Following a process or a procedure is a way of preventing chaos or troubles in life. Day-to-day examples like following the signal, adhering to a queue, etc. can be looked upon as ways in which order is brought about in our life. In certain scenarios, where individuals tend to miss out on the process or rules, officials are appointed to enforce the same so as to maintain order and convenience.
The same is applicable to software development too. It is not uncommon that we are often faced with the question, do we need process orientation? The answer is not just a ‘yes or no’ situation, but a whole detailed introspection needs to be carried of why we need it and how we can bring in an orientation to avoid chaos in software development. This article is a detailed discussion on the need for process orientation and the way in which it can be achieved.
Software development and maintenance requires processes and practices that contribute to the quality of the software. Thus quality software needs to be bug free and with necessary standards enforced. The difference in a code being good or bad is formed by the processes and their proper orientation in the whole development. It is a common thought that however good or bad a code is, it will not cause any harm as long as the code works. It is very rare that people take into consideration standards and regulations to make code free of errors and coding standard defects.
What is Process Orientation?
Any defined set of guidelines, processes and infrastructure that is used for aiding members of a team to provide qualitative and consistent solutions or end-products is known as process orientation.
Need for Process Orientation
When we pay for a product, we expect it to be the best and not with scars or defects. The same is the case with software products. A product that is created at the end of the development phase is required to be a complete working component without any major defects. It is a must to ensure that the product adheres to the customer specifications. Any deviations or defects can lead to customer dissatisfaction and concerns.
For a product to possess minimal defects and deviations, it is necessary to track the software processes and measure for analysis on a frequent basis. A thorough review and defect analysis before the deployment will help not only ensure completeness of the code but will also enable fixing of bugs, if found.
Process orientation and adherence to standards will not only help in finding out the defects, but also enable easy tracking and resolution with a short timeframe. This is one another advantage that is obtained from process orientation. Thus these points define the need for process orientation in any software development or maintenance as an effective means of defect and chaos prevention. Now that we know why we require process orientation, let us just take a look into the aspects of process orientation.
Benefits of Process Orientation
The primary benefit of process orientation is the elimination of chaos and inconsistency in the software product. This benefit is added on with many more things to bring in a complete enhanced feel from the orientation. Productivity and efficiency of the team members are increased with process orientation.
As individuals of a team tend to follow process, defects are reduced and quality of the product increased. The efficiency of the team is increased multi-fold and thus enables the product to be delivered on-time. Also as the complete process and the product are thoroughly documented, the process of transition or handover becomes very simple and fast.
Tips for effective Process Orientation
Below are few tips that can help in achieving the best out of process orientation:
- Process orientation requires strict adherence to guidelines, standards and regulation but that does not imply being rigid or strict on the creativity of the team and its members. Creativity along with process orientation can bring about tailoring of processes to enable higher quality and standards.
- It is not advisable to follow same guidelines and patterns but tailor them as per the requirements of the project. Project managers and leaders need to understand the project requirements and come up with practical and useful processes and guidelines.
- It is necessary to understand that process orientation does not imply huge sets of documentation, but creating standards that can be followed in future also.
- A well planned documentation of the various processes and training the team will help in easy execution of the standards and also will reduce the transition time to educate new team members.