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Software development team best practises in 2024

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Software development is a lasting, far-reaching process beyond just writing code. It covers several stages before and after the coding phase, such as planning, testing, and gathering user feedback after the product’s release.

This holistic approach requires the involvement of multiple experts besides the developers themselves. Cross-functional teams, including product management, design, testing, sales, and marketing, collaborate toward shared goals and strive to maintain high product quality throughout the software development lifecycle. 

What are the software development methodologies?

Software development methodologies are structured approaches designed to guide the planning, organisation, and control of software development projects.

These methodologies provide a framework of best practices and principles to ensure projects are completed efficiently, on time, and within budget. Some of the most widely adopted software development methodologies include: 

  • Agile Methodology
  • Waterfall Model
  • Scrum Framework
  • DevOps
  • Lean Development
  • Prototype Model
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD)
  • Spiral Model
  • Iterative and Incremental Development (IID)
  • Extreme Programming (XP) 


Learn how to build your team

Each methodology has its unique set of principles, advantages, and restrictions. The decision on the most appropriate methodology for your project depends on various factors, such as the project’s specific requirements, team size, timeline, budget, and the associated risks.  

Why cross-functional team collaboration and team management are important?

As you know, crises and conflicts among different teams are common during a project lifecycle due to varying perspectives and success metrics.

For example, developers and product teams often have divergent approaches. Product managers prioritise business outcomes and project objectives, seeking to quickly validate ideas and launch revenue-generating features.

On the other hand, developers focus on designing the best possible product, focusing on the specific technical deliverables. 

At the same time, other teams within the company, such as marketing, sales, and support, bring their unique mindsets, skills, and goals to the table.

These diverse perspectives can lead to disagreements during project execution. Therefore, it is important to understand and integrate the objectives of different teams to ensure successful project alignment across the organisation.

Effective communication and collaboration among cross-functional teams are key to aligning around and achieving shared goals. When dedicated software development teams work together in synergy, they can dedicate more time and effort to developing and launching high-end products.

Thus, cohesive teamwork ensures that all members remain focused on the primary goal – delivering value to the customer through high-quality software solutions.

As dedicated team members encourage one another to view challenges from various angles, they collectively improve the project’s output and problem-solving capabilities.

Software development team best practices

To boost productivity and consistently deliver value to customers, software development teams should adhere to industry best practices. These guidelines facilitate collaboration and increase the likelihood of success.  

Moreover, the implementation of agile methodologies can further streamline processes and encourage a collaborative team dynamic.

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Define clear goals

While individual teams within a software development project have their unique goals and responsibilities, it is important that these align with the broader business objectives of the company and its products.

Continuous coordination and agreement on the product vision throughout the software development lifecycle helps to achieve this alignment.

When common goals are established from the outset, dedicated software development teams are more likely to collaborate effectively, despite carrying out distinct tasks that could potentially impede the project’s and team’s progress.

A clear definition of roles and responsibilities fosters accountability among team members. The less ambiguity there is about each individual’s role, the smoother the project progresses, reducing any confusion. 

In this context, effective leadership plays an important role. Managers should clearly define roles and responsibilities and ensure that all teams understand how their efforts contribute value to the organisation and its customers.  

Choose the appropriate project management methodology

The selection of a development methodology should reflect the size and scope of your project and align with your organisation’s culture and values.

There are various methodologies to choose from, ranging from Waterfall to Agile, each suited to different project types and requirements.

The waterfall methodology is often the most effective approach for large projects with well-defined and specific requirements from start to finish.

It follows a linear, sequential process that works well for projects that require strict completion of each stage before moving on to the next.

On the other hand, projects that require flexibility and consist of multiple, smaller segments or iterations might benefit more from an Agile approach.

Agile methodologies bring adaptability and iterative progress through short development cycles known as sprints.

Choosing the right methodology lays the groundwork for how dedicated software development teams are structured and organised, influencing the project management tools, practices, and workflows they should integrate into their daily processes.

Experience difficulties with team management? Learn more how to organize the work of software development team.

Invest in DevOps

Many software development companies inadvertently structure themselves in ways that promote functional silos, where different teams work in isolation, concentrating solely on their specific objectives.

This siloed setup can complicate communication, especially as project requirements change all the time, and there is often reduced visibility across various stages of the development lifecycle. 

The DevOps methodology emerged mainly as a response to the frustration associated with these silos, particularly the disconnect between development and operations teams.  

However, embracing DevOps extends beyond merely adopting the right technological tools for higher performance and quality.

It also involves a shift in corporate culture, requiring teams to adopt a unified mindset focused on both the quality of the software and the speed of its delivery. 

Choose the team management software

Adopt the best project management tools that align with your objectives and improve their ability to work together towards common goals. Selecting these tools lays the foundation for integrating and streamlining team efforts across the entire software development lifecycle. 

These tools can range from those that assist in detailed project planning and task management to those that provide a macro-level overview of project progress, particularly beneficial for large organisations with multiple teams working on different aspects of a project.

Project tools enhance visibility and transparency, allowing team members to monitor each other’s progress and dependencies.

They also support rapid feedback loops, needed to establish a culture of continuous improvement, aligning with the core principles of DevOps.

Different project teams may require other tools tailored to their specific functions and workflows. For example, product teams often use road mapping tools to plan, prioritise, and track features.

In contrast, development teams might rely on version control systems to manage code changes and collaboration platforms for code reviews and discussions.

Therefore, the choice of tools can vary widely, encompassing collaboration, project management, automation, and monitoring tools to streamline processes and improve visibility across the entire development and deployment pipeline.  

Communicate constantly and efficiently

To prevent miscommunication later on, involve the entire team and stakeholders in the decision-making process from the beginning of a project.

For example, it’s common for product teams to set product vision and requirements without consulting development and engineering teams. However, since developers build the product, they need to be involved early on to prioritise the right product features.

Complex projects typically cover many components, making it challenging for teams to maintain full visibility over all aspects. Nonetheless, many critical decisions require collaborative input from various teams. Every team member must be encouraged to actively participate, provide feedback, and share updates on their progress.

This collaborative environment helps identify potential obstacles early and swiftly address them to keep the project on track.

Set KPIs and metrics to track performance

Setting appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics to track progress is an inevitable step to align team efforts with the business objectives outlined at the project’s onset.

These metrics serve as vital tools for making informed, data-driven decisions that optimise products and enhance team performance in the short and long term.

Teams should establish a complex set of metrics that reflect their specific needs and measure different aspects of efficiency.

Productivity metrics, such as velocity and cycle time, are commonly used to boost the development process’s efficiency.

Customer-centric metrics, including customer satisfaction scores and net promoter scores, help teams understand user engagement and satisfaction levels.

Find expert insights from the Senior Project Manager at Altamira on leading diverse and dynamic development teams.

Additionally, DevOps-specific metrics like the DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) metrics can provide valuable insights into software delivery performance, deployment frequency, and operational stability for teams implementing DevOps practices.

This data-driven approach enables teams to respond effectively to any challenges or opportunities that arise, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and delivering better outcomes for the business and its customers. 

How these best practices will impact your projects?

Adopting software development best practices can significantly improve project outcomes.

These practices ensure that your code is scalable, efficient, and maintainable and reduce the risk of errors and security vulnerabilities.   

Besides, incorporating agile methodologies will make your team more adaptable to changing requirements while improving communication and collaboration.

Automated testing and regular code reviews will facilitate identifying and fixing errors early in the development cycle, significantly reducing the number of bugs in the final product.

Additionally, using version control systems like Git will streamline code management collaboration among developers by providing a centralised repository for code changes and facilitating code reviews.

By adhering to secure software development best practices, you can produce software that is not only of higher quality and more reliable but also easier to maintain over the long term.

These practices ensure that your team is united by the common goal of delivering a successful project that meets or exceeds stakeholder expectations while adhering to industry standards and best practices.

How we can help you?

At Altamira, we provide dedicated development teams for every need. Validate and structure ideas, conduct code reviews, build web and mobile apps from scratch, or launch your unique digital product with minimal investment to test your idea on the market.

Selected expertise:

  • Resource optimisation  
  • Project-oriented approach  
  • Cost-efficiency  
  • Team scalability 
  • The biggest tech talent pool 


Do you need a reliable software development team? Contact us

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