Yes, for every tech project or business, there’s inevitably the client and the working team. To facilitate communication between all parties. That is a project manager.
As every project has its unique challenges, there are some constants:
- The project has time pressure.
- The budget is higher than I would like.
- I am more expensive than the client would like.
- I do not listen as perfectly as the client would like.
- The client does not explain things as perfectly as I would like.
Clearly, we need a Project Manager. Someone has to step in to establish the ground rules, keep everyone honest and make sure that we’re not forgetting anything important. Someone has to facilitate communication between all parties.
A project manager facilitates communication across all stakeholders and teams.
An Incomplete List of Techniques for Managing a Technical Project
Maybe manage your project yourself, or whether you are going to hire someone but want to be more knowledgeable about the process, this list will help you. I have never (officially) been a project manager, so I can’t say which tools any given project manager would use, but I’ve had good success with all of these techniques:
When beginning a new project, most people know instinctively that it’s important to break down the project into slightly more-manageable pieces, with each section worth a few weeks to a few months’ worth of work. At the beginning of the project, it is a good idea to have a kick-off meeting to establish these milestones. It’s okay to be a little vague about how you’ll reach them, most importantly, keep checking in after each milestone so that everyone can benefit from their increased understanding of the project, and make sure that the project’s milestones are still (roughly) the same size as was initially assumed.
# Timeline estimation
We as programmers absolutely hate guesses because we know they will be wrong, and we know they will be used against us. It is okay that they are wrong, because by definition, they are based on some unknown. It is also okay that they are used against us because our jobs are very padded, and it doesn’t hurt to get whiplash over and over again.
So feel free to ask for an estimate each time work begins on a new milestone. You should expect a row or two for each major feature, along with an estimate of how long that feature will take. I usually estimate optimistically, then double it. More often than not, this extra time causes unseen damages.
# Stand-up Meetings
Long meetings are sometimes unavoidable, but you really don’t want to overload your programmers or take longer than necessary. I have clients who expected me to remember everything they said during a three and a 45-min meeting; They were deeply disappointed. A stand-up meeting is typically limited to 10 minutes, and it is customary to stand for the duration. The standing aspect is considered to ensure that everyone is participating, as well as to keep the meeting short.
During stand-ups, everyone goes around in a circle to provide a brief status report, keeping all team members up-to-date on each other’s progress. If you all work remotely and don’t want to get everyone on Skype every day, You can try some of our recommended tools to get connected at a time, with multiple people and even can share your share to understand everything deeply.
You can utilize tools like Trello, Slack, or Jira to track progress through projects.
This is an expensive practice, which means it is not often employed in projects where the budget is limited to a few freelancers. So, as a startup entrepreneur, you shouldn’t feel too bad for not doing so, but let me hang the idea before you as it provides the ultimate defence against bugs. Basically, your programmers spend additional precious hours writing tests (small code blocks) that ensure certain parts of the app behave in specific, predictable and repeatable ways. For example, I might write a test saying that when the “Login” button is clicked, a pop-up opens with a username field in it.
The beauty of tests is that once I’ve written them down, I can run them all with a single command. If I have 200 tests written, I can run them after a new version of the app is released to make sure none of those 200 features introduced bugs. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as we can guarantee bug-free (bug list, at least) apps.
That’s a little about project management, we are going to write so much about it time by time. I’m not sure how much of this will pass into the Project Management, but it’s pretty much everything I’ve picked up by working on web projects over the past decade. Of course, I recommend that you hire a project manager from us an in your dedicated team member or part-time member or someone in order to get the benefit of our experience, I hope you find this information helpful even if that’s not something that you’re able to do. You will be the ultimate authority on this project, so the more you understand about its inner workings, the more likely you are to lead it to victory.