IT ProcessBY RabIT Solutions
There are a ton of reasons why a project can suffer, including poor planning and execution, or a lack of coordination. You can avoid project failure by deciding to hire a dedicated project manager. He or she will enable you to reap the promised benefits of the project.
Companies invest a considerable amount in projects to upgrade systems, develop new applications, or to roll out strategic initiatives. However, sometimes the development teams dedicated to these projects fail to deliver the desired results. This tends to happen more often in case you are working with an offshore development team.
What is the role of a dedicated project manager?
If you have hired an offshore development team, successful collaboration between it and your on-site team is crucial for achieving success in projects. For that, you need proper planning, clearly defined goals, and effective communication. If you also hire a dedicated project manager, they will make sure that all the requirements are met. They have the skill set to plan, organize, execute, and bring the project to a close.
Dedicated project managers also play a vital role in improving the performance of the team. They make sure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, and the goals of the project. Not only that, but they also regularly monitor and assess the team’s performance.
There is no one right project management methodology for all cases. There are plenty of options to pick from, and the dedicated project manager selects the approach based on the specific requirements and scope, so that it doesn’t fail to deliver the expected results.
Additionally, as the onus of the project’s success is on the project manager, you are free to focus on other aspects of your business.
Let’s take a look at how a project manager ensures that the projects are completed on time and on budget. They:
- Create a clear vision.
- Provide a framework for the project-related tasks.
- Identify resources needed to achieve project goals.
- Set milestones, gauges progress, and ensures they are achieved.
- Coordinate activities between different team members — offshore team and onshore team; and mediate if there is a conflict.
- Motivate team members.
- Identify potential risks that are present throughout the project’s lifetime, assess them, and proactively respond.
- Keep work on the track.
What to Look for When You Hire a Dedicated Project Manager
Dedicated project managers must possess the ability to oversee complex processes and break them up into smaller, more easily manageable chunks. For this they have to understand the role and objectives of each work group (designers, developers, quality assurance testers, etc.).
Of course, each task must also be communicated in a clear and precise manner. Expert communication skills are essential for every dedicated project manager. The ability to write concise and easy-to-understand project descriptions is a must-have as well. It is also very beneficial if your project manager speaks multiple languages. because internationally distributed teams are quickly becoming the new norm.
Communication skills are especially crucial if your team is working as a supplier for a group of clients. In this case, the project manager is usually also tasked with communicating with clients directly, presenting the results and handling issues or complaints.
Knowing how to use all of the most popular project management tools shouldn’t be an absolute requirement. These tools (we mention a few of them below) can be picked up relatively quickly for anyone with a basic affinity for using software. However, having some experience with a few of them can help speed up the onboarding process.
A Few Project Management Tips
As the business environment is changing fast and there is high uncertainty, companies can no longer take their time to complete a project. Every business has to work with limited resources, and employees often handle more than one responsibility. So, how do you defy the odds and become a successful organization? A competent and resourceful project manager can make a big difference and help manage projects effectively.
Here are some suggestions for selecting tools and methodologies:
Project Management Methodology
An adaptive project framework can be the best approach today, as it continuously adapts to the changing circumstances of each project. It allows you to change the project’s scope. Moreover, as the projects progress in iterative stages, the team can evaluate the previous performance at the end of every stage. Based on the evaluation, they can improve their performance.
We recommend using Scrum or Kanban project management methodologies most of the time.
Scrum is a project management framework that breaks up longer development processes into two-week periods (or sprints). After completing each sprint, the progress is demonstrated to the product owner, who can then give feedback and make adjustments to the project if necessary. Close communication and constant inclusion of the Client makes the project much more likely to stay on course and deliver positive results.
Here is how dedicated teams usually visualize development tasks with Scrum:
Unlike Scrum, the Kanban approach is not iterative, so it allows the software to be developed in one large development cycle. This cycle has no predefined end point. The software requirements get broken up into smaller work items, which then enter the development process in a prioritized order. A work item is not allowed to move on to the next phase until some capacity opens up ahead. This approach is more useful if fixed time frames aren’t sustainable for the project.
This is how teams visualize development tasks with the Kanban Method:
As you can see, in Kanban, tasks are carried out in a specific order. New tasks have to be added at the end of the Backlog queue, and they will be executed in order.
This is not possible in Scrum, because once a set of tasks in a sprint gets defined and approved, tasks cannot be added or modified. New tasks must be added to the upcoming sprints instead.
Voice Communication Tools
For excellent teamwork, effective communication is essential. With voice communication platforms such as Skype and Google Hangouts, which offer audio and video group calls, remote team members can easily plan, communicate and work as a cohesive group.
Chat & Messaging Apps
Slack, Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace, the group chat tools, enable distributed dedicated teams to collaborate successfully. WhatsApp, the cross-platform messaging and VoIP service, also lets the team members to plan, organize, and share work updates.
Leveraging task management software such as Asana, JIRA, and Confluence, the startup’s team members can manage, organize, and track the progress of project-related tasks.
If you need help deciding which tools to use to track and carry out your project management tasks, have a look at this list of the best software development tools for project management.
If you would like to learn more, read about our approach to dedicated project management here.
More useful Agile project management advice and resources:
RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.
Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.