How to Manage your Software Projects?
Project management is defined as skills and techniques required to control resources, schedules and cost to meet the requirements of the particular project and which encompass such arranged functions as calendars, charts, tracking of people, time and budgets etc. A successful project has a clear and agreed idea of what the finished project looks like.
Stages of a project
Every project management process will go through the following stages. In order to gain expertise and increasing your skills to manage your software projects one has to follow the guidelines as described under these stages.
1. Define the Scope
The first, and most important step in any project management is defining the scope of the project. What is the project objective? Once this is defined, you’ll be able to define and allocate tasks and give your team the direction they need to deliver the project on time and on budget.
2. Determine Available Resources
In project management , it is important to define which resources are required to carry out the project tasks. They can be people, equipment, facilities or anything else capable of for the completion of a project activity. The lack of a resource will therefore be a constraint on the completion of the project activity. Efficient and effective use of resources can often make or break a project. Also, the allocation of resources can have a major influence on project schedules.
3. Check the Timeline
When does the project have to be completed? As you develop your project plan you may have some flexibility in how you use time during the project, but deadlines usually are fixed. Time lines are used to help team members to know what milestones need to be achieved and under what time schedule.
4. Assemble Your Project Team
Get the people on your team together and start a project plan. Each project must be customized with the appropriate level of staffing and resources to achieve the desired end result.Thus, the next big step in the project management planning process is to assemble your team and identify the resources you will need for success.
5. List the important Steps
What are the major pieces of the project? If you don’t know, you can start by asking your team. Listing important steps is the backbone of any project. Organizing tasks into milestones and phases gives structure to the project and makes it easier for you to evaluate progress.
6. Develop a Preliminary Plan
Assemble all your steps into a plan. What happens first? What is the next step? Which steps can go on at the same time with different resources? The objective of a project plan is to define the approach to be used by the Project team to deliver the intended project management scope of the project. the project plan must also describe the execution, management and control of the project.The project plan typically covers topics used in the project execution system and includes the following main aspects:
- Scope Management
- Requirements Management
- Schedule Management
- Financial Management
- Quality Management
- Resource Management
- Communications Management
- Project Change Management
- Risk Management
- Procurement Management
7. Monitor Your Team’s Progress
It’s important to monitor the progress of the project so you will know if adjustments need to be made to get it moving back in the right direction. To effectively monitor project progress, you must understand its objective as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel involved.You will make little progress at the beginning of the project, but start then to monitor what everyone is doing anyway. That will make it easier to catch issues before they become problems.
8. Document Everything
Keep every record of your project. Every time you change your poject plan, write down what the change was and why it was necessary. Every time a new requirement is added to the project write down where the requirement came from and how the timeline or budget was adjusted because of it.
Your Project Initiation Document does the following:
- Defines your project and its scope.
- Justifies your project.
- Secures funding for the project, if necessary.
- Defines the roles and responsibilities of project participants.
- Gives people the information they need to be productive and effective right from the start.