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Best Practices To Speed Up Your Financial Software Development
In today’s competitive landscape, software development teams are constantly pressured to accelerate their deliverables. Some of the pressure may arise from the ambition to be the first to introduce a new feature and gain a significant competitive advantage. In other cases, the pressure can steam from the fear of competitors getting ahead.
Regardless of the underlying reasons, it’s essential to have strategies in place to increase your team’s productivity without compromising code quality or security. In this article, we’ll share the tried-and-true techniques we’ve employed for multiple financial institutions pressing to expedite their time-to-market.
Elements affecting the speed of financial software development
In the fast-paced realm of financial software development, clearly understanding the factors influencing development speed can significantly impact project success. Now, let’s delve into the essential elements that can either drive or impede the progress of your project.
- Technical: The technical and design challenges can encompass various aspects, such as third-party integration, intricate software architecture, etc. Factors such as the expected system load, user volume, and other variables also contribute to these challenges.
- Requirement: As a rule of thumb, clear and well-defined requirements facilitate faster progress, while statements that don't give enough information can impede development speed.
|Poor requirement||There must be a method of authentication|
|Good requirement||User must have the option to sign up via phone number, email and password to access the account|
- Structure: The involvement of multiple stakeholders, workflows, resources and other components in product development can pose difficulty in coordination, management and control.
The human element plays a crucial role in the progress of software development projects. Despite having a skilled development team, human limitations can introduce various challenges. One of the significant challenges stems from the possibility of human error, resulting in project delays, rework and increased costs. Moreover, the risk of burnout among developers can impact their productivity. Incorporating feedback and implementing changes can also consume valuable time, further impeding project delivery.
Maintaining the right balance between high-quality code and tight deadlines can be likened to walking a tightrope. While it may be tempting to cut corners, compromising code quality can lead to adverse outcomes in the long run. The repercussions of addressing errors and undertaking refactoring at a later stage can be significantly more arduous and expensive.
The team’s collective performance relies on each team member’s contribution. For instance, inadequate qualified personnel can result in errors that lead to delays. In contrast, when every team member possesses the necessary skills, experience, project-specific knowledge, motivation and actively collaborates with others, the team can work more efficiently and expedite project completion.
Strategies to enhance your financial software development
In financial software development, there are instances where factors like project scope and timelines are fixed and can’t be easily altered. However, you can still ensure top-notch quality and maintain your team’s well-being even in such situations. With our proven approach, which prioritizes both speed and quality, you can confidently deliver exceptional software on schedule.
1. Set work-in-progress limits
Nowadays, the majority of financial software development pipelines adhere to project management methodologies like Kanban or Scrum. Even those that don’t strictly follow these methodologies often incorporate elements of a Kanban-style board to track the progress of project tasks across different stages.
These WIP items serve as a valuable tool for managers to monitor their team’s progress and assess their capacity to take on additional work.
However, these tend to give rise to scope creep, where the project’s defined scope expands rapidly. In such situations, team members may resort to multitasking, jumping between multiple WIP items in an attempt to clear the backlog. Unfortunately, this can result in a remarkable slowdown in the team’s pace and an increased likelihood of errors creeping into the code.
Contrary to popular belief among programmers, humans aren’t adept at multitasking. Hence, implementing strict limits on the number of WIP items allowed in each workflow stage is a practical approach to achieving this. This ensures that team members don’t take on an excessive workload, enabling them to focus better and accomplish more tasks in less time.
2. Maximize the use of automation
Automation is an invaluable ally in accelerating financial software development. By automating tasks that are typically performed manually, your team can dedicate their efforts to more complex work while also reducing the chances of errors or delays. Here are some key areas where automation can greatly enhance efficiency
- Workflow automation tools: they can help simplify various tasks, including issue tracking, project management, code review and software release process.
- Secrets management: By centralizing and automating access provisioning and revocation processes, development teams can reduce bottlenecks as they no longer need a dedicated person to manage systems and data access when dealing with multiple servers and containers.
- Automated testing: given the data-sensitivity nature of finance, testing is extremely essential, but it often consumes time and introduces the possibility of human error. This is where automated testing tools come into play. By leveraging these tools, your team can identify issues more swiftly and accurately, considerably reducing the need for manual testing
- CI/CD pipeline: In conjunction with automation testing, this development practice entitles developers to merge their code changes into a shared repository multiple times per day or week. Each check-in undergoes automated build verification, facilitating early detection of any issues.
3. Generate a comprehensive roadmap and stick to it
To maintain a smooth workflow in a development team’s work pipeline, managers need to create a detailed development roadmap for the project before initiating work. The roadmap should outline the critical steps and assign specific tasks to team members at the outset.
Unfortunately, many rush through this planning phase, believing that time spent on planning rather than coding is wasted. Nevertheless, this perception is far from accurate. By making key decisions in advance, the team can facilitate a steady workflow without interruptions. Additionally, the roadmap creation process often reveals potential obstacles that could otherwise bring the project to a halt.
4. Circumvent technical debt
Experienced developers who have worked on complex financial software projects are well aware that unexpected code problems can always pop up during the development process, often without straightforward solutions.
To quickly progress, development teams sometimes opt for quick fixes, accumulating technical debt that can have detrimental effects on the project in the long term.
If overall development speed is your objective, it’s advisable to invest time in finding proper solutions for these issues. Even if it requires occasional pauses in the development process, this approach will ultimately save more time in the long run. This is because the actual repercussions of taking shortcuts may not become apparent until later stages of development, when rectifying them becomes highly challenging, if not impossible.
Indeed, there’s no such thing as a perfect roadmap that foresees the problems. With that being said, the 4 strategies outlined above can empower your development team to make consistent and rapid advancements on projects, minimizing unexpected delays.
With 14 years of experience in software development, KMS Solutions has had the privilege of collaborating with multiple financial institutions to assist them in accelerating their development progress with dedicated software development teams proficient in automation testing and CI/CD.
If you’re looking for ways to take product development up a notch, our experts are happy to help. Get in touch with us today to unlock the full potential of your projects.