What Is Software Project Management?
Software project management is dedicated to the planning, scheduling, resource allocation, execution, tracking, and delivery of software and web projects.
Project management in software engineering is distinct from traditional project management in that software projects have a unique life cycle process that requires multiple rounds of testing, updating, and customer feedback. Most IT-related projects are managed in the Agile style to keep up with the increasing pace of business and iterate based on customer and stakeholder feedback.
The role and responsibility of a software project manager
Software project managers may have to do any of the following tasks:
- Planning: The project manager puts together the blueprint for the entire project. The project plan will define the scope, necessary resources, timeline, procedure for execution, communication strategy, and steps required for testing and maintenance.
- Leading: A software project manager assembles and leads the project team, which consists of developers, analysts, testers, graphic designers, and technical writers. Heading up a team requires excellent communication, people, and leadership skills.
- Execution: The project manager will supervise the successful execution of each stage of the project. This includes monitoring progress, conducting frequent team check-ins, and creating status reports.
- Time management: Staying on schedule is crucial to the successful completion of any project. This can be particularly challenging when managing software projects because changes to the original plan are almost guaranteed as the project evolves. Software project managers must be experts in risk management and contingency planning to ensure progress in the face of roadblocks or changes.
- Budget: Like traditional project managers, software project managers are tasked with creating a budget for a project and sticking to it as closely as possible, moderating spend and re-allocating funds when necessary.
- Maintenance: Software project management encourages constant product testing to discover and fix bugs early, adjust the end product to the customer’s needs, and keep the project on target. The software project manager ensures the product is properly and consistently tested, evaluated, and adjusted accordingly.
How to manage a software project successfully
According to Forbes, there are eight ways to improve and streamline the software project management process. These tips include:
- Taking non-development work off your team’s plate to let them focus on the product
- Motivating your team by sharing others’ success stories
- Avoiding any changes to tasks once assigned
- Trying to stick to the plan (until it needs to be changed)
- Encouraging organization by being organized yourself
- Streamlining productivity through effective delegation
- Getting to know your team and building a rapport
- Breaking down the plan and assigning specific daily tasks