9 Reasons Why App Development Requires Visibility for Success
9 Reasons Why App Development Requires Visibility for Success by Nicole Sharon Schultz
Visibility is critical for app development, and it can make or break a project. Boosting visibility in app development is important to stakeholders—all departments on the team, and even your end users—but if you feel like you’re often working in a silo, you’re not alone. As many as 39% of employees worldwide feel that people in their organization don’t collaborate enough. The good news is that many of the issues poor transparency creates, such as lack of communication, can be avoided.
Transparency in your development process promotes accountability, improves internal and external communication, demonstrates continual progress, and helps drive efficiency, resource allocation, and cost savings. But bringing transparency into your development process is often easier said than done.
Here’s why transparency throughout the application development life cycle is so important, how teams can build a more transparent application development process, and why agile development models offer significant visibility benefits.
Why is transparency in app development important?
Transparency can be the deciding factor in a project’s success. Here are some reasons why it’s especially crucial in application development.
1. Helps with planning
Proper transparency allows you to plan more efficiently. With a better understanding of end goals, teams can strategize around a variety of factors, such as resource capacity, availability of third parties, and requirements research. Who doesn’t want to kick off every application development project strong out of the gate?
2. Improves communication
Application development requires strong communication, especially between project teams and stakeholders/end users. Breaking down silos opens up feedback loops between team members and stakeholders, and that means useful input is received sooner and more often, boosting efficiency.
3. Encourages trust and collaboration across departments
When all departments have insight into how a project is progressing, trust remains strong. Visibility in collaborative efforts can increase team morale, and when hiccups do arise, team members will be able to jump in to help more quickly if they have insight into the state of the project as it progresses.
4. Demonstrates continual progress
Transparency makes it easier to push continual progress toward end goals with the option of nimbly shifting the project’s direction if requirements change. End-to-end visibility can help keep your projects advancing consistently and eliminate surprises that could put launch deadlines in jeopardy.
5. Reduces risk
Delivering an incorrect or underdeveloped product or feature is a risk with application development, but when the entire team has continuous transparency into the full process, issues can be quickly identified, potentially even before they happen. Transparency promotes flexibility, enabling teams to course-correct and adjust deadlines, budget, scope, and other factors with minimal impact on the tempo of the development process.
6. Boosts user insights
Better transparency into your app development means quality assurance (QA) engineers can gain a better understanding of the user’s perspective and what critical aspects to look for during testing. Without alignment on these points across teams, your project could reach the end stages before you realize it’s missed the mark, leaving you with lost time, resources, and money.
7. Surfaces blockers in real time
When departments have open lines of communication and visibility into who is working on what, issues can be identified and fixed as they surface rather than remaining unresolved until later on in the testing phase. This helps to keep projects on track and enables team members to address any issues that may arise before those issues can cause further holdups.
8. Enforces accountability
Knowing who is responsible for what and when is critical to ensuring accountability in application development. When team members understand how their progress (or lack thereof) impacts others, it can motivate them to get the work done and alert the team if there are any issues. Additionally, when everyone is aware of who is handling what, it can encourage team recognition of individuals for a job well done.
9. Brings the bigger picture into focus
It can be hard to see how everyday work connects to the bigger picture, but transparency makes this easier. When each team member can see how their small piece fits into the project as a whole, it can increase their motivation and emphasize the importance of their work to the project’s success.
6 ways teams can promote a more transparent application development process
It can be easy for the application development process to become segmented, with departments working in silos. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to bring more visibility into the development process.
- Daily meetings: Host recurring, daily meetings to keep everyone on track and aware of any changes to the timeline.
- Project management tools: Make project management tools viewable for everyone who might need them so that the team can work iteratively and stay flexible when designs or guidelines change.
- Product roadmaps: Publish product roadmaps so that all departments have visibility into deadlines.
- Public unit testing: Make the unit testing process public. The more eyes you can get on the app during the testing phase, the more hiccups can be addressed and user experiences can be improved before the launch, building your company’s brand reputation and customer experience.
- Weekly or monthly metrics reporting: Publish or announce weekly or monthly metrics on project progress, defects detected, defects resolved, etc.
- Visible release schedule: Publish the release schedule, as chaos can take hold if teams are kept in the dark about when the project at hand is set to be completed.
How Agile development models inherently improve visibility
Agile frameworks promote greater visibility for everyone involved in an app development project. Here are a few examples of the benefits of Agile development models.
Holding standup meetings gives attendees insight into what’s being accomplished every day and any blockers on the horizon. Short, relevant meetings of this kind can increase motivation, communication, and morale in agile development models.
With sprint planning, you can guarantee that everyone knows what will need to be brought to the table and when so that the right features are finished in time. All teams must share updates to promote transparency. When everyone is aligned, the risk of the project missing the end goal is significantly reduced.
Scrum and Kanban boards can be huge boons to transparency in agile development models. They show what work is on every team member’s plate, what work is coming up next, and what can be reprioritized if requirements change or an emergency comes up.
Part of transparency means having the necessary insight to set realistic expectations. Burndown charts reveal how much workload teams can handle so that application development planning can become more accurate and smoother over time.
Sprint demos can support continuous delivery and display the work that the team completes during sprints. Demos allow teams to make course corrections quickly and easily, and because sprints normally last two weeks and occur back-to-back, course corrections are often small, but they can do a lot to mitigate further losses of time and resources.
Every project has mistakes, but retrospectives offer an opportunity for continuous improvement and better transparency in agile development models. They can help your team ensure that the same mistakes don’t happen repeatedly and give you a chance to gather feedback from important stakeholders.
Laying the groundwork for greater transparency
Increased visibility in your application development process can offer many benefits, from better communication and collaboration to reduced risk and improved accountability. Promoting greater transparency in your process is easy with agile development models, and it can help you deliver more successful projects and build a more powerful brand.
With the right technology, you can increase your application development transparency, streamline processes, and create an agile environment. Set your team up for success by establishing the right expectations, laying the groundwork for visibility, and selecting the right tools for support.