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by Striped Giraffe Team
15. April 2024
Time to read: 14 Minutes
Software Development

Mastering software delivery: Overcoming development hurdles

For enterprises looking to thrive in an ever-evolving technological world, refining software development and delivery is more than an improvement; it is a necessity for efficiency, agility, and staying ahead of competitors.

In this article, we take a closer look at common challenges in software delivery, identify factors that affect them and recommend appropriate solutions. Please note that these suggestions only provide a rough overview. In practice, the software delivery process must be considered and evaluated individually in each company.

Inefficient development processes

Lengthy development cycles can delay new features, causing missed market opportunities. This inefficiency often stems from inadequate planning, poor project management, or using inadequate development methodologies.

Our recommendations:

  • Consider adopting an iterative development approach, such as Agile or Scrum, to break down development tasks into smaller, manageable units. This allows for more frequent releases and faster feedback loops, enabling the team to respond quickly to changes and deliver value incrementally. However, do it in a wise way, that is, embrace only these aspects of Agile that truly fit your organization. Blindly following a methodology can be counterproductive.
  • Use techniques like MoSCoW (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have) to prioritize features based on their importance and potential impact. Focus on delivering high-value features first to achieve quick wins and maintain momentum in the development process.
  • Implement Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines to streamline the development workflow, reduce manual errors, and allow for faster and more reliable delivery of features to production.
  • Invest in robust project management practices and tools to ensure clear communication, efficient resource allocation, and timely resolution of issues. Regularly review project progress, identify bottlenecks, and adjust plans accordingly to keep the development process on track.
  • Measure where you waste the most time and energy. Try to figure out what the cause of the problem is – whether processes, tools, or perhaps human factors are to blame.
Software delivery optimization

Insufficient testing and quality assurance

Skipping thorough testing phases or having inadequate quality assurance can lead to frequent and critical bugs. This not only impacts the user experience but also requires additional resources for post-deployment fixes.

Our recommendations:

  • Identify the critical components of your system and prioritize building test automation around them. This allows developers and teams to receive quick feedback on the functionality that matters most, ensuring that core features are working as expected.
  • While test automation is crucial for detecting bugs early, it is important to strike a balance between the effort required to maintain test automation and the benefits it provides. Monitor the effectiveness of your test automation efforts and adjust them as needed to ensure that the time spent maintaining tests is proportionate to the value they deliver in identifying and preventing bugs.
  • Recognize the importance of quality assurance (QA) and incorporate it as a fundamental part of your software development processes. Define a clear strategy for the role of QA in your organization, outlining responsibilities, processes, and expectations to ensure that quality is maintained throughout the development lifecycle.
  • Establish quality gates at key stages of your software development pipeline to ensure that only high-quality code progresses to the next phase.
  • Develop a clear strategy for managing test environments and data to support effective testing and quality assurance activities. Ensure that test environments accurately mirror production environments, and that test data is representative and sufficient for comprehensive testing.
  • It is important to be pragmatic. The more professional the developers, the less testing can be required. Quality assurance is very important but does not have to be exaggerated with high-quality and experienced employees. The right balance is crucial for a good cost-benefit ratio.

Lack of clear requirements and scope creep

Incomplete or ambiguous project requirements coupled with frequent changes can result in scope creep, where project boundaries expand beyond initial assumptions. This not only leads to delays in delivery but also increases costs and strains resources as teams struggle to accommodate evolving demands.

Our recommendations:

  • Work closely with all stakeholders to define and document project requirements as early as possible. Encourage them to provide detailed and specific requirements to minimize ambiguity and prevent misunderstandings later in the project lifecycle.
  • Involve stakeholders in all stages of the project, from requirement gathering to testing and deployment. Encourage active participation and collaboration to ensure that the final product meets their expectations and business needs.
  • Establish formal change control procedures to manage and approve changes to project scope. Any proposed changes should undergo an evaluation to assess their impact on the project timeline, budget, and resources before approval. However, do not overcomplicate the process. Sometimes immediate implementation of a change is less resource-intensive than lengthy deliberations about priorities, costs or timelines.
  • By breaking projects down into smaller iterations (as described above), you can set priorities gradually and adapt to changing requirements. This helps you to avoid negative effects on the schedule or budget.

Poor collaboration and communication

Ineffective communication within the team and with external stakeholders can lead to misunderstandings and errors. Collaboration is key in agile and iterative development processes.

Our recommendations:

  • Transparency is the key here. Actually, transparency in a project can be the cure for many more pains than just communication challenges. So do not be afraid to bring all impediments and issues to the table. Awareness helps solve problems faster, especially in a larger organization. However, transparency must work both ways. You also need to know who is doing what at the moment and how they are performing. If someone’s efficiency is declining, determine what the reasons are. Instead of complaining and raising expectations, think of how you or the team can help that person, and then implement improvements.
  • Utilize collaboration tools such as project management software, messaging platforms, and version control systems to facilitate communication and information sharing. Ensure that all team members have access to these tools and are trained to use them effectively. Leverage these tools to provide all stakeholders with access to all relevant project resources and detailed information on project progress.
  • Establish clear communication channels between all stakeholders. Regular meetings, updates, and feedback sessions can help keep everyone aligned and informed. However, do not generate too many meetings and reporting responsibilities (additional paperwork). Instead, all necessary information should be accessible directly in the tools that team members use on a daily basis. And these tools should, upon request, allow to automatically generate the needed summaries or reports.
  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts. Ensure that everyone understands their contribution to the project and how it fits into the overall goals.

Inadequate tooling and infrastructure

Using outdated or unsuitable tools and infrastructure can hinder the development process. Modern development requires tools that support automation, collaboration, and scalability.

Our recommendations:

  • Regularly assess the tools and infrastructure being used in the development process to ensure they meet the evolving needs of the team and project. Invest in upgrading or replacing outdated tools with modern alternatives that offer better automation, integration, and scalability.
  • Implement DevOps practices to integrate development and operations teams, automate workflows, and improve collaboration throughout the software development lifecycle. DevOps encourages the use of tools and practices that promote continuous integration, delivery, and monitoring, leading to faster and more reliable software releases. Prioritize finding the areas where you waste the most time/energy and figure out how to fix it with DevOps practices.

Insufficient automation

Manual processes, particularly in testing and deployment, can significantly slow down the delivery pipeline and hamper efficiency. They also increase the likelihood of human error, leading to inconsistencies, oversights, and potential bugs in the software.

Our recommendations:

  • Embrace automation tools and technologies to streamline repetitive tasks, such as testing, deployment, and code reviews. Automation not only improves efficiency but also reduces the risk of human error and enables faster delivery of high-quality software.
  • Implement CI/CD pipelines to automate the process of integrating code changes, testing them, and deploying to production environments. This ensures that new code is consistently and efficiently delivered to users while minimizing manual intervention.
  • Replace manual testing with automated testing frameworks to streamline the testing process. Automated tests can be run quickly and repeatedly, enabling faster feedback on code changes and ensuring consistent quality across releases. Focus on automating critical test scenarios and regression tests to catch bugs early in the development cycle. However, do not invest too much in test automation in non-critical areas, always consider ROI. Be cautious about test automation in areas that are frequently changed, because constantly updating test automation can consume more energy than the application development itself.

Lack of Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Absence of a CI/CD pipeline can lead to challenges in integrating new code and ensuring smooth deployments, resulting in slower release cycles.

Our recommendations:

  • Start by implementing a CI/CD pipeline to automate the integration, testing, and deployment of your software. Choose an appropriate CI/CD platform and set up the necessary infrastructure to support your pipeline.
  • Design the stages and workflows of your CI/CD pipeline to reflect your development process. Typically, this includes stages for code compilation, automated testing, static code analysis, artifact generation, and deployment to various environments.
  • Integrate automated testing frameworks and tools into your CI/CD pipeline to ensure that code changes in the most critical areas undergo comprehensive testing. Include unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests to validate functionality, performance and security in key application areas.
  • Automate the deployment process to streamline the release cycle and minimize manual intervention. Utilize containerization technologies like Docker and orchestration platforms like Kubernetes to package and deploy your applications consistently across different environments.
  • Incorporate code quality checks into your CI/CD pipeline to maintain code consistency and prevent bugs and technical debt.
  • Implementing a full CI/CD can be costly, so it makes sense to focus on the areas that can benefit you the most.

Inadequate resource allocation

Misallocation of skills and resources can impact the efficiency and output of development teams. This can include overburdening key personnel or underutilizing available talent.

Our recommendations:

  • Regularly assess the skills and strengths of team members to ensure that they are appropriately matched to tasks and projects.
  • Adopt agile methodologies for resource management, allowing for flexibility in assigning tasks based on changing project needs.
  • Make sure that your developers do not stay in one area of the application all the time but let them work on different tasks to gain experience. You learn faster in practice than in theory.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration and knowledge sharing within the organization to facilitate resource utilization. Encourage teams to share expertise, best practices, and lessons learned to maximize the collective potential of the workforce.
  • Conduct regular reviews of resource allocation to assess effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

Expert advice

Addressing these challenges in the right way, tailored to the specifics of an organization, is key to optimizing software delivery. It is about creating a balanced approach that considers process efficiency, quality assurance, team collaboration, and the effective use of technology.

However, in the quest to optimize software delivery, one significant hurdle many companies face is the challenge of self-assessment.

It is often difficult to objectively assess the efficiency of your own processes, especially if they have been in place for years. This habit can cover up inefficiencies and make it difficult to identify potential problems and bottlenecks.

This is precisely where the insight of an external expert becomes invaluable.

An outside perspective, unencumbered by company culture, internal politics or the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset, can offer fresh and innovative solutions.

Such experts can bring a wealth of experience from working with similar cases, enabling them to pinpoint issues quickly and suggest effective, proven strategies for improvement.

What exactly can an external expert assist you with? They can help in several key areas:

Objective analysis

Through discussions with stakeholders, they provide an unbiased review of your current processes and practices, identifying inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas for improvement, often unnoticed by internal teams.

Best practices implementation

They bring a repertoire of best practices to elevate your software development lifecycle.

Tailored strategies

Understanding that one size does not fit all, they can devise strategies and solutions tailored to your unique business needs and goals.

Knowledge transfer

They equip your team with new skills and methodologies, ensuring long-term sustainable improvements.


Experts can guide your team in adopting industry’s trends, top technologies and practices that keep you ahead in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

We look forward to supporting you

Understanding the nuances of effective software delivery is complex and requires an objective perspective that goes beyond entrenched habits and established practices within an organization. If you are looking to elevate your software development process, seeking external expertise can be a game-changer.

Our team of experienced professionals is here to assist you in navigating these complexities and optimizing your software delivery for maximum efficiency and impact.

Let’s start a conversation on how we can help transform your software delivery process, paving the way for enhanced performance, faster time-to-market, and superior software quality.

Optimize your software delivery with our proprietary 5-step program!

Download our exclusive offer here.

Optimizing your software delivery

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