Five Top Tips to Speed Up Software Development

The seemingly slow pace of software development can be a big source of frustration for business leaders who are keen to innovate through technology innovation.  The ability to update software applications to meet changing customer requirements can give businesses a definite edge in an increasingly competitive global economy. 

Yet all too often, technical teams simply can’t deliver to the project milestones required by the business.  And it’s not always their fault. There are many reasons that software development is so slow and we have covered a few of them in our previous blog  

However, by following these five tips, then you can give your software development project the best chance of success. 

 1.    Establish your Business Requirements up front and at a fixed price 

Invest quality time working with your Development Team to build a proper set of business requirements. This means thinking through as many of the business permutations as possible. Define the reports you want from the system as this helps validate whether your database will be designed in the right way. This will require an iterative process with a core team of experts from your side and the development team. Ensure the team have the space to invest in preparing thoroughly for this phase of the project. You don’t want it to drag on – but you do want it to be a high-quality set of interactions. 

Once you have this, ensure you get a fixed price from your Development Team (whether this be an internal cost from an internal team or an external supplier). This will have a caveat that if you change the specification, they will need to come back to you for further discussion. However, this should not include them returning because they didn’t realize the scope initially. 

 2.    Technology – Use technology to create as small a code base as possible 

 Talk to your software development partner – the smaller the code base, the easier it will be to manage and update going forward. It is vital to consider not just your build cost, but also the cost of ongoing maintenance and support. If your development team can have the same people that built the application be involved in the ongoing maintenance, we would suggest this is an added advantage. 

 3.    Long-term mutually beneficial relationship with a Development Team 

 The relationship you have with your Development Team is critical. Senior Business Leaders will often say to me that they always want their Development Team in-house so that they can eyeball them on a Monday morning. Whilst I can concur with this sentiment, we don’t believe this is always the best option as you will have the ongoing cost of recruiting, managing, motivating and developing that team. Not only are Development resources at a premium at the moment, but as you can see from the table below from a pure cost per head, there are better value places to look. 

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular and to do justice to this topic would require a separate article. The one word of caution we would mention here is not to be seduced solely by lower day rates. 

We have spoken to too many customers who have reported that whilst the upfront cost was lower, the overall project ended up costing them a lot more. The important considerations are cultural fit, communications and a partner that isn’t so much larger than yourself that you don’t get the support you need,   

Experience suggests an optimal solution is an outsourced team with a similar culture, with local management in your country as the primary interface and a commercial agreement that is fixed in the initial build and that both sides are heavily incentivized to ensure the application’s ongoing success. This should enable you to find a solution that commercially makes sense and is the right team for your business. 

 We believe this relationship should be seen as a Partnership, where both sides share in the project’s cost and risk. We would define success when you view your Development Team as a logical extension of your business. 

 4.    Small Focused Software Development Team 

 There is a fair amount of research that has been carried out looking at the optimal size of a Development Team. Industry sources suggest that above 10 is too many and less than 3 is too small. Ultimately it is a fine balance between additional resource capacity and the communications overhead on the downside. Some people would suggest 7- 9 is the right number, clearly depending on the size of your project. 

 We are strong advocates for very small, focused teams. With a strong Product Owner to provide the interaction between the business and the development team and a strong Scrum Master (a person who leads the development team, removing obstacles, and ensuring they are efficient as possible), you can create a very dynamic and agile team. 

Want to find out how SCAD Software is slashing software time-to-market?  You can read more here

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Dawie Martins

Head of Client Success and Product Management

With an illustrious career spanning three decades, Dawie Martins has cultivated expertise in diverse technology-related businesses across various sectors, including Retail, Hospitality, and Consultancy. His journey, which has taken him from a developer's role to Product Management, uniquely positions Dawie to lead the charge in Customer Success and Product Management services for our clients. 

In his role as Head of Customer Success, Dawie operates at the intersection of commerce and technology. His mission is to ensure the seamless translation of commercial imperatives into highly effective software applications that not only meet but exceed the outcomes specified by our clients. 

For clients engaging SCAD Software to build applications destined for the market, Dawie and his team offer Fractional Product Management Services. They become invaluable partners in crafting and maintaining a product roadmap, assuming the mantle of the product champion within the client organization. This collaborative approach ensures that our clients' visions are realized efficiently and effectively. 

Dawie's wealth of experience and his dedication to driving success for our clients make him an indispensable part of SCAD Software's commitment to delivering excellence in every project we undertake. 

Shawn De Wet

Chief Technology Officer

Shawn De Wet brings to SCAD Software over two decades of unparalleled expertise in software systems delivery. His career exemplifies a relentless pursuit of problem-solving excellence and a commitment to end-user satisfaction, achieved through meticulous system architecture and design. Proficient in core enterprise ERP systems, Shaun's recent achievements stand as a testament to his prowess, including the conception and successful launch of two cutting-edge SaaS products on the robust Azure platform. 

While Shawn's professional accolades are impressive, his vitality extends beyond the confines of the office. An ardent lover of the outdoors, as evidenced by his passion for mountain biking, Shawn's dynamic and adventurous spirit infuses our technological endeavors with a fresh perspective and boundless energy. 

At SCAD Software, Shawn leads the charge in Operational Delivery of Client solutions. He heads the development team and works closely with our valued clients to ensure they realize their desired outcomes from our technology solutions. His commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction is a driving force behind our success. 

Andy Fensham

Founder, Chief Architect

Andy Fensham's journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to reshape the software development landscape. With a background in global banking software consultancy, he founded SCAD Software in 1998 with a visionary goal – to address the mounting technical debt that was becoming a liability for businesses worldwide. 

Andy's unique blend of technical expertise and business acumen empowers our clients with pragmatic, robust software solutions that yield tangible results. Recognizing the risks posed by outdated software, he pioneered an innovative approach to custom software development, consistently delivering large-scale projects at an astonishing pace – 75% faster than traditional methods. 

Andy's dedication not only safeguards our clients' future but also cements SCAD Software's position as an industry trailblazer. He continues to lead our innovation roadmap, constantly seeking new ways to enhance our offerings with more examples of how we can turn “minutes to seconds”. 

Shaun Orpen

Group CEO

With an impressive career spanning over three decades in the Technology and Telecoms sectors, Shaun Orpen brings a wealth of experience to his role as Group CEO. His journey began with the groundbreaking entry of Microsoft Excel into the UK market, a stepping stone that eventually led him to play pivotal roles on the UK Executive Board during Microsoft's meteoric rise from £10 million to £1 billion in revenue. 

During his tenure at Orange, Shaun spearheaded the division responsible for catering to Small and Medium Businesses in the UK. Since then, he has continued to shape the success of a number of small and global technology enterprises, leveraging his strategic acumen and commercial leadership. 

Shaun's unwavering commitment to the convergence of technology and business is evident in his track record of elevating every organization he's been a part of. As the driving force behind SCAD Software's commercial endeavors, Shaun is leading our expansion across the UK, Europe, and the USA. 

His steadfast ethical stance, mirrored by his partner Andy Fensham, forms the bedrock of SCAD Software's principles, defining our approach to client interactions and business dealings. 

Stephen Moore


Stephen Moore's illustrious career speaks volumes about his leadership capabilities. With a rich background spanning diverse industries such as Retail, Events, Technology, Telecoms, and Media, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to craft and execute growth, differentiation, and exit strategies in highly competitive markets. 

As the visionary Founder/CEO of multiple successful ventures, Stephen has guided five companies from their inception to remarkable exits and IPOs, including the noteworthy £117 million listing of Expocentric Plc on Techmark 2000. His track record extends beyond entrepreneurship; he has played a pivotal role in over 40 companies as a Non-Executive Director, Chairman, Consultant, and Advisor, raising more than £85 million in private and public markets. 

What sets Stephen apart is his global perspective, cultivated through extensive work in the UAE, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, and EMEA. This international experience enriches SCAD Software's strategic direction, making him an invaluable asset in our mission to navigate the complex landscape of digital transformation and empower our clients to achieve enduring success.