Suppose you have already started a partnership with a software company and want to track the progress of your project. Despite your extensive knowledge of development procedures, you need help in measuring project progress and assessing whether your project is moving in the right direction.
We want to assist you in identifying all of the red flags and poor practices that are preventing you from developing a fantastic product. After reading our post, you'll understand how the ideal collaboration and performance measurement should work, and if yours might be better, you'll know how to make it so.
Measuring project progress to create the perfect collaboration
Product development is a complex and sophisticated process that differs from one software company to another. Some project teams use Agile development, which favors cross-functionality and collaboration between individual tasks. Others prefer to develop by the waterfall method, following a predetermined project framework and timeline in which parts of the project are handled sequentially.
But regardless of the method, your software development partner must meet certain criteria that must be met in order for you to release an outstanding mobile app before the deadline and within budget. Let's take a look at the different aspects of project tracking to determine what the ideal collaboration between the project manager and development team should look like and what practices you should avoid at all costs.
Project management and team collaboration
In the ideal world of mobile software development, project management and collaboration between the backend and mobile teams is seamless and continuous. They plan each feature together, provide detailed schematics, and prepare APIs. It's immediately apparent that both teams get along well and challenges each other to do a successful project.
However, it's a worrying sign when the teams work independently of each other and only gets in touch when something doesn't work out. Also, if you notice that any suggestion for change is seen as a hostile attack, that's a big red flag. Every team member should be looking in the same direction and striving for the best overall project outcome.
Defining requirements and setting goals
When discussing new features and plans for the project, the team questions, warns and examines security issues to find extreme cases before development begins and to plan how to avoid them. If a technical problem arises, they suggest workarounds solve it and ensure that the software works properly. The development team can evaluate your vision from both a technical and business perspective, forcing you to rethink your ideas. Can you go along with that? If yes, you can sleep well because the progress of your project is going just fine.
The problem arises when developers accept the requirements as they are without checking them out. Suppose you rarely hear questions about the functionality of an application. In that case, you should be wary because this can indicate a lack of interest and only a superficial understanding of the project's requirements. This can increase the number of bugs and errors that occur along the way, delaying the deployment of the application.
UI /UX development
The user interface is the most crucial element of any application. A well-designed interface is a competitive advantage because it allows you to convert temporary visitors into regular users. When developing the visual layer of your app, you should get lots of suggestions on what can be improved or fixed to achieve better results. Moreover, your team should offer ready-made solutions that will allow you to reduce the development time of the whole project and save some financial resources.
However, your team may offer no improvements and, even worse, ignores problems once you ask them to fix them. The lack of engagement and "not my area of expertise" attitude on your development team should serve as a wake-up call. After all, you're paying for full commitment and expect cutting-edge solutions.
You should take a closer look at some of the development procedures to examine how they are fine-tuned and automated and whether they are automated at all. Why is this important? Creating a robust CI/CD will streamline the deployment process, saving time and reducing the risk of problems. Your application is constantly changing, including configuration changes, bug fixes, or integration of new features, and doing it manually each time would be time-consuming.
If your team is releasing daily versions of applications using basic Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery settings, your project is in good hands. However, if there is no automation, you should be aware of potential delays in distributing DEV builds.
Good communication is essential for mutual understanding, so ensure your development partner is doing everything you can to gauge progress and keep both parties on the same page. How do you check for this? In an ideal collaboration, you are always informed about the project's status and know where you stand on the timeline. What's more, you are familiar with a detailed plan that includes every step of the development process and a strategy for reaching milestones. All potential problems are recognized and clearly outlined, so you are aware of possible risks.
This is how it should be, but it's only sometimes the case. You should be wary if your team seems to be building features chaotically, constantly changing their plans, and failing to keep up with project reporting. The lack of regular progress updates and reports on implemented solutions can take away your control over project management and cause it to deviate from the original framework.
Inadequate explanation of project goals
Setting expectations correctly from the beginning of the collaboration can save you a lot of time and headaches later on. It makes everything simple and transparent, leaving no room for misconceptions and false reasoning about product requirements.
So now you're not satisfied with how things are going in the project. But are you sure you've specified all the details you need to build your dream app? Remember that we often miss obvious points but can shed new light on specific issues for others. In the case of app design, it is preferable to communicate more information than is necessary to maintain the proper flow of the software development procedure. Only complete specificity leads to clarity and understanding between you and the team, decreased confidence in each other's actions, and reduced productivity.
Narrow project concepts
Can you understand the solution to a poem by reading only an excerpt? Of course not. Knowing only a tiny part of the whole ballad can distort its meaning and lead to wrong conclusions. The same thing happens with software development. Project owners often need to see the point in sharing detailed plans for future application development with the team, which is a big mistake.
Understanding what lies ahead allows developers to prepare the architecture, tools, and code itself for changes and extensions. We need to know that bugs in the system architecture are the most expensive because they require general refactoring to fix. Assuming this will be a challenging situation, we recommend sharing the big picture with your development team at the earliest opportunity.
You've checked several of the red flags in the list above. You've even spent your time and tried the suggested solutions, but nothing has changed. The team is still unable to provide new features. You have no idea what the status of the project is. Everything seems unclear or, at worst, the quality of the product is really low. It may be time to take further steps, which we'll discuss in the next part.