Technology is moving quicker than most of us can keep up. As we become more dependent on our digital world, especially in the mobile space, the software development process is also pushing for speed, expecting the same level of quality, as well.

However, like with any good development practices, it’s important to strike a balance between speed and efficiency. But how can you make sure your engineering team is fulfilling their tasks in a timely, qualitative manner? Let’s dive into just that, going over how you balance speed and quality when tackling your next software development project.


Prioritize and Delegate


Regardless of whether you’re working with a distributed team or in-office workforce, it’s up to the project to successfully delegate and prioritize tasks within their group.

One of the most costly, be it in time or money, problems to cross any development process is a lack of goal-and-role setting and communication. When team members aren’t all too clear on what they're exactly supposed to tackle, time and resources are wasted on them, frankly, spending the man (or woman) hours trying to figure that out.

Companies like Google and Apple, who onboard and train their team leads in the “art of group organization,” are incredibly successful not only because of the products they bring to market but also how they bring those products to the masses.

Suffice to say it’d be wise to take a leadership page from their proverbial book, making sure that there’s no gray area in your team as to who’s doing what, and in what order those tasks should be completed.


Embrace Iron Triangle Constraints


It’s a tried-and-true management tool for a reason—because it produces great results.

The Iron Triangle Constraint practice is built upon four fundamental principles: How cost, time, and scope all play their roles in quality. Using this very matter-of-fact brainstorming strategy points out all the project’s possible weak points before you begin. Here’s a brief rundown on what to consider when constructing your project’s on triangle

For Time:

  • What’s the deadline your team needs to meet?
  • How can you best delegate tasks to your team’s member to make sure it’s met?
  • What are the possible speed bumps that could slow down your team’s progress?


What’s the deadline your team needs to meet?

  • How can you best delegate tasks to your team’s member to make sure it’s met?
  • What are the possible speed bumps that could slow down your team’s progress?


For Cost:

  • What’s overhead and budget will be required to achieve the quality you want?
  • Can you save on certain areas in your budget?
  • Can you achieve the same quality with fewer team members?
  • What are the most costly aspects of the project?
  • What are the least costly parts of the project?


For Scope:

  • What tasks will be required to complete the project with its quality still intact?
  • How can I, the team lead, delegate in such a way to make sure they’re all met?
  • What are the problems that you’ll have assigning and delegating tasks and duties?


For Quality:

  • What’s the end quality you’re trying to achieve?
  • Do your notes on cost, time, and scope alight with that qualitative and goal?
  • What are the most likely things that’ll affect the overall quality of the project?

Again, the clearer, more concrete you can get with these question, the better off you (and your team) will be in the end.


Successfully balancing the tightrope between speed and quality is, in part, dependent on how well you’ve done your homework, prior to taking that metaphorical walk.

Because of the fast-paced evolution of current tech, experiencing a few (or more) growing pains are to be expected. However, you can mitigate a lot of them by simply doing backchannel research, observing industry trends, and seeing what’s worked (and what hasn’t) for others who’ve already tackled a similar project.

Reddit sub-pages double as both the “front pages of the internet” and, perhaps, the best litmus tests for software engineering teams. Perusing through TechBeacon list of current QA Trends would also serve you well. For example, automation is now commonly coming into play come during the software development process, helping to streamline certain responsibilities without user input, saving time without sacrificing quality.

Also, getting your company’s QA team involved in the process from the beginning of your development lifecycle will be greatly beneficial. By involving them from the get-go, you can make sure the company’s goals, policies, and morals align with your mission, mitigating any potential quarrels you might have with upper management later down the road. That, and the QA team, too, will give you useful feedback you can then incorporate into your project plan.


In Summary: Clear-up the Gray Areas, Get Project (and Trend) Insights, and Plan


To discover the balance between speed and quality in software development, it’s imperative you consider these above-mentioned variables. Finding your own depends on clear team member collaboration,  iron triangle setting, and involving quality assurance practices and teams as early on as possible. Check-mark all of these, and you’ll steer your team to faster development cycles, all without losing any quality along the way.

Ready to get started on better, faster output? Gitalytics pulls Git data and translates it into easy to understand team metrics. These team metrics make it faster and easier to plan out projects more accurately, and gives insight if there's going to be delays in shipments. Learn more at http://gitalytics.com or contactus@gitalytics.com