1. Become agile
Agile software development requires the collaborative effort of self-organising teams. Teams that forgo the traditional waterfall project management structure that can create business silos and slow down development. Instead, agile teams are cross-functional, with different roles working together (e.g. development, QA, etc.). This fosters a shared sense of responsibility for the end product.
Initially, experts believed that agile methodologies were only suitable for small scale projects. However, it is now widely accepted that agile can be scaled to be used effectively in larger projects. And, agile’s ability to meet business needs makes it perfect for growing businesses that need to respond to the challenges of scalability.
For example, by determining the priority of features, your team understands what is most important to the business, and can focus on those jobs that provide the most business value. And, because agile development is iterative, features can be developed and delivered incrementally to a set timescale and cost. This means projects can be released early and start to deliver ROI quicker without any increase in resource.
2. Build a distributed software team
Finding the right talent is one of the biggest challenges facing growing businesses today. Demand is outstripping the market and not every company can (or wants to!) offer above-average salaries and benefits. However, help is at hand and the distributed software team could provide the answer.
Allowing you to augment your existing resource – whether generalist of specialist – building a distributed team lets you access a pool of global talent; often with more favourable salary expectations;leading to increased ROI and productivity.
However, managing a distributed software team doesn’t come without its share of challenges. And you still have to provide the necessary infrastructure and technology to your remote employees. So, when it comes to building a distributed team – rather than hiring employees or freelancers – savvy businesses often turn to outsourcing.
Getting everything done without putting an excessive burden on your existing team can be tricky. In response, outsourcing lets you scale up and down fast depending on your development requirements. And you don’t have to worry about letting people go once the project is over.
Outsourcing is a great option when you are building a distributed team due to a lack of internal skills or being overloaded with projects. Compellingly, the cost of outsourced software development is also less than maintaining an internal or disparate development team as you convert a permanent fixed cost (salaries) into a variable cost (project fees or retainer fees).
4. Get your finances in order
According to Harvard Business Review, one in six IT initiatives is a “black swan” with cost overruns of 200%. With budgetary pressures even tighter for growing businesses, having a realistic view of your bottom line is a must.
In any development project, you must accept that change will occur and allocate budget and time contingency to deliver your features on plan. This includes taking the possibility of missed deadlines, coding errors, QA, staff changes, technical issues, etc. into consideration. However, when you outsource your software development; you’re able to access a range of financing options, including fixed fees against a set deliverable. This lets you save on operational overheads while scaling up your resource.
5. Put the right technology and processes in place
Managing disparate teams requires open communication and technology that fits the job. For example, if you are adopting an agile approach, keeping in touch through tools such as video conferencing and project management software is a must. Likewise, what can be automated should be automated as this lets team members put their effort into high-impact work rather than mundane processes.