When a sculptor or an artist has a vision to create their piece, it requires for them to have a firm understanding and fluent expertise, in order to achieve perfection of their vision that is absolute and perfect.
Similarly, a software development project is a piece of technological art and developers are the artist. As a result, working on a project, developers need to have their directions cleared out with all the requirements, the tools that they’ll be working on, and most importantly a thorough checklist must be followed for the success.
For the success factor of any software development project, a sense of ownership is crucial throughout the process. It’s the idea of nurturing something that brings a change or purpose. So, if you ask me whether project management is needed in software development or not, I would probably say yes! They act as the conductors of an orchestra piece– guiding the team with the perfect notes and directions throughout the duration for creating art that leaves an impact.
In this blog, I intend to provide an idea about the project management role in software development projects and why it is necessary for a manager to deliver the project successfully to the customers.
Project Management: Its Significance!
Software project management aims to create a software product that benefits an organization. Lack of proper project management can lead to an unorganized development process, causing more mistakes, confusion, and bugs in the system. Effective project management includes communicating the project’s objective and steps needed to reach its completion to all involved stakeholders.
The Project Management Institute predicts that by 2027, 87.7 million individuals will be needed for project management positions. Project management plays a vital role in the IT industry, the role ensures to deliver clients with the expected result with satisfaction. Therefore, no matter the size of an IT company, they are always on the lookout to expand their operations and seek out experienced project managers for the timely and absolute delivery of projects or any other software solutions.
What Makes a Good Project Manager in Software Development?
Software project management combines business management with the software development cycle and is in charge of overseeing all aspects of the software project from start to finish. They understand the different phases in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) that the project needs to go through to ensure that the planning and long-term maintenance of the project is streamlined.
By closely monitoring the project, trying out different plans, assigning resources and budgets, and maintaining clear communication with the team and the stakeholders, project managers aim to meet the final product goals while still maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.
Core Duties of a PM to Ensure Project’s Success
Project managers must perform the following tasks (basic & essential steps) to ensure your project has a rigid direction, proper collaboration & management, and a milestone to achieve:
1. Project Estimation:
As a project manager, it is important to accurately determine these time, cost, and effort projections, as future planning and execution depend on these estimations– it’s a crucial component of the initial planning phase.
This estimation covers the following:
- Time: As estimation of total hours calculated that will be spent on the project.
- Cost: The total expected expenses for developing the software product.
- Effort: The estimated effort required to complete the project under various conditions and constraints.
2. Assigning & Managing Resources:
After finalizing the time, cost, and effort estimations– project managers schedule and assign all necessary resources and personnel for the project’s development. The project manager decides who will work on each part of the project and organizes the development team accordingly– making follow-ups with the team regularly easier to know what’s the progress and whether any milestones are being met or not. Moreover, based on the team’s feedback, the project manager adjusts who is working on what, their performance, and whether they need to be reorganized or not.
3. Managing Risk:
A project manager must have the proper understanding to recognize and evaluate any unexpected risks that could occur during the project’s development. Therefore, if any issues are identified they should develop a strategy to minimize or eliminate these risks to prevent unwanted outcomes during the project’s life cycle.
4. Adhering to the Standards & SDLC:
“The use of Agile methodologies in software development projects increased from 69% to 76%.”
– Status of Agile Practices in the Software Industry in 2019
A Project Manager is in charge of checking that all project operations follow specified protocols, standards, and methodologies. Agile Methodology is a popular method and preferred by project managers because it prioritizes functional software over exhaustive documentation, as well as stakeholder involvement, customer collaboration, and process transparency— designed to ensure project team members follow established procedures and project deliverables meet quality standards.
5. Overall Miscellaneous Planning:
Miscellaneous project planning is essential for the overall success of the project or to resolve any issues that may arise. Thus, project managers may create additional plans such as quality assurance, configuration management, and many more. Adhering to effective quality assurance practices reduces the number of bugs and system issues, thereby saving significant time during the development stage.
However, these plans are contingent upon the project monitoring and control cycle, where the PM closely evaluates potential risks and issues during the project and utilizes planning to mitigate them.
Let’s look at the qualities that need to be possessed by a Project Manager:
a. Leadership Qualities
You must be willing to demonstrate a strong vision of success, as a project manager and need to have the drive to motivate the development team toward a seamless delivery of the project.
An organization often opts for outsourcing custom software development services due to the highly competitive global market. Effective project management, despite communication gaps, is a key factor in ensuring successful outcomes. Additionally, reputable outsourcing firms often possess a strong mastery of modern software development technologies and innovative approaches to project management.
b. Communication Skills
A project manager must know how to effectively convey information for smooth collaboration and building positive relationships with the clients.
There may be some scenarios where the client would ask for features that are not within the scope or may be outdated, as a project manager you must communicate with your client properly to define the scopes without upsetting them.
As a project manager you must ensure to value time, as time is money in the modern industry, and making sure to consistently meet deadlines.
However, in some cases understanding the client’s urgency and the tight deadline they require is alright. However, as a PM you must inform them that the process takes time and rushing it may compromise the quality of the results. On-time delivery is important, but altering the deadline is not a good practice for overall project management.
As a project manager, you must maintain an efficient and structured approach to project planning, collaboration, and execution. Moreover, using project management tools such as Trello, Jira, Wrike allows the team to be more organized with their resources and updates.
e. Problem-Solving Skills
Most importantly, you have to have a proper understanding of any problem that comes your way and resolve them effectively to keep the project on track.
In some special situations, a problem may arise when a stakeholder or the client may require something entirely different to their system which goes against the scope of work and may add to extra development hours.
Handling such situations are critical, as you have to be able to make them understand, in technical terms, and in terms of the scope, as well as provide a solution for their requirements. As it’s a service industry and the clients come for a solution from us, you must have a solution in mind that serves their purpose and benefits us as well– that’s always a smart way to handle things.
What if you are faced with this situation? Well, now that’s a What If for another day!
Let’s Wrap it Up!
The role of project management is something that dives into the depth of following standards, fluent communications, and brilliant management skills. The whole concept of being a project manager revolves around the uncertainty of the project’s situation– you can plan everything out but every time you will be faced with a unique situation, the question comes down to how you will tackle the situation to smoothly deliver the project staying within the boundary of your timeline.
So, when you ask why it is important for software development to require project management– it’s important because your project requires an experienced project manager who can effectively handle unexpected challenges, facilitate collaboration and motivation among team members, and ultimately meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders and the organization.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the Agile methodology in software development project management?
Agile methodology is a flexible, iterative, and collaborative approach to software development. Thus, valuing customer collaboration, responding to changes or feedback, and delivering a seamless software system.
2. What are the benefits of using project management in software development?
The benefits of using project management in software development include improved project efficiency, increased accountability, better risk management, and improved communication and collaboration.
3. What are the challenges of project management in software development?
Some of the challenges of project management in software development include managing stakeholder expectations, dealing with change requisitions, and coordinating complex projects with multiple team members.
4. Why is project management in such demand?
Project management jobs are quickly becoming a way for people with non-technical backgrounds to earn lucrative tech pay-checks.