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We are a small software team with 4 members:

  • one Software Architect that gathers requirements and writes Requirements document and Specifications document
  • one Designer that designs visual wireframes and prototypes for websites
  • one Front-End Developer that implements the client sides of websites using HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • one Back-End Developer that builds applications using use server-side languages/technology

Our problem is that when the Software Architect starts design the whole project, other team members are idle and their time wasted. Also, everything becomes complicated if we have 2 or 3 project under development.

I am searching for a good development process to manage my team members and avoid wasting their time.

  • Have you asked them how they could work together more efficiently? – Erik Jun 27 '18 at 7:31
  • @Erik they dont know , like me . we are newbie – AminM Jun 27 '18 at 9:26
  • If you cut up a body, then you can not easily put it back together. Therefore … – ctrl-alt-delor Jun 29 '18 at 11:01
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Problem you are describing is exactly field of Kanban and Theory of Constraints.

First, you should map your workflow as columns on board and then see where are most of work items sit waiting. It will help your team to know well they should help to improve their performance as a team.

You can explore some other ideas searching by Kanban Method and Theory of constraints terms.

  • thank you for answer i know about kanaban but my problem is how to sync time between member of team – AminM Jul 1 '18 at 3:43
  • What do you mean by sync time? Make it so that every member spent equal time in every feature? Or make it so that after a member complete his part, another person starts working on the feature immediately? – Anton Nepomnyaschih Jul 1 '18 at 6:49
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One suggestion is that you shouldn't have a long requirements phase, followed by a long design phase and then a long development phase. Pick the most valuable part of the project and build this first. That will reduce the length of time your team is waiting on the initial requirements. After this, requirements gathering for the next iteration can proceed in parallel with building the current iteration.

Another thing is that you shouldn't look at the team as four people with four different jobs. They should all take responsibility for the whole project. You should encourage them to find overlaps in their skill sets so that they can help out when one of their colleagues is busy. I've picked out some possible areas where your 'idle' team members could help out their colleagues. Your team should be able to pick out oppertunities like these for themselves:

  • Your designer should be involved in gathering requirements.
  • Showing wireframes and prototypes to your customers should be a part of the requirements gathering.
  • Your frontend developer is almost certainly able to produce prototype websites.

Lastly, you shouldn't look on idle time as wasted. Your team can use this time for refactoring or for improving their own skills. The general rule is that you need to dedicate about 20% of your time to refactoring and other improvements to maintain a good quality of work.

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    +1 for "you shouldn't look on idle time as wasted" – Sarov Jun 27 '18 at 13:14
  • thank you for answer but if avoid long requirements phase ,we should talk with project owner ,create requirements ,design them and .... again and again – AminM Jun 27 '18 at 17:00
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    @AminM Yes, the product owner should remain involved all the way through the project. The product is much more lilely to meet their requirements if they give frequent feedback on the designs and built features. – John_C Jun 27 '18 at 20:23
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It is simple. Just breakdown all the pieces of the software and create task related to them. When the designer complete the design of a piece, the developer take that piece and start the implementation. My recomendation it's to use an agile methodology and establish a good communication channel beetwen all of you, communication is the main thing in a project

  • breaking piece to task is easy but problem is time ,ex: when project manager write requirements other members cant do anything and their time wasted! or front end developer cant implement UI when designer prototyping not finished yet! – AminM Jun 27 '18 at 10:19
  • @AminM: It should not be needed that your developers sit around waiting until the whole site is designed by the designer. After a small portion has been designed, it should be possible for the developers to start with that. And if you really want to go agile, you can skip the whole prototyping stage and just show a (partially finished) website to your customer to give feedback on on a regular basis. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jun 27 '18 at 10:51
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau what about first phase(gathers requirements and writes Requirements document and Specifications document) – AminM Jun 27 '18 at 16:48
  • @AminM: That has to be done up-front, but even there you can start implementation when only the most important requirements are known. – Bart van Ingen Schenau Jun 27 '18 at 18:25

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