Meeting deadlines in software engineering

Have you heard that unrealistic software engineering deadlines were one of the serious challenges laid on the developers’ shoulders in 2022? Or maybe you heard and felt this pain coming from your tech team? Whatever your experience is, the art of meeting the deadline is worth its weight in gold.

Why? You’ll raise your chances of not coming across the common risks when developing a software project. By these risks, we mean vague direction, unplanned changes, rework, and disruptive obstacles on the go. 

Get to know more about how to manage deadlines with Patternica’s experts!

Why is meeting deadlines so crucial in software engineering?

The paradox with having a deadline-constrained workflow scheduling in software building is that it won’t work if you don’t understand what you’re developing and how long it’ll take. Moreover, it brings even more harm than you can guess. 83% of developers face burnout from the intense workload, ineffective processes, and unclear goals.

But even if you understand what you do, some extra time will be needed for the discovery phase and real-life risk management. Otherwise, you’ll fail to set realistic software deadlines for the project, like one-fourth of IT companies this year. And if you wondered why this number is so low, we’d say that others just had way more severe problems.

How do deadlines work in our software development company?

At Patternica, we realize that many people are too optimistic about Agile development deadlines, while software product building is as complicated and hard to plan as building a house. Hence, to ensure our clients that the product will be released in time, we usually multiply by two and hit the deadlines.

In our case, when a new client comes, we always start with evaluating the product development complexity (discovery phase) and making a Gantt chart. By doing so, we create the visual roadmap of the project with all the milestones schematically represented on canvas. It serves as the PM’s tool to navigate the processes and meet deadlines at the very end.

Source: Atlassian

The truth is the developers’ team doesn’t know the exact deadlines of the product release, and they focus on closing each task set in software engineering sprint one by one. As a result, the product delivery neither compromises the quality of the solution nor stresses out the involved members.

Tips on how to meet your software project deadline

And how do you manage deadlines? Now we’re coming to the core of our discussion. So, let us share a few lifehacks on how to manage software development deadlines smartly.

Use date ranges instead of strict deadlines

We’ve already mentioned that set-in-stone due dates are a ticking bomb. All of your team is working under pressure until they feel burnout and lose interest in the commitment. That’s why developing a software product with firm deadlines isn’t a smart approach, especially for a long-term IT project.

What to do instead? Build a product roadmap with flexible (as much as you can) date ranges, which the PM will control. This measure will preclude delivery delays, unmet business expectations, and any potential harm to the company’s reputation.

Develop an MVP first and then move forward

Patternica often advises taking this route for those business owners who have got an idea but have doubts about how their product will perform after the release. To diminish the risks and safeguard your capital, we know how to handle the task of building the MVP professionally. 

You can test this approach in action as well. Order the basic product version, analyze the user behavior, examine the market needs, work on its advancement if necessary, and reduce bugs. And only after it’s done, come to the next stage — adding the rest of the features to the application. Airbnb has passed the same way, but look where they’re now.

Bonus tip: Often MVP is your savior. Meanwhile, we advise you to develop the architecture of the project initially and take into account all the main features that should be added to the project. Why? Drastic changes during development are a big loss of time. Thus, having an exact route to go is the perfect formula.

Put quality assurance high on the priorities list

This friendly recommendation refers to both cases—when you’re starting to develop new software and already have one. Time spent on quality assurance is one of the guarantees of building a high-quality product. If you’re acting in a hurry and skipping this phase (or limiting the depth of testing), you’re more likely to regret it.

It’s always best to learn from others, right? In this sense, we do caution you not to save time for quality assurance. Trust us, this stage of product development is no less significant than any others. Read more on test-driven development if we’ve sparked your interest.

Optimise task management with tracking software

Well, you won’t be dealing with this directly if you choose the dedicated team cooperation with Patternica. But that’s what our PMs are doing to supervise the project’s workflow. 

We usually handle this task with Jira, but others also favor Asana or Trello. Whatever your preference, the result will be the same—a clear picture of what’s going on and which blockers should be fixed to let things go smoothly. Besides, using tracking software allows us to eliminate any redundancy in actions, set priorities, and go through engineering with the ultimate goal seen.

Divide a big project into smaller pieces 

You might come across this tip as a rule of thumb, but we, in the development circles, call it Agile methodology. Its essence lies in starting small and making progress step-by-step, breaking a big task into small ones for each team member. 

As a result, Agile ensures effective teamwork, focus on product value, and advanced self-organizing. Moreover, sprint planning keeps the product owner updated on the slightest changes and provides transparency for all involved members.

Reduce the risks of software development with Patternica!

When your software team runs deadline-driven development, your chances of something unexpectedly going down are relatively low. However, strict deadlines to meet also can’t fully guarantee no problems will pop up on the spot. Consider our recommendations above and rely on the professional software development service by Patternica. Contact us to discuss our collaboration right away!

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