Software Project Management: Going From Good to Great
Software project management refers to the active process of planning, organizing, and managing resources to successfully complete new product development. Skilled software project managers use all of the available resources to deliver the best end-product possible.
When it comes to software project management, there is a considerable amount of variation. Great project managers strategically apply their knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively plan, manage and complete a project. If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your project management process, here are some suggestions.
Managing a Project? 7 Ways to Go from Good to Great
Although there is no set standard operating procedure for successful software project management, there are ways to improve overall effectiveness. Follow along to learn seven ways how to take a project from good to great:
1. Planning - Most deficiencies in a project are the result of poor or improper planning process at the beginning. During the planning phase, it's vital to determine the project definition, the work plan, and basic management procedures. Having a clear understanding of the project helps facilitate a more fluid project management experience from start to finish.
2. Identify risks in advance - During the planning process, it's important to identify possible risks that could occur at some point in the project. Once the risks are identified, it helps to assess the level of immediacy. Risk may be defined as high, medium, or low. Being aware of potential problems that may arise throughout the project can ultimately save valuable time and money, especially when these are evaluated early in the planning process.
3. Scheduling - Throughout the project, monitoring the work plan to identify what tasks have been completed and what tasks need to be done will help keep team members up-to-date on the process. Monitoring the work plan schedule helps determine whether tasks are completed on time, allowing any changes to be made quickly if necessary.
4. Budget - Similar to the work plan schedule, it's important to keep track of the project budget on an ongoing basis. Keeping a project operating within budget is an important skill for any project manager. Careful and frequent monitoring is a key part of maintaining the established budget for a project.
5. Scope Management - During a project, stakeholders may request minor or major changes that were not part of the original project definition. Knowing how to effectively navigate change requests is imperative to the overall success of any project. Even the smallest scope changes in a project can accumulate over time, leading to so-called "scope creep." This may negatively impact the resources, budget and deadlines.
6. Urgent Resolutions - Even when risks and issues are identified early in the planning stages of the project, a team may face unforeseen problems. Issues may become a big problem to the project if they are not resolved in a timely manner. It will do the team and the overall project a great service if everyone is focused on fixing issues with a sense of urgency. This keeps the flow of the project moving forward as smoothly as possible.
7. Communication - Communication breakdowns can lead to a number of problems throughout a project. Sometimes team members may have different expectations, or they may not fully know the status of a project. Open and honest communication between managers, team members, and stakeholders needs to be encouraged on a frequent basis. The most successful project managers ensure that everyone on the project is on the same page in all steps along the way.
Producing a great end product for a software development project should be the main objective of any software firm. Implementing effective project management may be the difference between delivering a good or great final product. For a company to remain competitive in the market, hiring a software outsourcing firm that uses best practices in project management will ultimately yield the best results.
David Easterling has been leading software development companies for more than 15 years. Starting his technology career as a partner with Everest Technologies, David decided to open his own company named Prosoft in 2003. Prosoft quickly became a leading software development and IT staffing firm in Louisville, Kentucky. Recognizing a need to offer more efficient and affordable custom software, agile programming, and web design solutions to growing businesses, David founded Prosoft Nearshore in 2008, with offices in Louisville, KY, and San Jose, Costa Rica. Prior to his career in IT management, David was the Director of Sales with Zellerbach in Virginia. He holds a degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. David is a Certified Scrum Master and is an active member of the Scrum and Agile User Group. He is also a member of the National Vistage CEO Leadership Group.
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