Software Development Process Audit: Best Practices & Checklist [Bonus]

December 21, 2022
9 min

Software development audit is reviewing the technical delivery process and closing tech-related gaps to ensure the IT department perfectly aligns with set business objectives.

With an inefficient product delivery pipeline, digitized enterprise-level companies, SMBs, and startups may face multiple detrimental effects. These include ever-growing development costs, costly product maintenance, decreased employee satisfaction rates, and so on.

As a result, companies lose their chances to outperform market competitors and secure more funding rounds until all issues get fixed.

Whether you’ve already faced the above-mentioned challenges or predict similar scenarios, this piece of content will help you grasp the software development audit fundamentals.

More than that, we share a real-life case study on how we helped a commercial real estate brokerage firm prepare a data-driven transformation plan to eliminate high development costs and adjust non-aligned visions between C-level executives and an in-house tech team.

As a bonus, we share Ascendix’ expert team tips and best practices on conducting a software development process audit for your project.

Who Needs a Software Development Process Audit: What & Why

A software development audit is an internal or external review process designed to detect potential roadblocks, objections, and risks within the technical delivery process. The audit activity commonly includes evaluating each IT department team member’s performance to define real-time productivity gaps and insufficient involvement levels.

Multiple factors may become a vivid driver to conducting a software development process audit, but the most common and battle-tested reasons are:

  • Feeling your software project is not on track
  • You want to assess the current tech stack, infrastructure, and organizational structure due to the highlighted technology gaps or deteriorated KPIs
  • You have specific concerns about the product’s source code quality due to error-prone performance, lags, and costly maintenance
  • You want to skyrocket the technical team’s productivity and efficiency to streamline the delivery process and reach seamless scalability
  • You want to streamline customer-oriented UX/UI usability as end-users report on non-intuitive navigation flows and experience.

 

When to Conduct a Software Development Process Audit

When to Conduct a Software Development Process Audit

 

It’s applicable to perform a software project’s audit at any software development lifecycle stage, but the earlier you start, the higher are the chances to revamp your product in a more time- and cost-efficient way.

In terms of the process, the audit is a multi-component activity that commonly comprises lots of phases based on the project’s complexity and specific requirements.

Conduct a Software Audit with Ascendix

Lean on our vetted experts with 10+ years of experience in auditing software for startups, SMBs, and enterprise-level companies.

Core Benefits of Auditing the Software Development Process

Future-Proof Potential Risks and Blocking Areas

A software development process audit helps validate potential growth points, improvement areas, and roadblocks. Expert auditors assess the entire software development lifecycle, infrastructure of tools, and organizational structure and prepare in-depth recommendations and best practices to fix errors and scale operations.

Ensure Your Solution Performs Exactly How It Is Supposed to

Audit vendors can validate your digital solution to define inefficiencies that may be obstructing its stable performance. For example, auditors can analyze the source code of your built-in analytics tools to ensure the designed functionality monitors and measures crucial-only and relevant data instead of superficial information that doesn’t help your business grow.

Optimize the Quality Assurance & Testing Performance

Alongside auditing SDLC, deployment cycles, and technology infrastructure, you can also validate your quality assurance and testing performance. Audit providers help validate your QA department, including testing processes, approaches, and team productivity to define its efficiency. So, an audit enables your business to optimize testing operations and ensure your product meets the required quality standards.

Identify Gaps Between Features and Project Requirements

Ensure there are no mismatches within the delivered built-in functionality and project-based requirements that make you spend fortunes on solutions that don’t meet end-users’ and business needs. Auditors help generate data-driven insights and recommendations on how to refactor or optimize your product features and make them worth maintaining and scaling.

6 Must-Have Steps for a Result-Driven Software Development Audit

End-to-End Audit Initiation Phase

In the beginning, audit vendors set up interview sessions to communicate with core stakeholders and define whether they are satisfied with the development process and generated results. Next, experts analyze the essential product’s mission, objectives, and planned activities to better understand critical success factors and audit process planning.

 

Business Analysis and Gathering of Requirements

Once done with the initiation, auditors commonly analyze the core needs required for the software to address by interviewing business analytics-related specialists and creating acceptance criteria to future-proof the requirements.

 

Measurement of Tech-Enabled Software Development Processes

Here comes the tech-savvy software development process audit by accessing the source code documentation and implemented development approaches, interviewing the engaged team members, and conducting a 360-degree client-team-management audit session. Audit vendors develop an in-depth technical report that highlights productivity gaps, growth blockers, and improvement areas.

 

Organizational Structure & Skill Assessment

Next, auditors can evaluate general employee satisfaction, organizational structure efficiency, team productivity, and due diligence. It becomes possible through skill assessment and multiple interviews with solution architects and C-level technology officers involved in the product development process.

 

Technology Infrastructure Assessment

Once the evaluation of human factor is completed, audit providers analyze the technology infrastructure for handling project management, bug fixing, customer service, lead generation, automated testing, and even deployment automation operations. This will help your business generate data-driven insights on core technologies to substitute and optimize to scale and grow error-free.

 

In-Depth Reporting, Recommendations, and Results

Finally, the external audit team prepares a comprehensive report with recommendations, implementation plans, and insight-powered findings to kick off the development process optimization initiatives. Vendors provide the result-driven audit to your C-level management and stakeholders to discuss it inside-out and scale further.

Need Help with Software Audit?

Lean on our Ascendix’ experts with 10+ years of experience to improve your software performance and cut down costs.

Software Development Audit Checklist: 15 Questions Revealed

Development process audit seems intuitive yet multi-component, which makes it challenging for stakeholders and the management board to handle precisely. For this reason, we share the common software development audit checklist of questions you need to keep in mid throughout the whole audit lifecycle.

Planning stage

 

  • Does your digital product have an easy-to-visualize roadmap?

A product roadmap helps you develop a strategic growth vision for all stakeholders.

 

  • Does the roadmap include all must-have success criteria like project definition and scope, key objectives, risk analysis, and staffing requirements?

Each roadmap element is designed to provide measurable KPIs that lead to a data-driven vision across all product-related aspects.

 

  • Does your roadmap include step-by-step deadlines and deliverables?

Any planning starts with time and budget estimations that transform your business ideas into attainable goals. Analyze and prepare strict product deadlines and align them with core deliverables before any project-related development initiatives.

 

  • Do you communicate the scope, objectives, and costs to the entire board of stakeholders?

It’s essential to keep all stakeholders apprised of the product’s plans and progress in a two-sided manner. This will help you generate a feedback-driven approach across multiple lifecycles and channels.

 

Project management

Prior to diving into the software development initiatives, establish a transparent project management strategy. The core elements include:

  • Task status reporting structure and process,
  • Methodology-powered project tracking plan
  • Rise management roadmap
  • Software configuration administration
  • QA and testing process management.

 

Once done, it’s high time to proceed with the process development:

 

  • Do team members have the capacity to break complex tasks down into smaller components?

Task diversification becomes a springboard for streamlining creativity and innovation-driven mindsets, problem-solving opportunities and drives flexibility within your product team.

 

  • Does your project team track milestone deliverables?

Efficient tracking of milestone deliverables is about visualizing the project’s progress and aligning results with the set deadlines.

 

  • Does your project identify the responsibilities for the following sprints?

Role-based project management and planning is the key to a product’s success, as every team member has a strict and outlined responsibility area for their operations.

 

  • Have you established target dates for each milestone deliverable?

A deadline-free project management approach commonly leads to a lack of urgency, direction, and motivation to get things done. These are the core reasons to schedule due dates for tasks and milestone deliverables to avoid missed deadlines, failed follow-ups, and release delays.

 

  • Does your team clearly identify the relationships and interdependencies for multiple activities?

Structured relationships and interdependencies are deemed critical for successful project implementation and product outcomes.

 

Development phase

  • Does your product development team have a shared vision of project needs?

A common vision of product needs brings the development team together, promotes efficient collaboration, and motivates each team member to generate the set product outcomes.

 

  • Have you established a common dependency management framework?

Dependency management is the vital process of establishing relationships between tasks in a sequence-based manner. A shared framework is pivotal to defining a clear and comprehensive project plan even before kicking off the development initiatives.

 

  • Have you ensured to prepare a well-designed database architecture with descriptive names for entities?

A well-designed database architecture is about efficiently collecting, integrating, enhancing, storing, and delivering business-focused data to the right places. This is critical for making your data available, accurate, and complete to improve decision-making.

 

  • Double-check whether you’ve implemented a separation-based approach for database structure backup and migration support.

Ensure you shield yourself from potential data lossesby separating your database structure backup and migration from the actual data.

 

Quality assurance

  • Have you established easy-to-access quality assurance documentation?

Methodology- and scenario-powered quality assurance documentation is about standardizing the process, clarifying the terminology, establishing specific milestones, and aligning the tech team.

 

  • Double-check whether you utilize all quality assurance and testing approaches and methods.

Using a limited set of QA testing types may lead to inefficient, pricey, and long quality assurance phases that impact your product outcomes. Ensure you utilize multiple methods like unit, component, integration, end-to-end, performance, regression, sanity testing, and others.

Ascendix Project Audit & Consulting Expertise: Case Study & Best Practices [As a Bonus]

Ascendix has over 10 years of experience in providing software development process audit and consulting services for startups, SMBs, and enterprise-level companies. We’ve helped multiple market-leading brands like JLL, Colliers International, and Flibco.com to boost website log-in rates by 200% and double the service delivery speed with our audit-based expertise.

Here we want to share our success story about an award-winning Commercial Real Estate brokerage system designed by brokers for brokers.

 

Initial Client’s Requests

The client initially contacted Ascendix regarding a software development process audit of the application’s technical side and the delivery process review.

The non-alignment of business objectives and tech team deliverables was among the core drivers of finding an external audit vendor. The client’s management board finally realized that the project’s process was going the wrong way.

 

Ascendix Solutions

Once we’ve completed the audit initiation phase, business analysis, and gathering of requirements, we’ve come up with the following solutions:

  • Verified and validated current system design
  • Reviewed product team structure and development process
  • Interviewed key project stakeholders
  • Interviewed dev team members
  • Conducted team satisfaction survey
  • Conducted a UX/UI audit to streamline navigation flows, interfaces, and customer-oriented experience for end-users.

 

Final Results

Based on an in-depth software development process audit, we’ve developed a battle-tested and comprehensive report with recommendations, implementation plans, and insight-powered findings to kick off the development process optimization initiatives.

More than that, we’ve defined a project roadmap with a step-by-step transformation guide and a list of action steps.

Hire a Battle-Tested Audit Vendor Now

Lean on Ascendix to examine your digital solution, enhance system performance, and reduce the total cost of ownership.

Ascendix Audit Experts Tips & Best Practices

Here are the common tips and best practices from Ascendix’ software development process audit experts with over 10 years of experience.

  • Leverage PMBOK #7 (Project Management Body of Knowledge) as a springboard for the audit checklist. This will help you standardize your process and generate results in an easy-to-understand fashion.
  • Streamline communication with all project parties including the development lead team and main stakeholders.
  • Double-check you collect as much data as possible from the entire project management and development teams, stakeholders, and influencers. We recommend conducting in-depth interviews in both general and peer-to-peer manners.
  • Ensure you conduct a team satisfaction survey to define whether all team members have high workloads and motivation to generate the required deliverables.
  • Separate tech-savvy and management audits by conducting them in junction. This enables your team to define root causes of critical issues and establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship for each use case.
  • Utilize advanced quality models based on ISO/IEC 25010 to standardize results by quality attributes (performance, availability, scalability, maintainability).

Summary

A software development process audit is vital to ensure you have an efficient and relevant alignment of business objectives and technical deliverables. This will help identify potential roadblocks, growth points, hidden costs, decreased employee satisfaction rates, etc.

At Ascendix, we always recommend our enterprise-level clients, SMBs, and startups to start with a software audit before turning to full-featured product implementation, development, and scaling.

If you’re looking for an expert audit team to provide a complex external product review, Ascendix is at your service. Just drop us a line and we’ll schedule an intro meeting to discuss your pain points and offer solution-based expertise.

FAQ

What are the 4 phases of an audit process?

At Ascendix, we outline 6 must-have stages of an audit process:

  • End-to-End Audit Initiation Phase
  • Business Analysis and Gathering of Requirements
  • Measurement of Tech-Enabled Software Development Processes
  • Organizational Structure & Skill Assessment
  • Technology Infrastructure Assessment
  • In-Depth Reporting, Recommendations, and Results

Share:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.89 out of 5)
Loading...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment
First name *
Email *

Subscribe to Ascendix Newsletter

Get our fresh posts and news about Ascendix Tech right to your inbox.