Key Challenges in Data-driven Development and How to Overcome Them

Ignoring the voice of the development team can lead to unnecessary delays or rework during creation and roll-out. Instead of focusing on management, it’s important to listen to the needs, fears, and challenges of the developers who are actually working on projects provides one of the best pathways to achieve these goals.

What is Data-Driven Development?

As IT consulting firms will tell you, data-driven development involves the use of modern development paradigms and technologies, a metrics-focused approach, and deployment on flexible, scalable, and reliable platforms. It operates on a diverse set of data from multiple sources and focuses on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or objectives and Key Results (OKRs). This provides development teams with greater visibility into their work, shows them the gaps, and helps them understand where improvements are required. At an organizational level, this approach supports continuous improvement, and faster decision-making, and also provides a clear framework to achieve the overall vision.

But organizations often face some challenges that must be addressed before they can effectively leverage the benefits of this paradigm.

Key Challenges in Data-Driven Development

The imbalance between KPIs: individual and team

When organizations struggle to balance individual KPIs with team KPIs, either individual contributions are measured and rewarded, while team successes are ignored, or vice versa. In either case, it’s difficult to determine and extract the overall business value for the project.

Bulky development/creation/deployment phases

Ignoring the voice of the development team can lead to unnecessary delays or rework during creation and rollout. Instead of focusing on management, it’s important to listen to the needs, fears, and challenges of the developers who are actually working on projects.

Weak leadership

Employees may be intimidated by individual measurements, especially if the team has had an off month, quarter, or year. Leaders must engage with the development team to help alleviate fears and to streamline the process.

Strategies To Avoid Common Issues In Data-Driven Development

Track KPIs and OKRs regularly

KPIs measure an organization’s ongoing business performance (including profitability), while OKRs show what work is happening and how well. These metrics should not be considered as static or unchanging. Instead, they should be regularly tracked, reviewed, and discussed with all team members so that problems are identified and resolved early.

Make KPIs part of accounting or management

KPIs should be baked into the software product as a key management function. And to ensure consistency, everyone should be held accountable to the same level of measurement.

Implement a metrics tool

An effective metrics tool can help the development team understand their work, what is expected of them, and how they can improve. Leadership plays an important role in helping teams understand the value of the tool, and how it should be used for best results.

Clean up data

“Dirty” data, i.e. data that is inaccurate, incomplete, inconsistent, or outdated, defeats the very purpose of data-driven development. That’s why cleansing, validating, replacing, and deleting inaccurate information is critical. Data quality must be a top priority throughout the data-driven development process.

Look Beyond The Numbers

With data-driven development software, teams can take advantage of accurate, actionable feedback to reduce pain points, and take action for continuous improvement and value-creation. It can also be a vital part of the organization’s digital transformation effort. If you believe that data-driven development can yield enduring benefits for your organization but you’re not sure where to start, WayPath’s software consultants and industry experts can help. Get in touch to discuss your project.

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