4 Tips for Handling Software Development Deadlines

If you’ve worked on a software development project before, you know about software development deadlines. It always seems like no matter how well a project is planned, there is always a mad rush to meet a deadline at the end. The pressure is almost always on the developers, too. Let’s have a look at how you can handle deadlines in software development projects.

1. Speak To Your Manager As Soon As You Can

The first thing you should to when you’re under pressure for a deadline is to speak to your manager. This could be your team leader, project manager, or any other kind of manager that you work under and that is responsible for your work.

A lot of the time they will already be aware of the workload you’re under, but it’s still good to point it out. Speak to them, let them know the kind of workload that you have. This can help, even if they already know. They will refrain from giving you more work (most of the time, anyway), and will be aware of your concerns. Pressure from software development deadlines is only temporary – you can often have the time back at a later date, depending on your company.

2. Work Out Your Priorities

Another way to handle software development deadlines is to work out your priorities on the project. Have a look at the work you need to do, and see what the most important things are. This often can’t be changed, as it’s determined by the project scope and the project team, but there may be things that you think are important but aren’t actually that important.

For example, you might have been formatting a certain output file manually in a specific way before sending it to another person. It might be able to be stopped if it isn’t that important for the success of the project.

This is also related to speaking to your manager – see if there’s a way you can get some guidance on some of the tasks you’re working on.

3. Determine How You Can Be More Efficient

There are ways to improve our work with most of the things we do by being more efficient. This can be done in a number of ways, but it comes down to looking at what you’re doing now and finding ways for it to take less of your time.

A good way of doing this is to eliminate tasks altogether. If you’re doing something that doesn’t need to be done, then you may be able to stop doing it. This will save a lot of time and could have a minimal impact on your actual project.

Another way of improving efficiency is to automate what is currently being done manually. Even if it takes only a few seconds or a few minutes to do, if it can be automated, it’s often worth doing. I get several emails each day in my inbox – company newsletters, system notifications, things like that. I used to manually mark them as read and move them to a folder. Now, I’ve set up rules that do this automatically. This not only saves me time (a few minutes per day), but it also stops distracting me – which is sometimes the bigger benefit. I don’t need to stop what I’m doing to go and move the emails. It’s especially noticeable with software development deadlines, where you need to save as much time as you can.

4. Ask Others For Help With Software Development Deadlines

If you’re under pressure to get something done, it’s likely there are others who are under pressure as well, depending on your project team. There also might be others that aren’t under as much pressure.

One way to help with software development deadlines is to ask others for help. See who is able to help you out with some tasks by finding out who is capable and who is able to with the other work they are doing. You can ask them directly, or you can ask one of the managers for assistance. Asking your manager or their manager for assistance is usually considered the better thing to do, as they have a better idea of who is doing what and can offer someone appropriate – and it keeps you out of trouble.

Getting someone to help you with your work can be a big benefit – and they are often happy to help. Just remember, it goes both ways. Others might come to you to help out when they are under pressure – and by helping them out, it creates a better team and makes you look like a team player.