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A study in collaboration with Oxford University provides extra details about IT software projects. The productivity paradox has a simple solution, according to this study. There is no need for stagnation – the customers can enjoy the increasing computer power. The secret stands in proper, timely testing.


Mapping out software projects in layman terms


The source article comes from a company specializing in software testing. Even so, their description applies to every IT project. Usually, teams that include consultants, developers and testers handle such projects. We structure our teams this way.

The scenario presents the client’s representative as “Mr. Requirements”. In their worst case scenario, Mr. Requirements uses its own words to describe the end result. This triggers a series of “meetings, workshops, presentations”. The Analyst prepares for translating the project into universal models. The Developer should receive this translation and know what he has to do.

However, as we mentioned, we are looking at a “what can go wrong, it does” version. The Developer doesn’t understand the current description of the project, either. (Rest assured, at LASTING Software this doesn’t happen, as our employees are in sync). But let’s humor this example – and see where it goes.

The software project unravels to the point where the tester comes in. Too much optimism, lack of strategy or other reasons manage to minimize the tester’s key role in IT projects. Thus, this point is belated in the timeline. Some stages need to repeat themselves, once the tester identifies what went wrong. The better solution means better timing. Involve the tester earlier on, when those stages are taking place for the first time – for great results.

 

The purpose and the way


The purpose is for the IT Projects to “spend less time; deliver more value for less money”. The way to get this is by making sure all the people involved in the project speak the same language. Standardize communications, train team members to understand each other and coordinate their work. These are mandatory.

A good strategy is yet another important thing. Sometimes the client sees this differently. Some come up with their own management style. This may disrupt the (validated) team practices. From case to case, there is an adjustment process taking place. Depending on how the two sides get on the same page (or not), the project runs more or less efficiently.

In view of those of the above, the article’s authors suggest that the missing link is the tester. Involve testers in the IT projects at the right moment. Here is the low-cost, efficient solution. The key for smooth development, deployments and seamless implementations is here.

 

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