed by software developers while building intuitive systems. Security issues concerned with information access for both external and internal factors indicates that the enterprise software solutions can end up becoming inaccessible.

Not all enterprise systems are usable enough to cope with all the complex business operations. However, with more focus on the emerging trends including workplace dynamics and customisation, we have been able to bring a lot of innovation and functionality to enterprise solutions. Keeping this in mind, here are some of the tips to consider for building usable software solutions.

Intuitiveness of the application
It is obvious that introduction of an enterprise solutions to the organisation requires proper training. However, things can get simpler if it requires minimal training. Expectantly, the more intuitive your software is, the smaller is the learning curve.

Integration with existing business processes
Nowadays, organisations deploy a series of software systems and thus, using a new application that can integrate with all other existing solutions is certainly essential. A company must focus on building a business solution which, integrates with all other enterprise-level tools deployed by the company.

Customisation and Extensibility
Enterprises presently need custom software solutions for creating features which, will help them in meeting their business goals. Furthermore, with the introduction of new plugins and extensions, it becomes easier for developers and marketers to extend functionality and add extensibility to the application.

Privacy
In the present competitive world, privacy does not solely relate to data security and protection. Privacy includes several aspects including compliance with regulations, user privacy, data protection and privacy and much more. Keeping all these in mind, you must develop an enterprise software solution that ensures maximum security of business data.

Type of Technology Used
The industry of software development involves loads of frameworks, programming languages, databases and 3rd-party technologies. Adhering this fact, you must choose an efficient, business-specific application for your organisation that is cost-effective and complies your industry standards.

Type of Methodology Used
While considering the arena of software development, there are two types of methodologies deployed for project management; Agile and Waterfall. Though the Agile development process is ideal for both large and small companies, the Waterfall process is quite rigid and mostly meant for heavy scale industries including construction and manufacturing.

Result Evaluation and Analysis
Evaluating the business productivity and software installation and usage is important to understand its utility or effectiveness. Thus, considering the reporting measures and metrics is highly essential while building a software application.

As more and more businesses going digital, development of high-end enterprise applications has become more important. Considering the aforesaid aspects will not only help you in developing the most app business software for your company but also enable you to simplify the entire task and get maximum productivity.

Software Development And The Growing Cloud Based Server Trend

Working from your office or even remote location using cloud based computer systems are one of the most amazing growth areas for which software development companies are increasingly finding their services requested. Even a year ago when you mentioned handing over a company’s entire database, customer records or financial reports to a third party most people laughed. The very idea of a completely separate company who would control an organisation’s software systems and the storage of data was treated with great suspicion and derision.

Developments in the modern world move fast though and today the idea is all the time more popular one for many reasons. Software development service providers are undertaking greater responsibility for supply, production and management of business systems. Companies can now avail themselves of the latest technologies, at a fraction the cost of traditional IT sourcing methods and get the latest updates as soon as they are released.

The use of third party software systems that provide remote access services mean that there is no need to worry about purchasing hardware or software packages and there is an additional saving on space that normally computers and servers would require. The combination of cloud based systems and software as a service (SaaS), is seen as a way for companies to broaden their horizons without over stretching themselves financially. They can have access to up to date software developments, system upgrades and technical support from their web developers as and when required.

As alien a concept as this was a year or so ago, this is gradually becoming a recognised alternative for many businesses. It offers many practical program development solutions, is an effective cost cutting method and at the same time gives businesses direct access to systems developers who can create bespoke software services, database management and enhanced provision for clients.

Database Management facilities are the latest in database control that mean large scale providers are establishing large custom built data centres where vast amounts of information can be safely stored. This is then easily access through Saas systems, simply and when required. Leading security software developers have already constructed substantial cloud based storage facilities that allow for real time access, without the worry of on site security requirements. This is seen as a way for clients to have the highest possible level of security for their data with complete ease of access from anywhere in the world.

Multi Touch Software Development Available for Specific Business Uses

With advent in technology, a subtle paradigm shift has been seen in many business sectors. Today, in order to handle specific business uses, these software development has seen a significant rise. These software can also be used for wide-ranging industrial purposes. This software is used to perfectly and seamlessly integrate with existing hardware and business software systems. Many of these programs are majorly used for navigational purposes. The programs are also meant to control touch screen display functions.

With unprecedented growth in the field of technology, interactive software development has also been developed as a product that can sensing, communicating and processing real-time data. These interactive solutions are not only visually inspiring, but highly engaging.

Multi Touch software development is also used in easing operations of some companies. Multi Touch tables and interactive bar surfaces, video walls and many more are developed and deployed. The advantage of this technology is that it can perfectly integrate with the hardware systems that are still in use. The technology has also helped in saving a considerable amount of resources and money.

Some of the best applications of Multi Touch software development are:

#1. Multi Touch Tables

The Multi Touch tables are designed and developed that meet the size, design and functionality requirements of the clients. Myriad software interfaces are developed, delivering solutions as per the expectations of the clients.

#2. Interactive Floor Projection

Having a motion detection engine built-in, the interactive floor projection software runs seamlessly integrated with the other elements so as to match pace with the ever-evolving and changing environment.

#3. Interactive Bar Surface

This is a modular concept which can be easily tailor-made as per expectations of the clients. Surfaces of unlimited length can be easily created with this latest technology. These fully computerized modules can ensure user-friendly interaction with vivid and vibrant graphical software that is displayed on the surface.

The Window based systems can be taken to the highest level by this software development solution for better and improved performance integrating them with existing systems. Icons and desktop are reorganized transforming them into a visual-friendly format. The solution also eliminates unnecessary clutter and focuses more on critical functions and its performance. Today, the focus is more on the intuitive systems that allows users to unearth information and provide easy access to sub folders and sub files. The Multi touch software makes no changes in the normal Windows OS, but enhances its performance by several notches.