Most people don’t understand why software project management is important because they have no idea who project managers are and what they do. This article outlines the responsibilities and qualities of project managers, project planning, and the privileges you can get from including a project manager to your development team.
What Project Managers Do
One might say that the job of a project manager is only about controlling the work of developers assigned for a task. Still, they constantly collaborate with different experts, use advanced tools and techniques to break bigger tasks down into smaller ones, and get them back together as well as solve specific issues that occur or might occur on the project. Besides, being the coordinator for a project team, the span of their responsibilities is wider than you might suppose.
A project manager takes responsibility for:
- Promoting interests of a client accurately throughout the development process;
- Dealing with project documentation;
- Planning a project;
- Assigning tasks for each member of the development team;
- Defining priorities of the tasks set;
- Suggesting how to improve the project;
- Motivating team members to keep up the good work;
- Holding team gatherings;
- Considering attitudes towards the project of both clients and team members;
- Scheduling tasks according to the given resources;
- Keeping the connection between executive managers, developers, and clients.
Qualities of a Good Project Manager
One of the merits of a project manager is better productivity through firmly sticking to client deadlines and requirements. Even though different clients have different ideas and demands, the end goal of every project manager is customer satisfaction. This means that a PM doesn’t know what working routine is. Since they have a wide range of responsibilities, they must possess:
- Analytical skills;
- Critical thinking;
- Technical background;
- Communication and public speaking skills;
- Leadership skills;
- Pliancy of mind;
- Conflict-solving skills;
- Ability to handle stress;
- Focus on the results.
Why Is Project Management Important?
As the IT field deals with different categories of software, a project manager applies the systematic approach to every project. To understand the significance of project management with this approach, you need to be aware of four fundamental parts of project management:
- Scope. A scope has everything to do with a project. It includes specifications, software, organizational tools, tasks and goals, deliverables, and costs.
- Costs. One of the two main resources of any project, namely, the sum of money invested in the development by a client.
- Time. Another important resource that is set by a client and meant for gaining current and end goals of a project by the required date.
- Result. A result is an outcome of how a project manager arranged costs and time to get a project done. To get the required result, it is essential to use the approaches stipulated by budget and time management.
Importance of Project Planning
Everything starts with the analysis of the client’s instructions to determine how a team will move towards the needed result. The next step after the analysis is goals setting. It requires adaptation of the client’s instructions for the team, and dividing tasks among the team members. At this point, PMs hold team gatherings to check if each member is able to do their specific job and keep them updated on the client’s needs later on. It is also a good way of handling possible conflicts of interests inside the team once they occur.
When a team ends up the meeting and approves the goals, a project manager appoints the tasks as discussed. All the tasks are done according to the proper schedule set for each member to avoid overdue and eliminate the poor quality of deliverables. One of the major benefits of project planning implies helping to make sure that all members of the development team do their tasks as planned on schedule and move towards achieving their goals.
Risks You Can Avoid with Project Management
The importance of project analysis primarily lies in taking any potential risks away. To understand what it means, compare it to driving a car. If something’s wrong with your tire on the way, you can use a spare wheel that’s foreseen for emergency cases. Or if you’re running out of fuel, an indicator on the dashboard warns you about it with blinking. Similar ways of risks-coping are applied to project management.
While working with application software, a PM realizes that potential risks occur because any resources are limited. Though the spare wheel or filling of the fuel tank for a PM could be cloud computing or implementing quality assurance strategies depending on the case. The risks that may take place are:
- Performance risks (conflicts of interests, human factor, low motivation);
- Schedule risks (tight client deadlines, project overdue);
- Money risks (limited or poorly planned budget).
Solutions to Prevent Possible Risks
To achieve project success, PMs may negotiate with a client the possibility of making changes in a team. For example, they can suggest including analytics specialists to cooperate with a developer. By doing so, a PM ensures that the technical performance is in compliance with business aspects. They are also great psychologists who know how to talk to specialists to keep their motivation strong.
Schedule-related risks point out why time management is so important on a project. Time management strategies usually include setting deadlines, creating graphs and using tools for time tracking, and appointing respective executives who take care of timely task delivery in case of large complex projects. A PM prevents possible money issues by careful coordination of the work. Thus, workers don’t waste their time fixing bugs and you don’t need to overpay them as any flaw is fixed immediately.
Having an example of a risk-preventing solution will help you figure out the optional strategies for you. If you want to learn more about projects running under the control of a project manager, you can visit our Case Studies page.
Benefits of Project Management
Since people aren’t informed enough about when to use project management, they spend tons of money and still don’t get desired results. With a skillful project management methodology, which is peculiar for each case, the advantages of project management will be:
- Communication - involves fast response between every person working on a project, keeping track of client updates, and informing them on the process;
- Economy - includes time-saving and money allocation strategies;
- Risk Reduction - defines prediction of performance, schedule and money risks, and coping with them by means of risk management strategies;
- Timely Delivery - assures that the deadlines were met and the goals for developers, managers, and clients were achieved.
Project management is about analysis, planning, appointing tasks, scheduling, monitoring, checking results, and many more. The result of the project analysis is specifications by which the work is structured and allocated. The task of a project manager is to control following these specifications throughout the whole project process. The importance of IT project management can be described with the analogy of the gear wheels that altogether are a powerful smoothly running mechanism. In such a way, you increase the efficiency of the result you wanted to get and the high quality of your website or mobile application.
If you are looking for a professional team under the guidance of a project manager and you want to know how much money you would need for that, you can estimate your project for free right here.