4 Tips For Running A Successful Software Development Project- Software development projects have become an integral part of organizations today. With the increase in software development technologies, the scope of software development projects has also widened. With that, some of the focus has shifted to managing these projects to ensure their success.
4 Tips For Running A Successful Software Development Project
Suppose you’re a manager and you want to have an efficient project management and development process. In that case, you need to learn the basic principles of project management and apply different methodologies so your team can work efficiently. One of the most widely used methodologies in project management is to have an agile approach, which makes such a good point about simple, flexible, and collaborative product roadmaps. Read more below on how you can use this method to run a successful software development project.
What Is Software Project Management?
Before you start learning about the agile method, you should know what software development project management is. Software development project management is the art and science of guiding and managing software development projects. It’s also a sub-discipline of project management where software projects are planned, executed, managed, and controlled. It’s not just the creation of new software but also the improvement, maintenance, enhancement, and troubleshooting of existing programs that form a part of the software development process.
Like any traditional project management method, running a software development project goes through the following phases:
- Performance Monitoring
Most project managers use these phases to monitor and delegate tasks to their team members. However, you may also use a more systematic method called agile methodology when it comes to software development projects.
The agile approach to software project management refers to implementing and reacting to changes quickly and automatically. In short, it’s a flexible means of acting in an unpredictable environment to address and deal with concerns successfully. Agile methodologies require teams to adopt certain short-cut techniques to complete their work effectively.
How Do You Successfully Manage A Software Development Project?
Agile methods are different from the traditional waterfall or straightforward project management method. For example, there’s a huge difference between traditional testing and agile testing. Traditional testing is carried out in phases, and the result won’t be released until all defects or bugs are resolved or corrected. Although testing in this manner ensures the product’s consistency and effectiveness, it’s very time-consuming.
On the other hand, agile testing embraces agile software development methods in which team members work together to detect any flaws in the software while validating its efficacy and functionality. The team also collaborates with the client or end-user to ensure that every aspect of the product is according to their requirements.
If you’re already convinced that using agile methods in software development projects is the best option for you, you then have to know how to ensure that you’re running a successful project using these methods. Here are some tips to help you out:
Always Include Your Clients In Your Planning Meeting
In the first stage of your project, you need to set a planning meeting where everyone in your team and your clients are present. A planning meeting is where you identify and define a clear business need that your project is addressing. You should be able to discuss with everyone the project’s goal and how you and your team will achieve it.
Your planning meeting should answer these questions:
- Who’s the product for?
- What’s the product name?
- What are the benefits of using this product?
- Who are your competitors?
- How will the product be different from the others in the market?
During the planning stage, make sure that you think with the clients rather than for them. It’s important to ask questions and challenge their ideas when needed. Your team and the client should be partners, and you should maintain continuous communication throughout the project stages.
Identify Measurable And Realistic Key Performance Indicators
The success of project management is measured based on key performance indicators or KPIs. KPIs vary for every project, so these should also be discussed during the planning meeting. Setting measurable and realistic KPIs will help the development team assign a quantitative value for how the product should perform to support the client’s requirements.
Aside from setting KPIs, you should define deadlines and milestones between the planning and closing phases. As a project manager, you need to map out a project management plan where deadlines and milestones are plotted. You need to establish milestones and KPIs for each of the development life cycles.
Setting KPIs and milestones is also critical for every sprint. Agile sprint is a continuous, repeatable, unit-producing process where a completed product of potentially high value is developed. Sprints, also known as iterations or release cycles, are typically long but allow the team to improve each product iteration. Setting KPIs, milestones, and deadlines is critical to every sprint because it helps managers allocate resources and identify potential challenges or bottlenecks experienced by the team.
Ensure Proper Communication
If a team isn’t communicating well, no progress can be made. Aside from that, when the team doesn’t consistently communicate with the client, they won’t produce a product that will adhere to their requirements.
Agile methodology is fast, flexible, and powerful when proper and consistent communication between team members and the client is maintained. You should implement regular check-in meetings to ensure that everyone is still working at the appropriate phase. Aside from that, you should conduct stand-up meetings and feedback meetings at every level to help address issues and improve workflow early on.
Clearly Define Roles Within The Team
Every person working on the project must have a clear idea of their responsibilities. As a manager, you need to ensure that each team member knows what specific tasks they’re responsible for and who’s in charge of the remaining assignments. Part of your duty is to lead meetings, manage each sprint, and ensure every member submits their tasks within schedule.
You should also have a sprint lead. In your team, a sprint lead is the second person in the chain of command. Their role is to generate requests for the team members to stay updated on the work that needs to be completed and the project’s release goals and deadlines. The sprint lead also tracks the work-in-process (WIP) and overall progress of sprint teams to ensure that the project is moving towards completion.
There should also be a release manager. The release manager is in charge of everything that pertains to the release of an agile team’s software. They’re ultimately responsible for determining when the product is ready to be released for end-users, approving security fixes according to the defined scope, and assisting in the testing and integration of new features into the software.
Adopting agile methods will continue to grow in popularity because they’re flexible enough to meet current needs while also offering many benefits over traditional software development methods. That’s why many organizations adopt these methods to have a successful software development project.
As a project lead, you should understand the principles behind agile methods to ensure you and your team implement them efficiently in the project development stages. You should have established KPIs, milestones, and deadlines in your project roadmap while maintaining constant communication with your team members and clients. Lastly, you should see to it that each team member has a clearly defined role in the project so you can track assignments and milestones easily.