Maintenance of Software: How Team Roles on a Project Help SMBs Do It Better

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), maintaining software is a critical yet complex task that demands a strategic approach. Effective software maintenance is crucial throughout the entire software process cycle to ensure systems remain functional, secure, and up-to-date, providing a competitive edge and meeting customer expectations.

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Understanding the nuances of different maintenance types—Corrective, Preventative, Perfective, and Adaptive Software Maintenance—is essential for effective management. All are important in handling the shifting technological landscape, ensuring that software remains up to date with the latest technologies, versions, and libraries, and accommodating new features, integrations, or regulatory compliance as business needs evolve.

However, the real linchpin of successful software maintenance in SMBs is the establishment of clearly defined team roles.

The Importance of Defined Team Roles

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Defined team roles bring clarity, accountability, and efficiency to software maintenance. Each team member’s responsibilities are clear, reducing confusion and ensuring tasks are completed promptly. This organizational structure not only minimizes errors but also enhances productivity. Here, we’ll explore how clearly defined roles can streamline software maintenance through various examples.

Mobile App Development and Maintenance

Mobile apps require continuous updates and maintenance to remain relevant and functional in a rapidly changing technological landscape.

  • Perfective software maintenance involves adjusting software by adding new features, removing irrelevant features, and refining current features based on user feedback and changing needs.
  • Effective maintenance encompasses bug fixes, performance optimization, and feature updates.
  • Corrective maintenance involves identifying and addressing bugs, errors, and faults to ensure proper functionality and user experience. Corrective software maintenance is the process of identifying and fixing bugs, faults, and errors in the software, emphasizing the importance of addressing these issues quickly to maintain the functionality and reliability of the software.

In a small team, roles typically include:

  • Developer: Responsible for coding updates, fixing bugs, and implementing new features.
  • Designer: Ensures the app’s user interface (UI) remains user-friendly and visually appealing.
  • QA Specialist: Tests the app to identify and report bugs or issues.
  • Project Manager: Coordinates the team, manages timelines, and communicates with stakeholders.

Example Scenario

Consider a scenario where users report a bug in a mobile app. The QA specialist verifies and documents the issue, providing detailed feedback to the developer. The developer then addresses the bug, ensuring the app functions correctly. The designer reviews the changes to confirm they align with the app's UI design standards. Finally, the project manager oversees the entire process, ensuring timely resolution and effective communication with users. This structured approach ensures that issues are resolved efficiently and the app maintains a high-quality standard.

Expanding on the role of the QA specialist, their task doesn't end at merely identifying bugs. They are also responsible for regression testing, ensuring that new changes don't disrupt existing functionalities. By creating automated test scripts, they can quickly identify whether recent code changes have inadvertently caused any issues. This proactive approach not only speeds up the identification of bugs but also reduces the time taken to resolve them, ultimately enhancing user satisfaction and app reliability.

Corporate Website Management

Maintaining a corporate website involves software maintenance processes such as regular updates, content management, performance monitoring, and preventive maintenance. It requires continuous effort to keep the website relevant and aligned with user needs. A typical team for corporate website management might include:

  • Web Developer: Implements technical updates and resolves issues.
  • Content Manager: Updates and manages website content.
  • SEO Specialist: Optimizes the website for search engines to enhance visibility.
  • Project Manager: Ensures that all updates align with business goals and oversees the workflow.

Example Scenario

If the website needs a new section for a product launch, the content manager drafts the content and coordinates with the web developer to integrate it into the site. The SEO specialist then optimizes the new content for search engines, enhancing the website’s visibility. The project manager ensures all team members work harmoniously, completing the update on time and meeting the company’s standards. This coordinated effort ensures the website remains dynamic and effective in engaging users and promoting the business.

Additionally, the role of the SEO specialist is crucial for driving organic traffic to the website. They conduct keyword research to identify the terms potential customers use when searching for related products or services. They then strategically incorporate these keywords into the website’s content, meta descriptions, and alt text for images, improving the site’s search engine ranking. By regularly monitoring analytics, the SEO specialist can identify trends and adjust strategies to maintain or improve the website’s performance, ensuring it attracts and retains the target audience.

Internal Business Software Maintenance

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Internal business software requires continuous adaptation throughout the software development life cycle to accommodate new features, integrations, operating system updates, and regulatory compliance. The maintenance process often involves roles such as:

  • Software Engineer: Develops and maintains the software.
  • Systems Administrator: Manages and monitors the software’s infrastructure.
  • Data Analyst: Ensures data integrity and software performance.
  • IT Manager: Coordinates the team, manages resources, and aligns the software with business needs.

Example Scenario

When an internal tool needs an upgrade to improve performance, the software engineer works on the code, ensuring it meets the required specifications. The systems administrator checks the infrastructure to confirm it can support the changes, and the data analyst monitors performance to ensure the software functions optimally. The IT manager oversees the process, ensuring that these efforts align with the company’s operational requirements and goals. This structured approach ensures that internal software systems remain efficient and support business operations effectively.

The role of the data analyst in software maintenance is often underestimated. Beyond just ensuring data integrity, they provide valuable insights into how the software is being used and its impact on business processes. By analyzing usage patterns and performance metrics, they can identify potential bottlenecks and areas for improvement. This data-driven approach enables the team to make informed decisions, enhancing the software’s efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the business’s needs.

Leveraging Tools for Effective Types of Software Maintenance Strategies

Effective software maintenance is not just about roles but also about utilizing the right tools to manage workflows and the software maintenance process efficiently.

DoneDone is a versatile project management tool that can significantly enhance the software development process and workflows for SMBs. It allows businesses to set up custom workflows, assign roles to specific statuses, and manage tasks efficiently.

Features of DoneDone

  • Custom Statuses: Define statuses such as “To Do,” “In Progress,” “In Review,” and “Completed.”
  • Role Assignments: Assign specific team roles to each status to ensure the right person handles each task at the right time.
  • Automated Notifications: Keep team members informed about task progress and changes.
  • Task Dependencies: Manage complex projects by setting dependencies between tasks.

Example in Mobile App Maintenance

In mobile app maintenance, a bug report can move through statuses such as “Reported,” “Verified,” “In Development,” “In QA,” and “Resolved.” Each status can be assigned to the appropriate role: the QA specialist for “Verified,” the developer for “In Development,” and so on. This ensures that tasks are handled by the right people at the right stages, preventing bottlenecks and miscommunications.

DoneDone’s custom statuses and role assignments streamline the process, ensuring tasks move smoothly through the workflow. The tool’s automated notifications keep everyone in the loop, reducing delays and enhancing collaboration. Task dependencies allow the team to manage complex projects more effectively by highlighting which tasks need to be completed before others can begin, ensuring a logical progression of work and reducing the risk of overlooked dependencies.

Example in Corporate Website Management

In corporate website management, content updates can follow a similar workflow. A new blog post might move from “Draft,” to “Review,” to “SEO Optimization,” and finally to “Published,” with each status handled by the content manager, the project manager, the SEO specialist, and back to the content manager, respectively. DoneDone’s ability to assign roles to specific statuses and automate task transitions ensures that no tasks are lost in the shuffle, promoting a smooth and efficient workflow.

The tool’s task tracking features provide visibility into who is responsible for each task, its current status, and any associated deadlines. This transparency helps prevent miscommunications and ensures that team members are held accountable for their assigned tasks. By using DoneDone’s reporting features, the team can also generate insights into project progress and performance, helping them to identify areas for improvement and ensuring that projects stay on track.

Benefits of Structured Workflows

Structured workflows not only promote efficiency but also enhance the quality of software maintenance, optimizing a software product to provide value for users. By clearly defining tasks and responsibilities, SMBs can reduce the likelihood of errors and ensure that maintenance tasks are completed on time. This results in better-maintained software, leading to reduced downtime, enhanced user satisfaction, and a more successful business.

Moreover, structured workflows facilitate better project planning and resource allocation. By understanding the workflow and the roles involved, businesses can more accurately estimate the time and resources required for each maintenance task. This helps in avoiding over-commitment and ensures that projects are completed within the allocated budget and timeframe, thereby improving overall project management and delivery.

Managing Software Maintenance Costs

For SMBs, managing software maintenance cost effectively is crucial for staying competitive and meeting customer expectations. By defining team roles and utilizing tools like DoneDone, businesses can streamline their maintenance processes, reduce errors, and improve productivity.

Cost Management Strategies

  • Prioritize Maintenance Tasks: Focus on high-priority tasks that have the most significant impact on software performance and user satisfaction.
  • Leverage Automation: Use tools to automate repetitive tasks, reducing manual effort and minimizing errors.
  • Allocate Resources Wisely: Ensure that team members are assigned tasks that match their skills and expertise, optimizing resource utilization.
  • Monitor Performance: Regularly review maintenance processes to identify areas for improvement and ensure efficient use of resources.

By prioritizing tasks, businesses can focus on resolving the most critical issues first, ensuring that resources are used effectively to maintain software performance. Automation tools help in reducing the time and effort required for repetitive tasks, allowing team members to focus on more complex and high-value activities. Efficient resource allocation ensures that tasks are completed by the most qualified individuals, enhancing the quality and speed of maintenance activities.

Benefits of Efficient Cost Management

Efficient cost management helps businesses minimize expenses and allocate resources more effectively. By focusing on high-priority tasks and leveraging automation, SMBs can reduce maintenance costs and ensure that their software remains functional and up-to-date. This, in turn, enhances user satisfaction and supports business growth.

Furthermore, effective cost management leads to better financial planning and forecasting. By understanding the costs associated with software maintenance, businesses can allocate budgets more accurately and plan for future investments in software development and maintenance. This proactive approach ensures that businesses remain financially stable while continuing to invest in the software tools and technologies that drive their growth and success.

Continuous Improvement and Customer Feedback

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Adopting a proactive approach to software maintenance involves continuous learning and improvement. Implementing preventative software maintenance by making changes, adaptations, and upgrades can help avoid future problems and make the software easier to scale and manage in the long run. Encouraging team members to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in software maintenance can lead to more effective practices and better-quality software. Additionally, leveraging customer feedback is essential for identifying areas of improvement and enhancing the software to meet user expectations.

Regularly gathering and analyzing customer feedback helps in understanding user needs and addressing issues that may not be immediately apparent to the development team. This feedback loop ensures that the software evolves in line with user expectations, leading to increased user satisfaction and loyalty. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement and actively seeking customer input, SMBs can maintain high-quality software that meets the evolving needs of their users and supports their long-term business goals.


Maintaining software efficiently is crucial for SMBs to stay competitive and meet customer expectations. By defining team roles and utilizing tools like DoneDone, businesses can streamline their maintenance processes, reduce errors, and improve productivity. Clear responsibilities and structured workflows ensure that each task is handled by the right person at the right time, leading to better-maintained software and, ultimately, a more successful business.

In summary, effective software maintenance for SMBs involves a combination of clearly defined team roles, strategic use of tools, and efficient cost management. By implementing these practices, businesses can ensure that their software remains functional, secure, and up-to-date, providing a competitive edge and meeting the needs of their users. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement and leveraging customer feedback, SMBs can maintain high-quality software that supports their business goals and drives long-term success.

Effective software maintenance also relies on strong collaboration and proactive communication among team members. Encouraging open communication channels and regular team meetings helps in swiftly addressing issues and sharing knowledge. This fosters a cohesive team environment where everyone is aligned with the common goal of maintaining high-quality, efficient software systems.

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