A lot of application development teams, and to a lesser extent operational IT teams, have either no or limited process. They depend on a combination of individual expertise, informal conventions and team habits (some good and some bad); and being prepared to put with all the problems of poor quality and unpredictability. It does not have to be like that and here I present some 'low hanging fruit' you can pick to make your teams more productive – the approach is simple and practical.

This document is written for smaller teams (5-15 people) who spend their time doing a combination of maintenance and new feature requests on an existing application. This actually covers the majority of software teams because, much as we all want to work on green-field projects and deliver Rel 1.0, most of our work is done on existing systems.

The process improvement approach is based around the implementation of a ticket system. This addresses two key needs:

The introduction of a ticket system is only the part of the journey (albeit the most visible outside the team). Teams should be looking to exploit multiple tools and techniques, in particular

The specific workflow that a team will adopt depends on a variety of factors:

However the focus should be on techniques and tools that deliver value to the team and organisation.