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How to improve Design – Development Cycle for increased productivity?

The process of design is highly selective and creative. At times you explore the ‘design space’ for adequate approaches and then switch back to time-consuming analysis. Especially interaction design is very subjective and experiential: Design complexity rises within activities of designing, experienced through acts of decision, reflection and judgment. 

What have your struggles been?

Rigorous brainstorming and planning stages are crossed before you initiate any project. Hardly does a project design development cycle navigate the original way.

When you on-board a project it is all exciting, designers are at creative best and developers at innovative best. As the project progresses, all the excitement falls off the wagon.

A slight improvement in the Design-Development cycle could keep the creative and innovative juices flowing until the delivery.

However, there are a few ideas that make these steps easier. Here are a few tips to help you set up the right environment to cope with this ‘creative chaos’.

Key Improvement Areas :

1 .  Sit through the Requirement Understanding Together

Designers and developers must work in complete unison at this stage. While the designs ensure business needs and problems are addressed, the development team will offer insight into the timelines, technology selection, and cost incurred during the development.

This is vital so that you do not have to go back and forth with the client on these terms.


2. A Right Balance of Brainstorming

You sure would have been in this situation. Endless meetings and discussions between the designers and developers. Designing is a crucial step and is finalized only after a lot of hard work.

When we see the developers trying to change designs just to make development simpler, the never-ending battle starts and the project goes into an analysis paralysis mode.
Defining clear work boundaries ensures only the constructive feedback is propagated and worked upon.


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3.  Clear Communication with the Client

Make it very clear to the team that any change to the design must go through the client approval. If the client suggests any design changes that may require a lot of development changes and code scraping you need to raise a red flag.

Your development effort must not go down the drain time and again.


4. Separate Teams for New and Upgrade Projects

It is clearly not advisable to keep your developers and designers involved with too many projects. Negatively impacting productivity, such a work environment paralysis the innovative and creative senses. 

Each project must get a dedicated set of hours.


5. Set the Ground Rules

Early on you must identify the timelines and finances. The team must be aware of the budget they need to stick to and the timelines they need to adhere to.

If the ground rules are not set, not even the best project manager will know when the project fell off the wagon of productivity.


6.  Maintain Checkpoints

Do not go into the habit of checking the project status every hour or every day. Be a little liberal and let the team grow and learn how to be more productive. Make sure the checkpoint meeting does happen often and they are met on a regular basis.


7.  Measure the Performance

There is no defined measuring rod on how well a resource is doing. In the design-development cycle, a balance needs to be maintained and that can be done only when individual contributor performance is monitored and improved upon.

At Vrinda Techapps, we strive to keep these two phases of development a lot balanced and synchronized as it helps us increase the overall productivity of our staff while working on a project. Articulating the objectives of the project in early stages and propagating the same among the developers and designers ensures the productivity remains upbeat. You may come across many decision points and must try to stick to the fine balance between the two elements of the project to maintain the sanctity especially when you are close to the product delivery deadline.


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