Create a detailed plan before starting the development process
Without a comprehensive plan even the most experienced team is unlikely to meet its deadlines. Before starting an ehealth project, a software development team should create a detailed plan which breaks down the overall project into smaller milestones.
The best project plans are created to clearly lay down each of the team members’ responsibilities, identify the ‘scope’ of the project and include measurable goals that a team should use to determine how much progress is being made on the project.
Form smaller, more achievable goals to work towards
It can be extremely difficult to complete a project if it isn’t broken down into smaller, more achievable milestones. A good tactic to implement is to create small daily tasks rather than continuously referring back to the overall goal; it will be easier to track how much progress is made on daily basis.
This is one of the most important parts of successful software development; especially for ehealth software applications where small additions make the biggest difference to the level of progress being made on a project.
Focus on completing one project goal at a time
The early stages of any project, if completed successfully, can make a team optimistic of the project as a whole. Although this may inspire the team to complete the project, it may create over-confidence and they may get ahead of themselves and attempt to move on to the later aspects of the project before the basic details are completed. This is where the ‘milestone by milestone’ tactic can be implemented; as it will keep the development team focused and driven.
Communicate with the software development team
Communication with the software development team is one of the most important aspects; it is the key to effective project management. A team is unlikely to complete a project on time and within budget unless they know what they are working on and how this brings them closer to the set milestones.
Be wary of scope creep, but continue to be flexible
Scope creep occurs in most software development projects; and it is one of the most difficult things to avoid when completing an ehealth project. The term ‘scope creep’ refers to the growth of a project’s scale through the addition of new functions and features that weren't in the original project plan. Even a small amount of scope creep can result in issues with project completion by increasing both the time and cost of the project. To avoid scope creep, expectations and objectives should be clearly defined in advance to prevent new ideas from changing your milestones during your project.
Test on patients as early as possible and ensure data is being stored in a secure location
Another extremely important practice in ehealth project management is to test the product on patients and consumers as soon as possible. As a software developer, it can be very difficult to know exactly what the patient wants from their ehealth product. However, if they are given time to test the product early in development, it is so much easier to implement any new ideas early on in the process than when the project is being finalised.
Testing each deliverable as it’s completed to find and fix problems
When a project is rushed, it can be easy to fail to notice mistake until it’s too late, or too expensive to fix them. In ehealth software development projects, this is especially true; where a small mistake can cost considerably more to fix after release than prior to release.
When developing an ehealth product, every deliverable in the project must be tested through detailed alpha and beta testing. This is usually a great way of testing to find bugs and glitches in the software, as well as overall issues with the product.
For more information about successful Software Development management, read Septium's guide.