What is a software development project management?
I’ve been managing software development teams for almost 8 years and I must admit that for any manager this process can be challenging and rewarding at a similar scale.
IT Project managers are seeking to find out more about how to deal with software engineers for different reasons, from
a) being assigned to a new project in a new leading role and to
b) starting their own software development business.
In both cases a proper approach to software development project management becomes a crucial component in the successful delivery of the core engineering value that your team must provide the end client with.
Buckle up, in the next couple paragraphs YOU WILL :
A) receive more precise understanding of a software development project management
B) get simple hands-on rules for making a software development project management effective and efficient,
C) find out how to deal with several types of risks related to a software development project management,
D) what is not a software development project management.
Software development project management definition
A software development project management is a set of well structured, documented, effectively and efficiently executed organizational and technical measures aiming at ensuring optimal distribution of creative software engineering capabilities of software development team members for the sake of producing the planned software according to a requested scope and technical and business success metrics.
I will put some effort and explain every important element in the definition so it becomes applicable to real life situations.
Let’s start from a ‘SET of STRUCTURED and DOCUMENTED ORGANIZATIONAL AND TECHNICAL MEASURES’, and what do I mean by that.
Generally this whole area( software development project management ) should be formed with logically connected and approved by company’s top management rules, processes, tools and resources.
They must cover both formal and hands-on side of things.
These measures may include:
– company meetings’ scheduling rules,
– communication channels and all material facilities,
– necessity to have and bring to the notice job descriptions with explicitly specified software engineering responsibilities.
All that is a must have for you to guarantee a thoughtful software development project management outcome.
As for ‘DISTRIBUTING ENGINEERING CAPABILITIES’ of your team, for this you will need to hire an experienced in the area of a Digital Project Management professional.
For doing a software development project management properly the project manager that you hire should be able to at least:
– evaluate your software engineers’ key strengths and weaknesses,
– effectively use their time for executing software development tasks that mostly match software developers’ knowledge and experience level,
– effectively cover the ‘understanding and communication chasm’ between technical and business representatives,
– stay focused on your software project’s core goals not on other secondary topics unless they influence the first ones.
As a result all software development project management priorities will be set in the most optimal way which corresponds your team’s professional capacities and available to you time, technical and other types of resources.
Now when the picture has emerged and you are fully aware of what is a software development project management, and we even ‘touched’ the topic of responsibilities of a project manager it is time to dive deeper into exploration.
Software development project management: how to make it effective and efficient
When I wanted to ensure both effectiveness and efficiency for a software development project management I sticked to these principles:
– business conditions first: as an IT project manager you should always remember that no technology will sell itself, so to make your software development project management effective you must concentrate on delivering software features that are mostly expected and mostly economically rewarding; give it up making a perfect software unless it is in the business plan
– your software development project goals must be the core context for any decision that you take, which basically means that every request, situation, software development project management decision or priority must be evaluated in that context; i.e. always ask yourself ‘Does this decision bring the software development project closer to its goal’, ‘Is hiring a particular IT professional going to help bringing the software project to life, and how’, ‘Is an issue that a software team faced and issue’s scale related to potential problems with the software project delivery or you can ignore it for now doing more important for the project tasks’
– efficiency is all about addressing your software development project management responsibilities and tasks properly:
a) use explicit accountable software project success metrics and evaluate them regularly, apply improvement changes and measure again;
b) gather a collegial professional opinion of your team to make more precise decisions;
c) do team performance checks once in a while, find out and improve everything that influences it;
d) do not let a human’s nature dominating in the software development project management, no EGO allowed;
f) always re-evaluate a necessity of any tool, methodology, solutions that you’ve been using or specialist that you engage for a while in your software development process, refuse those you do not need any more.