Effective project management is a key part of software development - it’s what helps turn great ideas into successful products and services. After all, you can have access to the best developers around, but poor organization and execution can still delay or derail a project.
Good project management creates a road map that all team members can follow to deliver high-quality products and services in a cost-effective manner. It can help establish clear goals, set out an efficient work schedule, maintain budget control, and track progress. And now, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing more teams to work remotely - sometimes for the first time - it’s never been more important to have clear targets and processes in place for all project stakeholders.
With this in mind, here are some guidelines for how to successfully manage and deliver a project.
Figure out which approach works best for you
There is no one-size-fits-all methodology for project management, especially not in tech. In many industries, optimization involves finding repeatable, scalable processes that promote predictability and efficiency. But successful software development often involves agile thinking, which isn’t always compatible with a rigid command-and-control style of project management. You don’t want to eliminate creativity, experimentation, or your ability to adapt to unpredictable events. Remember, in software development even mistakes can sometimes lead to novel discoveries and innovative outcomes. It’s important to keep this in mind when deciding on the best way to manage your new projects.
Listen to your team and prepare to be flexible
Building a solid plan is essential to effective project management, but you need to ensure it includes realistic timeframes and costs. Engaging from day one with both developers and clients is key to managing expectations and avoiding issues further down the line. Flexibility is also important when it comes to software development: if your initial completion deadlines and budget targets are too rigid you may end up preventing growth and diminishing the value of the final project. The “last responsible moment” method is a technique for identifying and keeping options open on critical decisions until more information is available. The challenge here, of course, is knowing when the last responsible moment occurs.
Use the available tools...
Here at Jobsity we’re big fans of some of the tools that help software development teams maintain efficiency and performance, even if they’re working remotely. Asana is one project management tool that ensures team members are all on the same page when it comes to tasks, responsibilities, and deadlines. Its customizable workflow templates can help project managers maximize efficiency by quickly spotting and fixing any overlaps or gaps in the schedule. Trello is another tool we like as it makes organizing tasks so easy - you simply create a ‘board’ (project), add ‘cards’ (tasks), and categorize them as ‘to do’, ‘in progress’, or ‘completed’. These are just two examples of many software tools out there that can help you manage a successful project.
...But don’t overcomplicate things
While there can be advantages to using different project management tools, you have to make sure you do what’s best for your unique objectives. In some cases, a more streamlined and centralized workflow may be optimal, one that doesn’t force developers to create multiple accounts for different repository and project management tools. No need to overcomplicate things or follow the latest industry trends just for the sake of it - if you’re not clear how a “hot” new project management tool or method will help you achieve your goals, then it may not be for you
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