Innovation in Software

How To Drive Innovation in Software Development

Innovation in software development requires a shift in mindset, culture, and practices. To set an organization up as one that promotes creative thinking, leaders must establish principles and policies that encourage experimentation and make it clear that developers and other professionals should be taking risks without the fear of failure.

Your business should be a space with free-flowing ideas, one where workers are able and willing to work both independently and collaboratively with their colleagues. Environments should be inclusive and diverse. They should be driven by vision, mission, and purpose.

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The Importance of Innovation in Your Business

Innovative ideas in the software industry are not just critical for success—they are necessary for persistence. Technology businesses depend on constantly creating new products and disrupting the status quo. They cannot rest on their laurels. They must be able to keep growing and building new tools. 

What’s more, technology businesses are fast-moving. They can’t wait around to create. To be competitive, they need to reduce their time to market, putting out their products while they’re still relevant. This is another part of innovation—thinking ahead. Software leaders and developers need to be able to anticipate what will remain relevant and what’s just a passing trend.

An Innovation Process to Implement at Your Company

An innovative process does not begin and end with building software itself—it encompasses every person, tool, and capacity within your organization. There must be innovation in software testing, creation, ideation, and every other part of the software development life cycle (SDLC).

  • Research
    Every innovative process begins with careful, thorough research. In software, for example, you might hire a market researcher—or complete the process yourself—to better understand the market demands and what consumers really want. This will increase the chances of your product succeeding in the real world.
  • A Start-to-Finish Approach
    Every facet of your approach should encourage and cultivate innovation. Have an eye on creativity, ensuring that every member of your team understands and underscores its importance, at each stage.
  • Analysis
    Once you have released your product, you must assess the results: How did it perform? How did it engage users? These metrics are critical for understanding how your efforts are paying off and what you should change or repeat in the future. Upfront, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to set up a system and measure for success.

Innovation and Competitiveness

The software industry is constantly at the precipice of change, and therefore, it’s constantly innovating and growing. This is good for society, but for individual businesses, it means always staying ahead of the curve. This is anxiety-provoking, but it prompts organizations in tech to keep moving.

There’s a huge amount of competition, and you must set yourself apart from other businesses in your space by driving innovation. This means adapting, as well as promoting creative thinking.

Strategies to Encourage Innovation in Software Development

  • Bring in Outside Perspectives
    Relying on the same voices and opinions day after day will do little in the way of incubating radical ideas. That’s why many businesses bring in outside perspectives. This can, for instance, take the form of outsourcing to a nearshore or offshore software development partner—a team that can offer fresh ideas to reignite and reinvigorate your development process. Or, you might engage a consultant or freelancer to suggest improvements and creative concepts.
  • Adhere to an Approach
    Innovation in software and embracing new ideas doesn’t mean that you should avoid having a structure to your process. In fact, operating within a framework will make for an environment that is more conducive to creative thinking—individuals understand that their ideas will contribute to something and push boundaries. Certain approaches, such as Agile, give you the ability to be flexible while still ensuring that your team has structure, purpose, and goals. Agile, in particular, also encourages creativity and testing out different ideas.
  • Give Developers Time to Brainstorm
    Innovation doesn’t happen on cue. Your developers need the space to think and brainstorm outside of the confines of a structured session. The best ideas can come to people when you least expect them to—so be flexible and recognize that your employees could very well be working on projects even when they don’t necessarily appear to be completing active tasks toward their completion. Certain approaches, such as Agile, give you the ability to be flexible while still ensuring that your team has structure, purpose, and goals. Agile, in particular, also encourages creativity and testing out different ideas.
  • Reward Innovation
    A developer or another team member has a great idea that turns into a successful product—so celebrate! Reward innovation with promotions, bonuses, awards, or verbal praise. Even a note commending an employee on a job well done can go a long way in helping them feel appreciated and encouraging future creative thinking, as well as company loyalty. Certain approaches, such as Agile, give you the ability to be flexible while still ensuring that your team has structure, purpose, and goals. Agile, in particular, also encourages creativity and testing out different ideas.
  • Support Failure
    It may sound counterintuitive, but failure is an important part of innovation. Software developers should not be constrained by their fear of making mistakes because making mistakes is critical to experimentation. Without experimentation, there is no innovation. The culture should be one that supports employees who fail because it shows that they tried out new ideas and approaches. Certain approaches, such as Agile, give you the ability to be flexible while still ensuring that your team has structure, purpose, and goals. Agile, in particular, also encourages creativity and testing out different ideas.

Contact BairesDev

Innovation in software development depends on having high-performing critical thinkers on your team. Bring in outside perspectives and revitalize your development process with the top-notch talent of a nearshore outsourcing partner. At BairesDev, we bring talent, experience, and specializations to your business.

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How Tech Leaders can Apply Design Thinking

Traditionally, tech leaders focus on some variation of people, processes, and technology when considering how to address a problem. Design Thinking can be another versatile tool in their toolkit and provide different perspectives.

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