While the fall foliage has only just peaked in Boston and we’re months away from the New Year, startups are already kicking into high-gear planning mode for 2016. By October, many entrepreneurs are laying out annual product road maps, setting sales targets and estimating staff needs. After a brief breath over the holidays, they’ll sprint into January, diving head first into their never-ending to-do lists.
There are certainly cases where moving fast as a startup pays off, from responding promptly to new prospects to getting a patent filed first. But when it comes to building websites or web applications, too much rushing can cause mistakes that could cost your company dearly. In an effort to build minimum viable products and grow customer bases as quickly as possible, I see young companies sacrifice everything from code quality to presentation and make technology choices that have negative impacts on their product’s ability to survive in the event that it takes off.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur whose New Year Resolution is to start building in 2016 or a developer for a well-established, venture-backed startup working on the next iteration of an application, here are five web development mistakes to focus on eliminating in 2016:
1. Blindly following Agile methodologies
Following Agile principles is not a silver bullet for success. The process of always dividing a development project into a series of bite-sized tasks and writing code at a furious pace against tight deadlines can certainly help startups build quickly, but it can also result in communications failures.
I see project leads have their teams building so fast in the name of Agile that they fail to understand their teams’ roles and responsibilities, put in place processes to ensure quality control or organize information sources appropriately. Collectively, this confusion can lead to products with poor code quality control that are difficult to maintain.