A project manager’s job is not easy, especially if it’s software project management. Ask any technical project manager out there, and they’ll agree that going on an extended vacation is something they crave the most.
Whether you’re a novice project manager or an experienced one, this blog will help you refine the software project management process.
Management involves many responsibilities, and it requires vision to plan and execute a project without a hitch.
The developers who get promoted to project managers might have a technical advantage, but they lack the managerial skills necessary to lead the position.
Coming from a technical background should be an advantage, not a deterrent. However, a manager needs to learn to be a good leader to lead well in a time of crisis.
So, if you’re a developer who has been given the task of leading a team, you need to keep these pointers in mind while you take the team forward.
Make sure you take advantage of your strengths and work tirelessly on your weaknesses to transform them into strengths.
1. Plan Your Project Wisely
What’s the first step when going for a war? Planning the battle right! So, as a project manager, you are a commander, and your software project is the war you are trying to win. You need to prepare for the war with time, investment and research.
Managing a project begins with planning. Planning identifies the project objectives, as well as strategies for achieving them. It is crucial to understand the scope fully and expected outcomes of the project before creating a working plan.
You need to map out your project journey well as a project manager. Set realistic deadlines and milestones for your team to guide them on your project journey.
2. Identify The Roadblocks Before You Begin
During the software development process, you may face risks. Challenging deadlines, fluctuating budgets, insufficient productivity, and technical debt.
Risks should be identified right at the beginning so that they can be avoided. The sooner you identify and mitigate risks, the less effort you’ll put into it later. In addition to cutting costs, you can also ensure that technical debts don’t pile up.
Project managers are also responsible for risk analysis and management. Software project management must be protected against these risks. Managing risks effectively means analyzing them, prioritizing them by severity, and mitigating them on time.
3. Budget Properly
Create a financial plan that addresses all your needs, both present and future. You should leave room for contingencies to be addressed as your project develops.
Don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to planning your finances.
Ask these questions before you make your budget:
- Did you account the cost of managing your team?
- What about the administrative costs?
- Cost of marketing and promotional activities must be calculated.
- Can you forecast additional expsenses that might occur before completion?
Maintaining your budget is a crucial step. If and when necessary, you will be able to adjust your budget based on this vigilant monitoring. Whenever you spend over budget, consider it a debt. Instead of letting the extra debt accumulate, analyze the problem and fix it immediately.
4. Avoid The Scope Creep
The scope creep is one of the most common project management pitfalls. Your development project will be hindered by scope creep.
After a project has been created and approved, scope creep occurs when it is continually modified. Scope creep can happen for many reasons. Additional features from the client or the stakeholder might create scope creep.
Taking the right steps, however, can help you control scope creep. Keeping your contracts in order before you start the development work will prevent this from happening, so make sure they are well-defined and documented before you begin the project. As part of preventing scope creep, it is important to maintain effective communication with all parties involved in the project.
Another good idea is to schedule a kick-off meeting to define the scope once and for all. As a result, you and your team will know exactly how far your project scope extends and how limited it is. As well as being able to say no, you should be able to say yes when necessary.
5. The Righful Delegation Of Tasks To Team Members
Software project management can be greatly benefited by the policy of ‘divide and conquer.’ A team member should be assigned tasks based on his or her skills. Ensure that your teammates are playing to their strengths in order to optimize your development process.
The developers in your organization may be more adept at coding, some at testing, and some inclined toward implementing changes. Create a task sheet that is unbiased and acceptable for everyone by asking them what is more comfortable for them.
To avoid confusion among the team members about their responsibilities, assign a clear role to each member of the team. In addition, each member of your team will feel more accountable for the progress of your project.
The time your team will need to complete a task well is another factor to keep in mind when delegating tasks. Your tasks should be prioritized, and delegated so there is enough time to get things done well.
6. Avoid Micromanaging Developers
Micromanagement is a mistake managers tend to make.
Sometimes you get so caught up in perfectionism that you lose sight of the importance of letting your team work their way. Your team’s morale will suffer from micromanagement, and you may hinder instead of increase productivity.
If the deadline is met, and the output is of an industry standard, you can let developers set their own pace. Your team would benefit from being blunt in this scenario. Set clear guidelines on how the project should proceed, and ask them how they prefer to be managed.
Rather than managing them all the time, you should also empower your team to take decisions for themselves. You can let them create anything they can imagine when it comes to coding! Developing innovative code for your software development project can be highly beneficial for your developers.
7. Track Project Progress Regularly
Throughout the duration of your project, it is important to monitor its progress frequently.
Experiencing daily scrums and weekly sprints is a good way to keep tabs on your project’s progress. You will be able to optimize your development process by monitoring your team’s performance.
Your team will feel more accountable and keep pushing them to exceed their boundaries if you provide regular updates. As a result, you will also have an opportunity to figure out what issues your team faces and resolve them right away, avoiding bottlenecks and technical debts.
8. Never Force Multitasking
Multitasking is often labeleed as a smart quality to posses. However, in past few years, it is evident that multitasking is the strongest productivity killer.
This is especially true for developers. Developers have a tough time switching tasks. The thinking process would need to be reset every time they switched tasks.
Could there be a situation where your developer is working on a new piece of code or trying to fix an existing issue? In order to solve problems, developers need time to think, and switching tasks can disrupt their problem-solving process. They may experience considerable setbacks if they are asked to switch tasks.
Provide developers with a schedule for their work if they are working on multiple projects.
9. Prioritize Resolving Critical Issues
You will experience bottlenecks in your software development project if issues needing quick resolution are not escalated soon enough. As a result, your project can stall and cause further complications, like exceeding deadlines and expanding budgets.
Most bottlenecks are caused by a failure to prioritize and escalate issues as soon as they occur. It will be difficult to get out of the bottlenecks in a software development project, since they will most likely have formed due to technical debts. Resolving issues as they arise is easier and more cost-effective, since you won’t need to put the project on hold to resolve backlogs.
The right stakeholder should be informed as soon as possible if an issue is beyond your power to resolve. Once you have done this, follow up regularly with the relevant stakeholders until the issue has been deemed resolved.
By following the tips above, you’re already getting your preparations underway.
Your troops should now put on their war paint and head to their positions. Don’t let your team’s weakest member get left behind as you progress with your project; make sure no one gets left behind.
The responsibility for preparing your team members for success lies with you as an innovative entrepreneur. Using these tips, we hope that you will be able to make your entire software project management success. If you are looking for expert advice, our strategic consultants will be able to help you out.