Project management does not entail the management of any single type of project. In fact, software development and project management are like two peas in a pod known as software development project management.
Every implementation of the project management processes is different and the same can be said for software development project management.
In this blog, we will go over the elements that make up software development project management and everything you need to know about software development project management.
What is Software Development Project Management?
Software development projects are not simple endeavors. In fact, software development initiatives are sophisticated enterprises.
Business value and software development pipelines and procedures must be analyzed for cost benefits and optimization challenges.
Software development projects are difficult jobs conducted by two or more people in an ever-changing setting where business management and technology are essentially both related.
Time, money, and personnel contrails limit the ability to create new or improve on already existing computer code with resource allocation and execution in mind.
Broadly speaking, software projects are defined by a full development pipeline that runs the gamut from initial data collection through testing and maintenance, all while adhering to a strict deadline to provide the desired end result.
Thus, it can be seen that the use of project management principles and systems to assist in achieving software-related objectives is known as software development project management.
Software development project management is used by development teams to deliver all types of software projects. These include projects such as new product development, test-driven development, and configuration management to name a few.
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What is the importance of project management in software development?
The goal of project management in software development is to create a product or outcome that will provide an overall benefit to the company.
A software development team without project management may find themselves starting work or working on a project without a clear vision or direction, this could lead to confusion and more frequent mistakes.
Making sure everyone participating in the project is aware of the project’s aim and the procedures necessary to achieve the ultimate goal is an important part of software development project management.
Therefore, there is great importance in project management for software development to ensure that the best outcomes and a product are created that will offer benefits to the organization as well as its end consumers.
The Steps Involved in Software Development Project Management
Software project management is a subcategory of project management. It is working towards and eventually delivering a successful software development project.
In order for a software development project to be deemed a success, it has to be within defined variables including the timeframe discussed, the quality standards expected, the budget approved, and the overall wider scope.
Software development projects follow the Software Development Lifecycle from the beginning of the project to its conclusion.
The steps in the software development lifecycle include four phases. These four phases are the inception phase, the elaboration phase, the construction phase, and the delivery of the product.
Let’s go over each phase of the software development lifecycle in turn starting with phase one which is the inception phase.
The Inception Phase
The inception phase is the first stage of the software development lifecycle. The inception phase involves scoping and justifying the project at hand.
IT organizations determine the requirements, product features, risks, limitations, and scope of the software development project in the first phase of software project management.
Software development teams will create a strategy to stick to the budget decided for the project while still supporting the end-products and business justification.
This phase of the software development lifecycle includes different tasks and processes.
The team during the initial phases of the project will define the software processes. This will include deciding which framework and model are to be followed as well as identifying who is part of the team and what each individual’s role will be.
Teams will also need to document specifications in detail such as the requirements for the development processes and operational processes.
Moreover, in line with the project’s scope teams will have to figure out the project’s schedule, calculate what budget will be needed, and any additional resources that will be required.
This phase involves a lot of planning that allows for a project to actually take place and start being worked on.
The Elaboration Phase
The elaboration phase is when the specific needs of the software development project are decided and is the second phase of the software development lifecycle.
This is the phase in which the plan for the project is completed and then validated.
The software development team will also take the time during this phase to identify any potential risks and decide how these identified risks need to be managed.
The second phase is once the software development team has agreed with the client or stakeholder or other such individuals on the requirements that need to be met.
Other actions that need to take place during this phase include:
- Modeling and design of the project
- Executing the plan for the project that was created
- Create a systematic governance framework
The Construction Phase
Once you have crossed the second phase of the software development lifecycle you are entering the time when your team will be focusing specifically on the development processes.
The third phase is when planning is finally complete and implementation of the plan properly starts.
The construction phase of the software development lifecycle is when your team will keep track of how far the development process is progressing in relation to the established requirements and user expectations that are aimed for.
You need to ensure that apart from expectations you are also on track in terms of your schedule and allocated budget.
During this phase software, development teams will be in the full swing of the project. The design patterns need to be documented, discussed, and eventually followed systematically.
Furthermore, teams also need to ensure they manage quality. This involves identifying the activities as well as the qualitative and quantitative software quality measurements.
In order to achieve excellent quality as planned, teams need to learn and understand which metrics may be monitored throughout the software testing process.
Delivery of the Product
The final phase in the software development lifecycle is releasing the product.
During this final phase of the software development lifecycle, teams will finish the required artifacts, and the development team will need to prepare for the next software development cycle iteration.
It is here where teams can apply the lessons learned from the first iteration to facilitate continuous progress.
You may release particular feature updates, components, or an entire product to end-users, depending on the software development lifecycle process that is being utilized.
The aim of this phase of the software development lifecycle is not simply to deliver the product but to also take the time to learn from the previous phases.
By taking the time to seek feedback and identifying what worked and what challenges were faced during the previous iteration, teams can better their next iteration and deliver better results.
Feedback loops are an integral part of software development. To learn more about feedback loops check out our blog post here.
You also want to measure the success of your project by identifying project performance as well as highlighting whether the goals of the project were met or not.
Not only should the goals have been met but they should have been achieved within the constraints of the project including the project scope, budget, schedule, etc.
Teams should take the time to document findings and feedback for future reference.
Software project manager role description
If your software development team needs a project manager, there are some responsibilities that need to be taken care of for the software project manager role. The manager needs to streamline workflows through a documented process. The candidate needs to combine software development and project management knowledge to conduct the job efficiently.
Here are the key responsibilities in the role of a software project manager includes:
- Stay on schedule to complete projects on time. The software project manager needs to be proactive, look for different ways to solve issues, manage risks, and prepare contingency plans.
- Lead the software project team with effective communication, and leadership skills.
- Software project planning by defining the scope, resource allocation, project timeline setting, project execution plan, monitoring, and evaluation process of the project.
- Supervise the project team across all the stages of projects from initiation to project close.
- Budget management for the software projects.
- Software development tracking and reporting.
- Encourage constant project testing across the workflow, issue resolution, and cater to customer needs.
Project Management Software to Help Manage Software Development Projects
As with any project management, managing a software development project involves many elements, constraints, and resources.
As a project manager and a software development team, there are many elements to keep track of to reach a successful project close.
Not only do teams need to stay up to date on the work they are doing, the budget that has been spent, and the timeline and progress of the project, but they also need to stay connected and communicate and collaborate effectively to reach the company and project goals.
Since there are so many things to keep organized it is beneficial to invest in a dedicated software or tool that can act as a central platform for all these elements.
nTask is a versatile project management tool with flexible features that help teams of all styles, sizes, and industries manage the projects they are working on.
The tool comes equipped with tools and features that help teams stay on top of projects and track project progress, provide means to be aware of the details within the project, and help teams work together efficiently and effectively.
nTask offers features such as:
- Gantt charts
- Kanban boards
- Task management
- Risk management
- Issue management
- File storage and sharing
- Communication and collaboration tools
- Meeting management
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For more details on what nTask has to offer check out our website or book a demo and see how nTask’s dynamic project management tool can help you and your team with your next software development project management endeavor.
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