infoTECH Feature

July 24, 2020

How Agencies Approach Software Development

If you decide to outsource the development of the project, you must understand the specifics of this format of cooperation with the agency. You cannot fully control the “inner kitchen” of the project creation, will it be a startup or software for a large enterprise. But this is not necessary, as experienced agencies ensure the transparency and continuity of all work processes. They maintain constant communication with the client and resolve issues as they become available.

Are you curious about what is happening behind the closed door of the company office? Then this article is for you. We will tell you all the intricacies of the software development process, which affects the speed of the team, how to avoid failures and complete the project before the deadline.

Key Agency Activities During Software Development

Software development is a time-consuming process that consists of a series of interrelated sequential steps. Each software development agency has its methodology for solving tasks, but it is often guided by generally accepted Agile (News - Alert) principles.

Organization of work on each cycle of creating a software product includes the following steps:

1. Formation (News - Alert) of requirements. The project team determines the needs of the customer’s business, the prospects for the project to scale. This analysis allows you to create a project concept, an idea of ??the main functional capabilities of future software.

2. Design and implementation. Agency specialists, based on the selected specification, accepted technical specifications, are engaged in the development of a software product.

3. Testing and validation. The team checks the created software for the quality of functioning in real operating conditions. At this stage, it is possible to adjust this or that option following the client’s business objectives.

4. Technical support. The agency provides comprehensive technical support for software, adaptation, scaling of the project depending on changing market conditions or business tasks.

Software Development Process: Step by Step

The software development agency has a staff of specialists who provide tasks at each stage of the project life cycle. A team can go in two ways. The first of these is the traditional cascading method of software development, which provides for strict adherence to the stages of development.

The second way is a flexible development cycle (agile). It consists of small steps (sprints) that are repeated at each stage of work on a software product. This format is especially relevant when working on large projects, for which it is characteristic to make changes in the process of project implementation.

Consider the basic steps that makeup software development: 

1. Planning

This is the preparatory phase, which includes the close interaction of the team under the supervision of the project manager with the customer. This is a kind of “road map” of the project, on which the success of the implementation of the tasks depends. Planning includes:

  •  project team formation;
  •  preliminary structuring of work stages;
  •  valuation of material resources;
  •  coordination of cost, deadlines.

Optimization of the workflow, the completion of tasks on time, directly depends on the strategic decisions that were made at the initial stage.

2. Business Requirements Assessment

A team of specialists must accurately understand the functional tasks of the software being developed. Otherwise, this can lead to fatal errors, for example, when the project does not meet the market conditions and user requests. Often customer requirements are blurred and not clearly defined. That is why agency experts hold briefings with business stakeholders. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the hidden and obvious needs of the business, the agency generates a documentary statement of the tasks and stages of software product development.

3. Software development 

After the approval of the requirements, the agency’s specialists begin to develop the physical architecture of the project. At this stage, architects can generate several quick prototypes to choose the most optimal solution by the tasks. When designing the architecture, weaknesses can be identified that require adjustments to the terms of reference. This set of measures can reduce the risk of errors in the functionality of the system in the future.

4. Programming

The software coding process depends on the methodology chosen. If the cascade model is taken as the basis, programming is carried out in one block. If a software development agency works on a flexible system, the process is divided into small cycles (sprints) that have time limits. At this stage, the team maintains constant communication with the client, reviews and reports on all stages. 

5. Testing

The main objective of this cycle is to verify the functional characteristics of the developed software in real operating conditions. Experts evaluate in detail such parameters as code quality, performance, product security, and others. If bugs are detected during testing, the agency makes adjustments to the system code.

6. Deployment

Most experienced agencies use Jenkins to automate and speed up the software deployment process. This tool provides continuous software integration, preparation for an operation.

7. Maintenance

After the software is put into operation, the agency assumes the obligation to support the project. Specialists ensure the smooth operation of the system, quickly respond to inconsistencies that arise, and eliminate defects. They also advise the customer, staff on issues related to the functioning of the software product.

Why does the delay of the software development occur? 

Software product development is a laborious process that requires a lot of time and human resources. Sometimes the deadlines for fulfilling tasks can be stretched like “chewing gum”, and this is largely a result of the incorrect organization of the work process.

The software development process may be delayed due to the following reasons:

  •  the human factor: sick leave, holidays, low productivity due to lack of experience and knowledge to complete the task;
  •  customer uncertainty in their requirements, frequent task changes;
  •  problems with the material and technical base of the agency;
  •  incorrect estimation of the time that specialists need to develop a layout, prototype, etc;
  •  identifying bugs in project architecture;
  •  poorly established communication with the client at the stage of approval of a particular stage of work.

Experienced software development agencies, when drawing up a plan and a schedule of work, take into account all possible risks in order to deliver the project on time precisely.

Software Development Acceleration Techniques

Time is one of the most valuable resources in the process of developing a software product. Mistakes can lead to fatal consequences, loss of time for specialists to correct them. That is why experienced agencies use different methods to automate the workflow and minimize the risk of defects.

These tools include:

  •  continuous integration (CI) is a practice that allows you to detect and eliminate errors at an early stage of development due to the automatic assembly of different parts of the system into a single structure.
  •  source management - all development data is stored in a central repository. Thus, if there are problems with the file server, the code will not suffer.
  •  SDLC management tools are a set of practices that help professionals track errors, inconsistencies in the programming process, conduct analytics and manage tasks.


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