Remote software development – an essential case for guiding principles

Remote software development – an essential case for guiding principles

Working on projects to develop new software with developers in a different country - in other words, remotely - poses certain problems that cry out for the practical approaches enshrined in ITIL® Practitioner’s guiding principles.

The scenario I describe, unfortunately, tends to be afflicted by poor communications, a lack of shared information along with the absence of realistic schedules and detailed project planning.

The knock-on effect of this is:

  • Delays in delivering the software which can mean making migration to a new system impossible
  • Confusion and disagreements about what is going to be delivered
  • Problems in defining what the features are meant to do and deliver
  • Frustration and disappointment for the customer
  • Loss of faith in the company
  • Loss of many other business opportunities due to the software not being fully developed within the required timeline.

How can ITIL Practitioner’s guiding principles help?

Andrew PruttonThe guiding principle - Be transparent - very much applies here: developers need to be transparent in producing wire frames to show what a feature will do, the technical specifications along with enough information to understand what they’re doing and how it fits with what the client needs. That also extends to being honest and upfront when a task is outside their capability and needs to be outsourced to someone else.

Equally, the guiding principle Design for experience is essential to ensure that what the customer wants for their operatives or people who will be using the system is provided. And, to Collaborate is to make sure there is a clear conduit for regular information - usually via the Project Manager.

Where no real processes are in place, you cannot progress iteratively and even simple things will start to go missing in the project and a lack of information about the progress of development can lead to ongoing problems.

The absence of processes and best practice principles can result in a negative outcome and have an adverse effect on relationships all round.

With clearly defined processes, you stand a much better chance of ensuring the right software is being delivered. Applying ITIL Practitioner’s guiding principles will help instill the right processes into the software development project and make for a successful customer outcome.

See our ITIL Practitioner section for more information.

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