Do you need help with your software development backlog?
By Ann Mooney
In the world of software engineering, a backlog often presents daunting challenges. Piled-up software development projects or neglected updates seem to stretch out tentacles that take hold of other operational issues, often causing team members significant stress. Holding out for the perfect hire can cause a company already treading water in its day-to-day functions to become even further stuck.
Qualified IT talent is at a premium today. In its most recent State of Software Engineers report, the job-matching marketplace Hired observed a rising call for engineers. With businesses increasing their creativity with distribution, it said, software engineering talent is more in demand than ever.
This is great news for software engineers, but it means challenges for organizations looking to decrease backlogged software development work. If you represent a company with the goal of completing a backlog, the scales aren’t completely tipped against you. Help from an outside organization can go a long way in making the load manageable. Read on for solutions that don’t involve a lengthy hiring process.
Software Development Project Outsourcing
As technology evolves, organizations also must decide how to evolve and do business differently. Operations issues bubble up with these variations, and companies sometimes need new project strategies. Organizations sometimes need help thinking of a roadmap, and strategic technology consulting can help. An outside IT agency can get to know a business technically and bolster it with a software design that the original organization’s team carries out. Support might come in the form of architecture and development or management of only certain operations. A more turnkey software solution might include an ideation-to-delivery scenario in which IT supplemental team members perform all the open tasks.
An organization reached out for assistance beyond its walls not long ago and found help in developing a new platform for a system that provides online information on vehicle pricing. The platform’s original design did not allow for scaling, and it needed more systematic publishing and data distribution mechanisms. The company asked for support on a new design that allowed editors ready access to the analytics and data they needed through a more automated system, resulting in a powerful human-machine combination with better functionality, which enhanced the user experience. During the scrum and agile processes, the assisting organization mentored team members from the original company’s development team.
This collaborative process led to a continuation of outside agency’s involvement in management of multiple channels for this company with an eye toward growth and greater efficiency.
IT Supplemental Staffing
IT Supplemental staffing is handy when you have a strategy in place but don’t want to hire anyone for the short term. An outside company can come in and assist on design, development and implementation of a software development project, allowing you to circumvent the prolonged process of bringing in even one full-time employee, let alone a team. The work will have an immediate impact, and you can expect hours of prep time instead of the weeks it would take to bring on permanent staff.
Sometimes, you’ll have a strategy and plan in place and simply need more staff to carry those things out. You might find yourself down two backend developers. Or maybe you need Java engineers or mobile engineers for a certain portion of a project. This type of situation is where an outside company can send team members in quickly and produce an immediate impact. When you have a list of a thousand things to do, but your existing team can only get to 300, it’s just a fact that you’re going to need some help — and quickly.
One company that recently employed this strategy saw hundreds of thousands of man-hours saved, along with an increased ability to continue growing. The organization processes credit card payments in an end-to-end format, so they’re handling merchant transactions, along with associated fees. They had varied needs that related to software solutions and staffing. They also needed to automate what was then a manual process to establish that outside vendors were correctly observing credit card regulations.
The software solutions necessary to their online evolution were mechanisms that would allow them to host payments in branded format, giving the process a more native feel for customers, and they also needed a tool for electronic invoices.
This company offered a broad range of solutions for its customers, and its leaders realized they needed a boost from outside their own workforce to brace their existing infrastructure and processes. They found help in contracting with an outside agency to install two complete scrum teams made up of Java engineers and quality assurance engineers and scrum masters. The professionals on these teams worked on a contract basis in conjunction with the existing full-time employees. And with an eye toward the future, the payment processing company worked with the outside agency on finding permanent staff. Finally, they continued working with the agency to automate their cumbersome manual compliance process and moved ever closer to their goal of saving time and staff energy.
Moving Forward with Your Software Backlog
The pitfalls of having a growing software development backlog are evident. The extra work can be daunting for existing team members who already have full plates or aren’t sure where to start strategically. And a backlog can negatively affect an organization which simply lacks the qualified staff to handle the work.
Two of the most significant relief mechanisms involving outside agencies, software development project outsourcing and supplemental IT staffing, can go a long way in alleviating these pressures. If you’ve realized your company needs help with the operational issues that come with a changing business landscape, technical consulting in a software development project outsourcing capacity can allow you to implement innovative architecture or see a project completed from its beginning stages.
Supplemental IT staffing allows a business to put its own strategy into play without the complications that come with hiring long-term employees. Specialized software engineers from an outside company can reduce a software development backlog in a relatively short time frame, saving man-hours and allowing a business to work toward growth.
If your software development backlog causes your business to land in a position where either of these scenarios would be beneficial, consider starting software solutions-based talks with an outside company. Reducing software development backlogged work will lessen a multitude of stressors and allow your organization to move forward and in turn, grow your business and better service your customers.
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Ann MooneyDirector of Business Development
Ann Mooney is the Director of Business Development at SOLTECH, and has over 30 years in Sales and Account Management in the Technology, Telecommunications, and Medical Industries. Ann’s key specialties are building long-term business relationships, results-driven sales, and account management.
Ann joined SOLTECH in 2016, she works directly with SOLTECH’s clients to help find them the best technology solutions for their business. Ann utilizes her strategic leadership and proactive problem-solving skills to continually grow SOLTECH’s business and ensure excellent customer service.
With her years of experience in the technology industry, Ann likes to share her expertise to educate her audience on the enhancement of workplace productivity and growth through software solutions in her articles. Her insights offer advice on important considerations for creating custom software, including initial steps, development costs, and timelines, as well as the advantages of collaborating with a skilled software development team.