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Why Is Your Project Backlog So Long?

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A long to-do list is normal, but today’s enterprises have project backlogs that are longer than ever before. Here’s why—and how no-code can help.

Project backlogs are a fact of life. There are only so many hours in a day, and every enterprise falls behind from time to time. However, we’ve noticed project backlogs are getting longer and longer as the demand for applications climbs higher and higher. How did this happen? 

In order to discover why your queue is backed up, we have to understand what influences application development and delivery. Let’s zoom out and look at the macro trends, then dive into some of the elements that could be contributing to your long project backlog.

Diagnosing your project backlog

First, there’s the simple fact that business teams are demanding more of tech teams. The demand for web applications has skyrocketed recently—the enterprise application market grew to nearly $225 billion in 2019, and 87% of C-suite executives say digitalization is a top priority for their enterprise. Enterprises must churn out more applications than ever to meet demand and stay competitive, and many tech teams are struggling to keep up. At enterprises with more than 500 employees, 65% of tech teams have at least 10 applications sitting in their pipeline, and another 15% have over 100 applications backlogged. 

At enterprises with more than 500 employees, 65% of tech teams have at least 10 applications sitting in their pipeline, and another 15% have over 100 applications backlogged. 

Along with rising demand, development times are getting slower if you build with code. Studies have found that in the 2010s, it took developers 20% longer on average to code an enterprise application than it did in the previous decade. Because software has gotten so complex and codebases have grown so large, software often snowballs into astronomical amounts of code known as “Big Code.” Big Code, and the code anxiety that comes with it, make it nearly impossible for developers to iterate and sufficiently check their applications in a timely fashion.

Here are some other reasons you might find your project backlog getting longer:

Legacy code and technical debt

To accommodate larger systems, developers have to run, maintain, and refactor hundreds of thousands of code lines. Most of this code was built years if not decades ago and comes with a whole host of issues. Legacy code slows your system down and introduces bugs or other security risks, plus your team might get burned out trying to manage it all. Your team can’t tackle your project backlog, let alone innovate for the future, when they have to ensure legacy systems aren’t going to crash first.

When legacy code and short-term coded solutions pile up, you’re left with a mountain of technical debt. “Paying down” your technical debt is an ongoing process, and the time and energy you devote to it takes time and energy away from your current list of projects. Plus, it gets more difficult to address technical debt as time goes on, since all additions to the old codebase compound.

The tech skills shortage

Your project backlog could be getting longer because there simply aren’t enough developers around to help build the applications you need. It’s hard to find good help these days, especially if you’re building with an outdated programming language like COBOL. New technologies are becoming more popular and skill requirements are developing rapidly, meaning the demand for experienced professionals is growing faster than those who actually do know the technology.

Hiring from a limited talent pool means your employees will spend all their time performing simple, routine tasks just to keep the lights on. This means they’ll be under-stimulated and overworked, running maintenance work in the place of creating innovative and value-driving projects. Also, unhappy engineers will likely seek work elsewhere and bring you back to square one.

Complicated integrations

Today’s applications must integrate with other applications and third-party services in order to attract (and retain!) customers. Also, these services don’t just have to integrate with others—they have to integrate seamlessly. Configuring integrations with code is frustrating, labor-intensive, and time-consuming. That can throw a serious wrench in the works!

Get more done with no-code

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No-code gives you the tools to shorten your project backlog, put more hours back into the day, and build applications faster than you ever thought possible. At Unqork, we use no-code to empower everyone—no matter their formal tech experience—to bring their business ideas to life with a sophisticated application. Our no-code platform is intuitive, visual, and easy to use so that anyone on your team can get involved, even on the business side of a project.

By helping your whole team build enterprise-grade applications, Unqork makes development 3x faster than building with code. This goes a long way in helping you clear out your project backlog, eventually freeing up enough time to tackle technical debt and other long-put-off problems. Plus, no-code generates no legacy code, which means no time-consuming maintenance or additional code to remove. 

Got 60 seconds? See for yourself how easy it is to build within Unqork.

Unqork also leverages script-free integrations, which enable you to easily configure APIs using plug-in components that offer increased functionality. This saves you time and energy during integrations, improving performance and ensuring a smooth user experience. Target the individual elements of your project backlog head-on with Unqork, so you can focus on what’s really important.

To experience Unqork for yourself, schedule a personalized demonstration with one of our in-house experts today. For more in the world of no-code, subscribe to the Unqork newsletter.