There are many myths and false assumptions that continue to loom around software development. Even though the first programming language, Fortran, was created in 1957 and the World Wide Web has eclipsed the quarter-century mark, software development is still viewed as some sort of dark magic, thus making people hesitant to embrace new technology. There are also lots of myths out there which prevent us from fully comprehending how business processes can be automated or improved by top quality programming which can lead to significant time and cost savings.
Let’s consider ten of these myths that need to be challenged in the name of improving business efficiency.
1. Software Development Comes with a Hefty Price Tag
Perhaps this is the most popular myth about software development. It is because of this myth companies do not harness the potential that custom software can provide which can improve their organization’s efficiency. Instead, they opt for purchasing some “one size fits all” solution which, of course, doesn’t fit their requirements and they have to find other means to work around it.
Also, consider the investment loss if the company outgrows the software and it just becomes unworkable. If you combine this with hidden costs such as upgrade fees, licensing and support costs, custom software doesn’t seem so expensive.
2. Users Have No Idea what they Know what they Want
Even though there conversely exists a myth that customers have no idea what they want until you show them, regardless, software companies need to be both product oriented and customer oriented as long as they consider the speed of delivery to be important. Wise businesses don’t simply focus on creating a top-notch, most innovative product on the market, but they also strive to deliver the best solution to the consumer, that provides market success. Doing no market research and not listening to your customers is simply not an option. Read also: How DevOps Delivers Cool Apps to Users.
3. The Waterfall Method Still Works
You would be amazed at the number of people who still believe that a system can be specified in detail, before you even build it. Not only is this almost impossible, but it is also inefficient to execute the development process in a sequence. While there also exists a myth that Agile lacks any planning whatsoever, the fact of the matter is that planning is just as necessary to the effectiveness of Agile as it is to Waterfall, but the difference is in the way the planning is done.
Waterfall promotes planning before building at the very beginning of the project that poses a lot of constraints in the flexibility and adaptation. Conversely, Agile allows for ongoing planning mechanism where changes and adjustments are made as the project goes along in an iterative manner.
4. The More, the Merrier
Unfortunately, a myth exists that adding people to a development team makes it better and speeds up delivery. However, adding more people to a project tends to prolong the project’s timeframe and causes friction due to issues in training and collaboration.
5. Software Development has a Fixed Cost and Strict Timeframe
Going back to the Waterfall approach, it is simply not possible to detail out the software before building it. Even though a lot of companies are lured in by the fixed price model, they must also remember that there are some hidden costs associated with it in terms of quality and additional costs incurred as the project goes beyond the projected time boundaries.
6. There’s Always a “Magic Bullet”
Just like the old adage “A bad worker blames his tools”, many people believe that they are missing some state-of-the-art tool which will solve all of their problems and produce magnificent results. When building high-quality software, the utmost importance should be given to critical innovative thinking, agility and skillset. Having the best technologies is just the icing on the cake.
7. When the Software is Released, the Projects is Over
As soon as the product is released, the focus should be on receiving feedback from the users and incorporating this feedback into an iterative approach back into the product. There needs to be an ongoing process of improvement and revisions along with testing for bugs in order to provide the customer with the best quality product.
8. A Requirement of Agile is that Product Owners and Developers Work in a Single Location
Thanks to modern communication technology, distributed teams can use collaborative tools such as e-mail, shared calendars, instant messengers, screen sharing, audio and video conferencing and many others to work together and stay up to date. Nowadays companies have access to a wide array of communication tools that are widely accessible and readily available thus allowing remote developers to work seamlessly.
9. Outsourcing Solves Everything
Plain old outsourcing can create a far worse problem than you initially had. Software vendors should start thinking about establishing long-term relationships and engaging in a dedicated team model instead of fixed cost projects which lead to incomplete deliverables, frustration and high overhead costs.
10. Outsourcing Means Compromising Quality
When done properly, in a well-researched manner, outsourcing can provide you with better code and an outstanding product. When you go offshore, you gain access to a wide talent pool which has the industry expertise that you have been struggling to fill in-house. Do not hesitate to explore new strategies!