Shaping Success or Sabotage
A good project manager is crucial to keep your team happy. They are the backbone of software development and are responsible for planning, coordinating and managing activities throughout the project. The success of your team depends on how well you manage them. In this article, we will explore several aspects which can lead to poor project management and how you can avoid them.
Failure to Manage Effectively
The most common reason for a software development project failure is the failure to manage effectively. A frequent reason to this is when the project manager does not understand that they need to manage the project and not the people. Being the hype-man is as far as the project manager should go in people management. The PM should work closely with the Dev Manager if issues arise related to individuals.
When it comes to managing projects, one of the most important things you can do is communicate. If you’re not clear about what your team needs to achieve and how they will get there, then your project may fail.
The Project Manager is the liaison between the development team and the client. Coming to client-meetings not prepared will make the entire team look inefficient and will raise a lot of concern from the client side. The simplest project manager communication strategy that will leave the team and the client happy is:
- Be prepared for all meetings, especially those with the client. Get the entire team on the same page and make sure that demos have been tested.
- Raise concerns quickly. Don’t wait for the meetings to come around. Communicate with the client if there’s a roadblock so that they understand the timeline.
- Give frequent updates to the client. The client is paying for it. A formal email can be sent once a week but more frequent interactions should occur through Slack/Teams.
- Speak with the dev team daily. Understand what their roadblocks are and communicate those back to the client quickly or resolve them internally as appropriate.
Underestimating Client Needs
A project manager who understands their client’s needs, goals and expectations will be able to effectively manage the project. This can be achieved through a number of methods including:
- Understanding the client’s vision
- Understanding their business model
- Knowing what drives change in the market they operate in (e.g., technology advances)
The project manager is responsible for the quality of their team’s work. If a person is not doing their job, then it’s your fault as the project manager that you didn’t do more to keep them on track. That’s the way that the client sees it. They don’t understand the separation of roles since the PM is usually the face of the project.
There are many ways to take short cuts and create an inferior product. The first way is by not having enough resources in place before starting a project or task. Another way is taking shortcuts during development and testing phases by using software that doesn’t work well with your current systems or processes (or even worse, causes errors).
Make sure that the software development team understands when the application is an MVP and when it’s not. Sometimes shortcuts can be an advantage (MVP), but other times they’ll highlight project failures and will shine the spotlight on the project manager.
Micromanaging Team Members
Micromanaging is a bad thing. There, I said it. Nobody wants to be micromanaged; your team members are likely to resent you for it. Micromanagers don’t understand how much work goes into each task, so they always expect their employees to do more than they can handle. This causes stress, frustration and low morale on the team — which means you’ll have trouble getting anything done at all.
Instead, communicate with your team members about what needs to get done (and when). Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for each task; talk about deadlines and milestones so everyone has an idea of where things stand in terms of completion timeliness. Let them know if there’s anything urgent needing attention right now — you might even ask them if there’s any way they could help out by doing something else while waiting on one thing until there’s time later down the road when resources aren’t quite so limited anymore.
Be a Good Software Development Project manager to keep your team happy
Being a good software development project manager is an art as well as a science. You have to manage the project, manage the client, manage the budget and quality requirements, communicate with each other internally and externally (and sometimes even with your boss), manage risks associated with any changes that may come up during development or testing phases of your project; but most importantly you need to keep in mind all expectations set by stakeholders which includes setting realistic timelines for tasks or milestones along with providing regular status updates about progress made on those tasks/milestones throughout their completion cycle.
It’s important to note that not all project managers are bad. It’s just that if you’re a software development project manager and have the skills to manage your team, then it is your responsibility to make sure they’re happy. The best way to do this is by doing what we said earlier: communicating with your team members, giving them enough time feedback on their work and making sure they feel appreciated for their efforts.