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Reasons why project management is crucial in software development

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Software development is a complex process that requires numerous workflows to keep towards a single direction. One can assume that you have to manage the software development process if you have an inexperienced team, but it is not about the experience and seniority level of the software development team.

This is a well-known fact that project management is a necessary part of the development process. According to PMI, 63% of projects were delivered on time by organizations with high-maturity project management. In contrast to 23% of on-time delivered projects, where project management was low-maturity.

Reasons why project management is crucial in software development

Importance of project management in software development

First, let’s define what project management offers and how it impacts the software development process. 

  • Project management unites all workflows into a single process

A development team consists of different people who have roles in the development process and perform their job, for example, UI designers, developers, QAs, etc. Imagine if they only do their job without communication and consideration of the progress of other team members. It is going to be a mess that causes failure.

With wise and expert project management, all the tasks, resources, and goals will be well-defined and divided between team members

  • Reducing risks as much as possible

A proper and professional software development project management anticipates most of the possible risks and barriers the development can face to find an appropriate solution before they emerge. Risk management is one of the things that makes project management vital in software development.

Moreover, there is always a high probability of changes. So one of the missions of project management is to adapt the process to the changes with minimal resources wasting.

  • Improved productivity and quality of product development

Due to all the previously mentioned project management points of importance, the productivity of the development process increases, which positively impacts the time of delivery and quality of the product. Thanks to constant communication between team members and precise control of the whole process, the product is developed according to strict requirements to meet users’ needs. 

Software project management phases

The process consists of five phases:

  • Project Initiation

The first phase is more about document work to define everything correctly as it directly shapes the development process itself, so pay attention to the details during this phase.

During this phase, you have to write a project charter to state the following:

  • general information about the project;
  • business aim of the project;
  • goals of the project;
  • budget, scope, estimated time of development of the project;
  • probable risks anticipation and definition;
  • success measures.

 

  • Project Planning

The planning phase is all about its name. Here we have to make documentation where the following points are essential:

  • developing more detailed requirements;
  • creating tasks and dividing them amongst the team members according to their role and specialty;
  • creating a project schedule.

During the planning phase, you have to develop the final version of the project scope according to the available information about the resources and aims of the project. 

  • Project Execution

When the plan is ready and well-written, it is time to start working on the project. During the project execution phase, the team members are working on the project according to the plan made in the previous 2 phases.

Of course, no one can forecast everything, so be ready for possible changes in the plan and adjust the development process to them.

  • Project maintenance phase

After executing the project, the next phase is maintenance. It is the longest phase, as the maintenance phase which lasts till the closing phase. During the maintenance phase, you have to work on keeping the product in decent condition, update it, fix any possible issues, gather feedback and perform other required actions for proper product maintenance.

  • Project Closing

In the final phase, the project is closing. Reasons for closing can be different. It can be a cancellation or reaching all the goals and successful development. It is high time to review the whole process, analyze it, define what was done wrong and right, and make conclusions for future projects.

Each phase requires monitoring and controlling.

Project manager responsibilities

The main responsibilities are:

  • Developing scope of work, necessary resources, organizing the project working process, and budget planning.
  • Monitoring progress, resources, or budget usage and adjusting them to meet the requirements. 
  • Communicating with the development team and stakeholders.

Tips for successfully managing a project

First and foremost, communication is the key to everything. Be open to your team, so members can come to you and ask for help or opinion. Maybe a team member has an idea to suggest. In that case, the person can suggest it without hesitation. Discuss the working process with the team to make the process transparent.

Do not forget that you are working with humans, not deadlines. Know what strengths and weaknesses of your team are, and always leave egos behind. You should respect every opinion and consider it. That will foster the relationships between management and team members and remove any possible communication barriers. 

Working process organization is crucial for project management. A project manager should document all the milestones in the working process to have a clear picture of the accomplished task. Do not underestimate meetings, as they are a great way to keep the project manager and the team updated about the development process. There are many tools to keep track of everything that can help perform it efficiently. 

As we see, it is hard to achieve desirable results in software development without project management. The importance of project management in software development and each phase in software project management is time-proven by years of experience. The better project management is, the better and more quality product you get!

References:

PMI.com

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