In this article, we will go over five tips for managing software development company projects. These are the fundamentals of how to make your organization’s project managements more effective.
As the old saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
In implementing these five tips, you will be taking that first step towards making your evaluation and decision processes more effective. We have seen this first-step mentality fail in the past when it comes to managing projects. In some cases, it is even worse than those that traditionally failed due to lack of management and lack of leadership. Take a look at how your company projects are managed and try to apply these tips into your own project management process.
1. Maximize Communication
This first tip is something everyone in software development could do better right now. We have seen many organizations do things right at the beginning of a project that are ultimately bad. The problem is they wait until late in the project to find out what their communication process looks like. And by the time they do realize they need to change something, it is too late.
If you know that you will have a lot of interactions with other departments, make sure to communicate and coordinate with those other departments early on in the project. This can save you lots of headaches down the road.
2. Build a Clear Boundary System
When most people hear boundary control, they think about boundaries between different departments and how those boundaries are managed and policed as part of an overall business strategy and planning process.
However, we also believe that boundaries are formed between the various organizational people groups.
Organizational boundaries have something to do with how well your management team is working together. If you have two different managers and they battle it out, and there is poor communication between the two, then all of their day-to-day interactions will be fragmented. This usually leads to problems at the individual level, but it can also lead to negative side effects in your project or product management processes as well.
3. Include the Client in All Decisions
One of the biggest problems with project management today is that organizations need to make a decision before they seek out the client’s viewpoint on what should be done.
This can lead to poor decisions or even no decisions being made at all, and it has caused many software development projects to fail in the past. It is absolutely necessary for you to include your client at every stage of project management. Not only should you do this initial pass with them, but it is also important that they are represented on any status meetings and their feedback needs to be taken into consideration as well.
4. Clarify What the Purpose of the Project Really Is
In order to fully understand what the purpose of a project is, you must fully understand your project’s business requirements. If you do not, then it will be very difficult for you to prioritize and schedule tasks appropriately. It will also be difficult to determine if your team is actually on track to complete their deliverable on time and budget. And most importantly, it will be extremely difficult for your client’s executives to constructively provide you with feedback on how well you are performing as a project manager. Much of that feedback is really geared around helping you get better at delivering high-quality software products.
5. Implement a Mindset Change
Finally, we want to leave you with a challenge. In order to implement these five tips more effectively, it is first necessary for you to change your mindset. You must start acting as though the software development project is the most important thing in your life at this point. And even better, you must start acting like it was your own company’s project that is at stake.
We are not saying that your personal life should be disconnected from your professional life during this time, but it shouldn’t matter what other people think about this new-found importance that you have placed upon managing software development company projects effectively.
Even though it may not be right for you to do these things, your competitor may already be doing it. And if they are, then it gives them a huge competitive advantage over you. Make sure to stop and take a look at how your organization handles software development company projects in addition to this being a great time to work on your own personal improvement.