Many software development companies worldwide are fighting for the best recipe for perfect project management. Unfortunately, there’s no one-remedy advice that would apply to all development projects.
Some newcomers think that simply by hiring a professional software engineer they can achieve great results. However, having a good tech expert isn’t enough to guarantee success.
Of course, the successful completion of the project depends on technical expertise, but it’s just half of the deal. Only through effective project management, performance can become better, faster, and more efficient – what will bring brilliant results.
Project management best practices might vary in different companies. Some, however, are applicable everywhere and can radically improve project performance. Let’s take a close look at them.
Effective communication in project management is the key to a project’s success. Project managers are the main point of communication on the project and must keep all related parties updated throughout the project’s lifecycle. Usually, project managers prepare a working communication plan for the team and all stakeholders so everyone understands how often and when they will communicate regarding different questions.
Project Planning – establish scope and objectives
Software development project planning is crucial for a successful result, no matter whether you are developing a simple one-pager or complex software for your enterprise.
During the planning phase, it’s best to meet with all the stakeholders first and understand their expectations to come up with a project plan that benefits everyone.
It is also important to establish a scope statement and a clear list of objectives at an early stage of the project life cycle. The scope should also answer basic questions like project goals, project deliverables, quality standards, etc.
One of the key project management practices is to always maintain a detailed project log where every decision is explained.
The list of documentation also includes Project Plan – we’ve already mentioned it above, Change request control log – for quick response to changes if there are any, Communication plan, Stakeholder register, Risks and Contingencies log, etc. It’s good project management practice to share such a list with all stakeholders to be on the same page.
Risks are an inherent part of any project. We always try to do our best to avoid risks but preparing contingency plans in case such scenarios ever happen is the right idea. Having an active risk response plan would save from unnecessary project delays as the team would be equipped to tackle any risky situation as soon as it occurs.
Review and reflect on the performance
Monitoring and controlling processes continually track, review, adjust, and report on the project’s performance. It’s important to find out how a project’s performing and whether it’s on time, as well as implement approved changes. Regular meetings with the dedicated development team are held where all members discuss the shortcomings of the project and the strategies they must implement to overcome them.
Follow quality standards
Quality control is essential to building a successful business that delivers products that meet or exceed customers’ expectations. It also forms the basis of an efficient business that minimizes waste and operates at high levels of productivity. You should have a clear idea as to what constitutes “quality” throughout the project’s lifecycle. This must be based on standards acceptable to every stakeholder, especially the people on both sides who have to sign-off on the final deliverables.
Apply Agile software development methodology
The Agile methodology represents a group of frameworks based on iterative development where collaboration between cross-functional teams is the main priority. Agile software development is an efficient solution as it enables self-organizing teams to deliver results faster, with better quality, and aptitude to respond to change, which makes the whole project extremely adaptive.
This approach is the best choice when talking about custom software development services. Moreover, it is proven that an agile-based approach attracts more creative developers and talented coordinators, so there’s a higher chance that you will receive a top-notch product.
Ensure transparency on the project
To collaborate more effectively everyone in the team should be on the same page and have visibility into the big picture. It is one of the significant characteristics that make agile project teams perform better than other teams in a similar setting.
Sharing the customers’ expectations and time consumed can help team members orient themselves better and evaluate their own priorities. If there is any change in the project’s scope, budget, or deadline, the team should be cued in. They need to know what exactly changed, why it changed, and how it impacts their work. This is one of the most important responsibilities of the project manager.
Building an effective team
Building a successful team is about more than finding a group of people with the right mix of professional skills. It’s a long way that requires daily efforts. Giving effective feedback, holding 1on1 meetings, and working on continuously improving team members – it’s just a small part of this section.
Conduct regular client Status Meetings – the best way to keep everyone engaged and on the same page. Additionally, preparing regular status reports which include spending time and detailed description will bring the customer more clarity on how things are going.
Wrapping things up, building a team, utilizing your experts’ strengths, and ensuring you have a good Project manager are the basic ingredients to receive great results.