14 Jan, 2010
Written & Translated by Effie Sha
Beijing RayooTech Co., Ltd.
What kinds of role does a project manager play in software project management?
For technical background project manager, most of them are perfectionist, even though they know it’s very hard to reach. Usually, this will cause project postponement, client complaints, products are delayed to goes live, and development team is exhausted. For management background project manager, most of them pay more attention on the progress of project development but they cannot control the hidden risks, such as the mature technology, programmers and technical assignment, etc. It is difficult to control the project when it is delayed and the serious result will be project failure. The above two situations also will happen to someone who know both technology and management.
Than here is the question: How to be a good project manager?
Be Avoid issues
1; Be avoid to manage numerous things to mess up your project
There are frequent requirement changing, team members exchanging in both big and small projects. Too many requirements changing will lead to project out of control even project team work overtime. Finally, you will find there is nothing in perfect and you have to face clients’ complaints, boss will be hot and bothered, team members will be tired.
Definitely, requirement changing and modification by clients or technology issues by programmers are very common during the project progress. So a good project manager should understand these requirements deeply and figure out the right solution in short time. Be aware which requirement can be placed in the first phase and which one can be pushed to the second phase. Don’t’ forget you have the deadline on project contract. The key point is how to complete the project perfectly before deadline.
2; Be avoid too many personalized or perfect requirement
There must be large number of document if your client is a big company, and every conference will be official, all the staff, manager who related with project and even high level leader will attend the conference to discuss their personalized requirement. And now, the most important thing is how to keep your mind clear without contradict their opinions. There is no doubt that your clients are professionals in their area, but you are professional in software project development. Let them know that which personalized requirement can be achieved and which one cannot or will cause serious problems. Always be remembered, do not make any promise quickly, tell them ‘We’ll determine after discussion’.
1; Good working environment
Good communication between team members is very important, no matter it is requirement discussion or technology problems or testing, very one should help each other in order to make sure the project will be met client’s requirement and completed on time. Don’t forget your team is not isolated, you would find documents and reference from your company.
2; Control the project progress strictly
How to control the progress of software project is the most of things that all project managers and companies concerned about. If there is something wrong with the progress, than lots of unexpected things that make you burnt. Therefore, the necessary meetings have to hold, review and organize project work every week to sum up the carried work and the following tasks. In most cases, the discussion of requirements analysis is bottomless pit. Some of them are difficult to achieve, so as a good project manager, you have to keep your mind clear and pay more attention to control the direction of the topic and encourage your team members to express their views. There is an example of failed project: a company got a large scale project more than 1 million. This project has not been completed overdue for half year, company sent all available programmers to participate the project and everyone was exhausted. What was going on? Modules could be written in two months but they had been changed for four or five times, and finally, the requirement had been changed back to the original one. They realized that sometimes some ideas and decisions were just temporary ones.
3; Pay attention to all aspects of project acceptance
The project acceptance review is a formal review between the project team and a client representative. Client verifies the product and supporting documentation delivered by the project meets the requirements and objectives as set out in the software development plan. To focus the project processes on what it will take to get acceptance from your client. The project will never be completed satisfactorily on schedule and within budget without a clear understanding of the acceptance. So make sure the project management plan defined the acceptance process and criteria for each deliverable. To define ahead of time the high, medium and low level issues that the client is willing to go into production with. It can be very hard to let the client to agree that the system is acceptable for production if the criteria are not in place ahead of time. Also please prepare an analysis to determine how many problems are serious, minor, cosmetic, not legitimate, duplicates or caused by test data.
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