Every software team is driven by deadlines, deliverables and milestones. There are times when the pressure gets so much that it becomes difficult to work cohesively as a team. The following six challenges affect software development teams in all organizations at one time or another - these need to be addressed carefully.
1) Pressure from Stakeholders
Stakeholders are the people and businesses that influence or support an initiative, usually because they benefit from it. Software teams end up working with multiple stakeholders, who may have conflicting requests regarding what needs to be done and when. Lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities at this level can result in a lot of miscommunication and conflicts which ultimately affect productivity.
2) Getting Estimates Right
Estimating is a science in itself. It's not just about taking time to understand the business requirement, but also allowing for some buffer because things tend to get more complex as you go ahead with implementation. Software teams are often forced to meet unrealistic deadlines, following which they find it difficult to deliver the promised results within the expected time period.
3) Not Understanding the Business Requirements
Technical teams need to understand what exactly is being asked of them before they can estimate or agree on a deadline. There are times when software managers assume that their team members have all the basic understanding of the business, leading to miscommunication and increasing conflict between both parties.
4) Managing Multiple Projects at Once
Software teams who are working on multiple projects simultaneously can end up feeling overwhelmed, leading to confusion and conflict. To add to the challenge, stakeholders from each project may have conflicting requests in terms of what needs to be done and when. This happens a lot with small development teams which work with a limited number of projects - they simply cannot handle everything.
5) Dealing with Emergencies
Every now and then, there are requests that come in from the business which need to be resolved right away. This is because of critical bugs or business needs that have become more urgent than they were originally expected to be. Software teams need to figure out how important these emergency issues are before committing to them - otherwise it could snowball into a major conflict.
6) Dealing with Distractions and Interruptions
A lot of times, software managers and team members themselves don't know the best way to organize and manage tasks. There are always distractions at work, which can significantly reduce productivity if not addressed correctly. Some of these include social media, phone calls and meetings. Software teams should work towards identifying the best ways to handle all of these distractions in order to avoid conflicts with other team members or stakeholders.
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