A Comprehensive Guide on Software Project Management in 2021
Software project management plays a vital role in delivery optimization. Here’s what experts have to say about it to help you get started the right way.
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When we talk about software project management in a conversation related to the organizational paradigm, it usually comprises of all of the things from software development, documenting the whole process, testing every single element, and delivering the finished product on time.
And while every single project manager working in the industry knows about the importance of software project management and how it helps to develop your project easily and seamlessly, not everyone gets it right all the time and that’s a big problem.
If you are on that list of managers that don’t quite understand what and how to execute when it comes to software project management process, then don’t worry, because, in this article, we are going to talk about everything software project management and why it is so important.
So, without further ado, let’s start the article with what software project management is.
Software Project Management
At this point, we all know what project management is and how it can help you in the development and execution of a project development process. Software project management is exactly like that but is only exclusive to the development and execution of software.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps that you have to perform in order to execute a perfect software project management process:
- Gathering client requirements in order to make sure that you and your team know what to develop
- Building different software products
- Testing the functionalities of the software being developed
- Documenting every single thought and process related to the project
- Modifying the product according to the reviews that the customer has provided you
Different Types of Software Project Management
Here are the two different ways you can manage your software development processes.
- Agile Software Project Management
- Waterfall Software Project Management
Let’s take a look at both of them in detail and find out whether or not you can use them for your software development process.
1. Agile Software Project Management
Whenever we talk about an incremental project management methodology that makes sure that all of your project development processes are performed in different iterations (to be as precise as possible), we talk about Agile software project management.
In this project management methodology, you break down all of your projects into smaller bite-sized pieces. These smaller pieces are useful to the project development teams as they are more manageable and can be easily completed in two to four weeks.
But one thing that you need to make sure that you don’t overlook is stakeholder feedback.
Yes, anyone and everyone who is connected to the project should be included in the project development process, so that their feedback is included in the overall development and there are no problems in the future.
2. Waterfall Software Project Management
The Waterfall software project management is quite different from agile in such a way that there are no incremental iterations, instead, it uses a more linear approach to project management where you only move to the next project development process when you have completed the previous one.
This project management methodology is quite efficient in some projects, but when it comes to flexibility in projects, this methodology fails dismally.
This is because most of the projects nowadays have ever-changing requirements according to customer feedback and market statistics, and if the project is not built to withstand change from the start, there is no future for it when it comes to changing, well, anything.
Why do You Need Software Project Management?
As you know that the tasks included in a software development process are nowhere easy, so in order to make sure that they are performed at the highest level possible, we implement software project management to manage them.
Here are some important things that software project management enables managers to do for their projects.
- It enables you to fully utilize all of the resources that are available in the resource pool.
- Tracking, monitoring, and controlling the elements associated with the project progress or the overall project process.
- Ensuring that all of the efforts of the development team regarding the software development process stay within the budget that was agreed on at the beginning.
- Providing overall better customer satisfaction with the products and the services that you are working on.
- It also helps you to create a clear blueprint of the software that you are trying to create using the software project development process.
- You can also improve team communication and collaboration related to the project development process.
- It also helps you to deliver the completed software to the end-user quickly and effectively.
- You can also perform an improved level of stakeholder management using software project management.
Structure of a Software Project Management Team
Of course, if you want to execute what you read in the upper section of the article about software project management, you need a kickass team that is creative enough to pull off a software project management process effectively and without any hurdles.
Let’s talk about that team now and find out the roles that different positions perform.
1. Project Manager
In a software project management team, the project manager has the most important role and has to perform the following operations:
- Arranging all of the necessary resources from the resource pool.
- Tracking the project progress so that all of the project deliverables can be created on time by the development team.
- They also have to develop detailed plans for all of the processes that are included in the software project development.
- Project managers also have to maintain the external and internal communications between all of the different stakeholders connected to the project.
There are some other roles associated with a software development process. They are:
- Backend Software Developer
- Software Tester
- Business Analyst
- Frontend Software Developer
Let’s take a look at these roles and what they bring to the table when it comes to software project development.
2. Backend Software Developer
This member of the software development process is responsible for the management and design of the project databases and also managing the web services and APIs of the project.
3. Software Tester
This person is responsible for testing the software’s quality and responsiveness, and they also make sure that the software being developed adheres to the scope of the working document that was discussed at the start of the software project development process.
4. Business Analyst
These individuals analyze all of the business requirements connected to the projects and also guide all of the software engineers that are working on the projects, to build solutions that meet the business model put forth by the client.
5. Frontend Software Developer
They are responsible for crafting the graphical interfaces for all of your websites, mobile apps, or web applications.
Different Software Management Processes
These are the different processes that are included in the overall software project management process:
- Resource Management
- Portfolio Management
Let’s take a look at them in detail and find out the work that goes into performing them.
In this phase of the project development process, all of the necessary elements related to the project are planned. This project planning provides an amazing outline of all of the different steps that you will have to perform in order to create the project deliverables.
Project planning also helps you to perform the following actions:
- Identifying the dependencies associated with the project.
- Efficiently creating the deliverables.
- Allocating the necessary resources from the resource pool.
- Prioritizing the tasks associated with the project.
The project development process has to stay within the budget that was allocated to it by the stakeholders at the start of the project, so that the project or the service that is being developed, can be developed 100% and not fade away prematurely.
In this step of the project development process, the project managers create a detailed roadmap of all the different tasks and processes being done in a specific period of time.
An effective software project management process needs a higher level of collaboration among the team members and the stakeholders associated with the project.
If they can achieve this collaboration level, there won’t be any blank spaces related to the project, and the development process will be done easily.
5. Resource Management
Any resource that is associated with the project is important, and if you are a project manager and you don’t manage your resources, then you are going to be in some deep problems when you go further along in the development process and have no more resources to use because you used them all at the wrong time.
This was our guide on software project management in 2021. If you think that we missed something important which should have been mentioned in the article, then and let us know.
Published at DZone with permission of Fred Wilson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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