Software Project Management – 10 Tips You Need to Know:

In today’s business environment, software project management techniques are highly significant to deliver projects without slowdowns and errors. With a positive outlook, the software project management field looks promising.

As the global software development market is expected to grow at around 11.7 % in the coming years, we can estimate a surge in the need to hire project managers for software development.

Moreover, with such growth patterns businesses require effective strategies to mitigate risk and manage the development phase successfully.

For this reason, here we have 10 effective tips that you need to know when you plan to manage a software development project:

1.      Risk Management:

You can never avoid risk, but, you can always determine potential risk factors proactively. This will not only save you money but also ensure the timely completion of project deliverables.

Risks range from incomplete designs and cyberattacks to bugs and errors, etc. and you would need to develop a strategy to mitigate each risk factor. For instance, you could use tools like Vipre, JFrog, or LifeLock for cybersecurity. Or invest time in wire-framing to ensure all relevant UX/UI elements are part of the final design. Furthermore, prioritize the risk factors so you can act upon them quickly.

2.      Getting the Right Team and Delegating Accordingly:

Preferably, you should select the members of a software management team according to their skills and experience. Match their expertise with your goals, determine their capabilities, and assign project tasks accordingly. When developers work with technologies they have a better grip on, a project’s tasks will be completed much faster.

3.      Gather Project Details:

One of the crucial stages in project management for software development involves gathering relevant requirements. In simple words, it means to elicit the needs of end-users; why do they need the software and what should the software be able to perform? You will need to work with both internal and external stakeholders to determine project requirements.

The process doesn’t end here, however. You will have to provide these requirements to the developers for their analysis; in a manner that they will be able to understand.

4.      Determining Project Scope:

Software development is a never-ending cycle, yet properly defining a project scope can help you in identifying the needs, constraints, and boundaries of a project. It will benefit a team in two ways. First, it will ensure that all stakeholders are on board with what is expected from the project. Second, it will help project teams in developing milestones and meeting deadlines.

5.      Using the Right Tools & Technologies:

Once all project requirements have been listed down and aligned, it is of critical importance to understand the tools and technologies that would be used to develop the product.

Finalizing the technology stack that would be utilized is something that should be thoroughly researched early on. This includes the frontend & backend frameworks, the project management software that would be used, and the APIs to be used for integration, to name a few.

6.      Trust, Transparency & Support:

You will have to set the right tone by creating a sense of trust, transparency, and support for the entire development team. This will help you in building optimized development pipelines and create a smooth flow of work. Not just this, giving support means you are encouraging high-quality work and collaboration.

To develop such an atmosphere, strong communication is key. You can achieve this through regular formal meetings from time to time, check-ins, and relaying information in an agile manner.

7.      Meaningful Daily Scrums:

The concept of conducting daily scrums is one of the most effective approaches when it comes to Agile methodology because it helps developers to stay on track, review previous work, and discuss requirements.  The main advantage of a scrum is that these daily stand-up meetings are productive and short.

8.      Measurable KPIs:

The success of projects is defined through KPIs. Every project’s KPIs are different, and you should ideally structure these during the requirement gathering and scoping stage. KPIs should always be quantifiable to provide a more data-centric approach when it comes to evaluating performance.

Use streamlined approaches like the Burndown chart or Kanban board to measure how a project is doing and where slowdowns are potentially occurring.

9.      Quality Assurance:

Quality assurance through testing and re-testing is vital throughout the development process. Buggy software will always be hard to sell. This makes it important to test the software in an agile manner as it is developed. Testing side-by-side will reap many benefits; some of which include a software’s security, stability, and speed.

10. Evaluate the Project:

Evaluate and monitor your project at every sprint. Also known as a sprint retrospect, this will help you in determining areas for improvement in future sprints. Learn from previous mistakes, analyze how they can be done better, and apply the findings down the line.

Article by Born Realist