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Software Development - Efficiency Enhancement Strategies you should avoid

Part II

This is the third and final post in my series on software development strategies that companies should avoid and it will be focused on team strategies and proper working environment.


1. A larger team doesn’t necessarily mean increased productivity – This is another common mistake that many software development companies make. It’s such a common one because it’s along the same line of reasoning as the “more hours = more productivity” strategy. While the latter fails to provide long term results because of fatigue, when it comes to team sizes, the culprit for decreased productivity is an entirely different one.
As many of you probably suspect already, the main obstacle for larger teams is assuring proper communication. Anything larger than a 10 man team and you got yourself a problem on your hands. Tests have shown that when it comes to software development, the magical number is somewhere between 4 and 8 members. If you go over or lower than this, the software development process will surely have to suffer.


2. Separating employees so they don’t get distracted – This is another bad habit of software development companies. Cubicles are an excellent example here. Not long ago, every time someone mentioned programmers, cubicles were the first thing that popped into people’s mind as far as the working environment was concerned.
Of course, the basic idea behind these small unattractive boxes is complete focus and absolutely no interference from the outside world. However, when it comes to today’s agile software development method, team cohesion is vital. This is why the best possible working environment for you team should be a large room with solid walls (not glass ones) that also features easy access to smaller rooms for private talks and brainstorming.

 
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