If you’ve returned to work in 2017 with less ‘get up and go’ than you’d like, you are not alone. So why not turn your attention to improving the way you work? We’re going to take a look at the frustrations of working in app development that can start to make a team feel toxic… and then, we’re going to detox them!
Introducing the Infostretch App Development Detox! Here are 12 tips and tricks to help boost your app development. We prescribe taking them in monthly doses, as many as necessary to achieve tip-top working conditions.
Is your mobile strategy sound?
You can tinker around the edges of a problem, or you can delve to the heart of the issue. We are firm believers that a good mobile strategy doesn’t just underpin what you do, it enables enterprises to move faster, and flexibly adapt to the demands of the marketplace. When we work with clients to develop a business blueprint, we usually split the strategy into three parts: the vision, the insight that informs actions, and the implementation. Divide your own thinking this way to better analyze how productive your strategy is.
Internal politics, too many stakeholders, scope creep – just some of the factors that lead to the sense that although everyone is working hard on an initiative, perhaps they don’t all share the same goal. The answer isn’t to shut people out; in fact, letting different groups have a say in the app is a great way to ensure people’s ideas are taken into account. However, it’s best to have some ground rules: do be clear when it’s okay to provide inputs, do reinforce what the overall look and purpose is, do make clear that inputs are valued and what to expect next. But most of all, be prepared to stand your ground.
Are you re-inventing the wheel?
Stop! Don’t write it or test it yourself if there is a perfectly good alternative already available. Many good, technically proficient developers could better apply their talents on other areas. Culturally, developers sometimes feel they can do it best, so they’ll write every single line of code. That approach is ill-suited to the fast-moving digital space. Others may feel under-supported in their team, tools or timeframes. Work on the root cause and save yourself some serious time and frustration!
Small is good
Experts speak about small teams and fluid structures a lot when it comes to Agile development. Splitting your team into smaller, more focused taskforces can help improve productivity. Many enterprises recognize the benefits, but how do you go about it? Take a look at Forrester’s report, Build Five-Star Mobile Apps, for some great tips.
Work as a team, not with a team
Could you be doing more to make your remote workers feel part of the extended team? When possible, consider having your app team in one place at least some of the time. If that’s not feasible, whether due to distance, time zones or budget, that’s ok. There are advantages in such team configurations — for example, a project can continue around the clock — BUT the team needs to gel. If you’re the person managing that wider team, you are the lynchpin through which information flows. Be generous with your time, explain briefs fully, be on hand to answer questions.
Digital transformation has been a major business trend for a number of years. If your apps are under delivering, and you’ve tried to fix the app dev process, perhaps it’s time to look further afield. In reality, digital transformation can feel like a digital impasse when back-end legacy systems don’t successfully interact with apps to expose useful, actionable data. There’s even more reason to focus on digital transformation in 2017. As IoT initiatives proliferate, extracting actionable intelligence from data will become even more of a challenge and a priority.
Nail performance issues
Do you channel all your resource into planning, development and execution of initiatives? You may be falling into the trap of regarding maintenance as an afterthought. In the digital industry we see amazing innovations in UI features, but performance is often ignored until, that is, it becomes a problem. This year, give performance the priority treatment it deserves. You can drive down support and maintenance outlay by updating in-house performance testing skills, but this requires planning. Start today.
Testing everything earlier
If you want your testing practices to be in peak condition in 2017, you need to start… earlier. Preferably begin testing right at the start of the project. Testing closer to the code is just the start. Combine issues and project tracking platforms with continuous delivery tools to really get ahead.
Testing everything at once
Spiraling complexity and compressed development times mean that success requires a new set of tools. In 2017, consider investing in tools and/or services to help re-create real-world conditions in which multiple devices are synchronously tested. When choosing the tool, keep usability top of mind; e.g., does it matter if you access it via the cloud or a standard browser interface? Will it work on any device?
Automation, automation, automation
You’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of automation in delivering rapid integration and delivery. The key is in knowing what, when and how to automate. Check out the many helpful tools that make your job a bit easier, such as Jenkins, Selenium, Appium, Perfecto and our own QMetry Automation Studio.
Tasks getting out of hand? Impose order.
If spiraling complexity is dragging you down, it’s time to check if you are using the best tools to keep on top of everything. Test management frameworks exist to help you maintain control throughout all the phases of testing such as administering, organizing and maintaining mobile test libraries, as well as tracking and reporting performance. We happen to think QMetry Test Manager is great at this job, but other fantastic alternatives exist too.
Even when your app is still local, think big in your plans for it. The pressure on an app to succeed is often closely linked to its ability to scale geographically. So even when you’re in initial planning stages, plan them with a global audience in mind (check out this blog post on how). A lot hangs on an enterprise’s ability to create the right test environment. That means constructing and testing real-world conditions across multiple devices, often working at the same time. Smarter automation is the answer here.
If you have a New Year’s resolution we haven’t covered, or something you’d like to discuss in more depth, contact us.