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BusinessFive key aspects of successful project management in software development

Successful project management is not an easy task to achieve. Let's point out 5 aspects of successful project management in software development.
Updated at25.03.2024
Published at28.04.2023
Matt Sadowski
Matt Sadowski

CEO @ Custom Software Development Expert

Table of contents

  1. Personal experience
  2. 1. Technical and IT goals understanding
  3. 2. Effective communication among the IT product team
  4. 3. Be a leader for your people
  5. 4. Evaluation of the risk related to your IT product goals
  6. 5. Adaptability and flexibility to the fast-changing IT landscape
  7. Conclusion

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Personal experience

As an IT leader of a software agency, I have struggled with dozens of IT projects in my 10-year career. As a company owner, I still play multiple roles. Usually, I supervise the project managers in our team, but occasionally, I need to take responsibility for delivering a particular project scope. Each project is different, with different goals, different project teams, and different problems. Even though project success is the main objective, we must remember that each project’s success has its own definition.  In my opinion, these are five key aspects of successful IT project management.

1. Technical and IT goals understanding

A successful project manager needs to have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the IT project. This means defining what needs to be accomplished, setting realistic timelines, and outlining the tools and human resources as developers, UX/UI designers, QA specialists, and business analysts needed to achieve these goals. The IT project manager must fully understand the tech and IT aspects of these goals. He needs to understand the high-level technical background of what he is doing and how the IT goal needs to be achieved. He must understand the tech aspects of the components impacting goals and objectives. I saw dozens of times in different organizations people who were trying to manage the IT project without particular knowledge of how web or mobile apps is working. Setting up the goal, deadlines, and project plan without such knowledge is impossible and probably will end with failure, the only hope is really great team that will cover the project leader's knowledge gaps.

Moreover, it is worth mentioning that at the beginning of each cooperation with the Client, we should ask the stakeholder, project sponsor,  or investor the fundamental question, “What is the business goal that you would like to achieve?”. This is the best practice I recommend to everyone struggling to understand the reason for any IT module that needs to be implemented. This kind of knowledge could change our understanding of the project significantly. If you think that doing the scope that our Client ordered, without asking what is the purpose or reason, is enough, you are wrong. In this case, project execution probably will end with failure, or outputs won't meet our Client's expectations.

2. Effective communication among the IT product team

team working on project plan

Communication is key to the success of any project. Communication is crucial, especially in IT project management. A project manager needs to communicate clearly and effectively with stakeholders, team members, and other parties like 3rd party software providers, external agencies, etc., which are involved in the project. This includes providing regular updates on progress, identifying and addressing potential roadblocks, and keeping everyone informed of any project scope or timeline changes.

Daily discussions with the developers and other IT specialists can be hard. Different points of view and different characters need to be led toward one common goal. Managing a project and keeping communication with everyone is challenging. Especially leading communication of a remote team is totally different from leading the team that we can meet each day face to face at the office, but I think these differences can be for another blog post.

In case of communication problems, I recommend solving issues personally with each team member separately. When you know different perspectives on the problem, you can start clarifying the issue in front of the whole team or its members. Moreover, good project management software could be very helpful in maintaining proper communication within the team.

3. Be a leader for your people

According to ProjectManger.com, project leadership is leading a team towards completing a project. It’s about getting something done well through others.

Successful project management requires strong leadership skills, including inspiring and motivating team members, delegating tasks effectively, and making tough decisions when necessary. When a project team has a problem, you must know that you will be the first person they will contact. You must be prepared for different personal issues, be ready to talk about them with team members, help them, escalate problems higher in the organization if necessary, and give support. This is real leadership. 

Moreover, leading the IT project is important; everyone needs to know who is responsible for making the final calls to deliver and achieve the project objectives. As a leader, apart from the supportive role, you would have to exert pressure to achieve the deadlines, ensure task execution, and draw the consequences when somebody is permanently not making deliverables. A good project manager should also be able to provide guidance and foster a positive and collaborative team environment.

the finger that points to the button with the analysis label. button on the desk with the risk label above and risk levels described next to it.

Every project involves some degree of risk, and a successful project manager must be able to identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. Integration with 3rd parties tools, developers unwilling to change, missed estimation regarding particular project requirements, and many more problems may appear in each IT project management process. Key stakeholders, project sponsors, and Clients are very sensitive. The project management process should involve identifying potential issues early on, developing contingency plans, and monitoring progress to ensure the project stays on track.  

As for my failure in project management regarding risk management, I would like to cite a case where a few years ago in one of our projects, I missed one email from the online payment provider. It was one short message that they rejected our application and that integration with one of its services wouldn't be possible. Without knowing it and assuming that none of this can happen, move forward with implementing integration with them.  This mistake cost us two months of additional work and caused significant delays and problems with the client and project sponsor. Lack of proper risk management, not outlining it as a possible risk, and lack of proper risk monitoring caused that situation. 

5. Adaptability and flexibility to the fast-changing IT landscape

Projects are rarely straightforward, and a successful project manager needs to be adaptable and flexible to navigate unexpected challenges or changes in the project scope. Project management success depends on the project manager's adaptability to the situation that she or he is currently facing. If the project manager can flexibly handle daily issues and navigate between them, the team is more effective and can focus on delivering the job. Moreover, project sponsors and clients can cause many changes each day. Changing the priorities, tasks, and critical situations in the production environment requires the project manager and project team members to adjust to changing situations, but everything has to be started by the project manager, who, with his leadership skills, will be an example for rest of the project team.

Conclusion

I presented different project management knowledge areas here, but I believe successful and effective project management is based on the five factors and skills mentioned above. 

If you are struggling with an ineffective project management process, not achieving deliverables, the web app or mobile app not working as expected, and the project team not doing its work, let's contact us. I would love to support you and the Mobile Reality team achieve your project goals.

Exploring the Business Facets of Software Development

The business strategy behind software development is as crucial as the technology itself. At Mobile Reality, we provide a deep dive into the various business models, methodologies, and strategies that drive profitable and efficient software creation. Our comprehensive articles are designed to guide you through the complexities of the custom software development business:

These resources are crafted for those looking to refine their approach to building and managing software projects. Whether you’re contemplating the most effective development methodology, weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing, or deciding on the right pricing model, our insights can lead to informed decisions. Contact our team for a personalized consultation on software development business strategies. We’re here to help you navigate the path to success in the digital product landscape.

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Matt Sadowski

CEO of Mobile Reality

CEO of Mobile Reality

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