Top 5 Project Management Techniques That Work for Software Development


Today when businesses tend to go mobile, making highly-effective applications requires compelling project management methods. To have products marketed fast, development teams rely on effective project management planning and control techniques to streamline their workflow. The key factor that helps to stay at the top of the product development roadmap and manage the schedule is choosing the right project planning tools and techniques.

In the following article, I am going to present the list of project management techniques that best work for software development. These project control techniques help the software development teams effectively manage their working process, aiming at providing the best possible result to the customers. Therefore, some methods allow the customer to be involved in the application development process. So, no matter you are a service provider or a business owner who tends to receive a perfect app for his potential customers, you should be aware of the project management tools and techniques that will best work for your specific requirements. In the end, the clearly chosen methodology is the guarantee of getting the job accurately implemented. Come on! Let’s find out the best of possible.

Project Management Techniques

#1 Agile

Agile is a modern and flexible approach to the project management process. It makes possible to convert large projects into more manageable tasks that are undertaken in short iterations and sprints. Such a planning system enables the development teams to adapt to quick changes and fast work delivery. As it is said, Agile is the ability to create and respond to the possible changes. According to popular magazine - Forbes, to become an Agile company is essential in today’s digital economy. This project provides many values, including:

  • Comprehensive and in-details documentation
  • Customer interaction and collaboration with the overall development process
  • Quick response to the changes

The Agile project management system provides:

  • Customer satisfaction at any stage of the workflow
  • Implementation of the required changes
  • Participation of the business stakeholder in the teamwork
  • Simplicity
  • Constant meetings and discussions
  • Regular reflection of results

Such an approach is acceptable for projects that have some level of complexity or uncertainty and require flexibility. Yet, Agile project management offers several frameworks. The most commons are:

Scrum

Scrum practice distributes traditional responsibilities (that, as a rule, the project manager takes) among the team members. The Scrum framework includes three main roles: product owner, scrum master, development team.

The product owner represents all the interests of the customers. This person organizes the workflow, highlighting what tasks are more essential and need to be first implemented. Due to the accuracy of the product owner, the development team focuses on high-priority tasks.

The Scrum master is the team facilitator. The first and foremost goal for this role representative is to help the development team become self-satisfied and find ways to prompt the progress.

The development team consists of all the required specialists to deliver the expected product. This team considers a single project during the required period of time. Once the product owner presents the list of the tasks, the team goes on the work.

Although being an Agile framework, Scrum develops its own guidelines. The approach offers:

  • Openness: Counter collaboration is the key factor.
  • Focus: The possibility of multitasking is excluded.
  • Courage: The development team believe in their power and are passionate about the work.
  • Commitment: To come to a consensus facilitates the development process.
  • Respect: Effective teamwork is based on mutual respect.

While working with a Scrum approach, we call any goal achievement period “Sprints”. Each sprint is carefully planned, implemented, and reviewed. This approach best suits for projects where a small team (consisting no more than 7 people) need a flexible approach to the product delivery.

Kanban

The second most popular framework of Agile is Kanban. It has much in common with Scrum, yet the, in the case of Kanban, the emphasis is put on the early release. Kanban project management is implemented using some tools: Kanban Board, Kanban Cards, Kanban Swimlanes.

The Kanban board is a technique used for visualizing the project development process. It may be either physical (whiteboard, markers, sticky notes) or digital (there are several online tools for project management, for example, Trello). Separate tables are opened and it’s easy to follow the status of tasks.

Kanban Cards are created for separate tasks in the working process. These cards are moved from one list to another (as from the list “To Do” to the list “Done”) and facilitates the development process.

Kanban Swimlanes are horizontal lists created to categorize and distinguish tasks. For example, different swimlanes may be created for app development and app design tasks. This tool offers a better overview of the overall development workflow.

Kanban Board

Like Scrum, Kanban is also preferable for small teams to organize project management and get more done.

RAD

RAD (Rapid Application Development) emphasizes working on the software and user feedback rather than strict planning and requirements recording. In simple language, RAD offers less talk and more action. And, of course, a lot of testing. This framework offers the following stages:

  1. Identify the requirements
  2. Build prototypes
  3. Receive user feedback
  4. Make the required changes
  5. Test, test, test
  6. Release the project

The great advantage the RAD project management framework offers is that it’s easy to break the project into small tasks that are more achievable and easy to handle. Constant feedback is possible that makes the idea of the expected product clearer. As a result, the working product is delivered more quickly and matches the users’ expectations.

RAD approach may work perfectly for projects on an emergency that need to be quickly released. Possible edits may be made later. The technique may suit for MVPs.

Agile also offers other frameworks, including XP (Extreme Programming) and APF (Adaptive Project Framework), but they aren’t as popular and effective as Agile Scrum and Agile Kanban.

#2 Waterfall

The waterfall is one of the most common project planning methods used by many companies. It follows the standard that until a task isn’t done, you cannot pass to the next one. As a result, the process becomes very easy-to-handle and straightforward (that’s where the name “waterfall” comes from). The Waterfall project management focuses on:

  • Customer requirements specification
  • Concept, Design, Planning
  • Product development
  • Testing and Debugging
  • Product release
  • Ongoing maintenance

This method best works for larger projects that require tight stage maintenance and deadlines. Waterfall may also suit for projects that have already been implemented various times so that there is a relatively low chance of surprises in the development process.

#3 CPM

CPM (Critical Path Mangement) is created to highlight the tasks the development team cannot begin before completing the others. A series of tasks the completions of which depend on the previous ones are organized in the CPM technique.

Similar to the methodology of the Waterfall, the CPM project management is a consecutive approach that lets the project managers prioritize resources, and put more emphasis and investment into more important work and reschedule lower-priority tasks that might slow the team down.

#4 PERT

PERT method (Project Evaluation Review Technique) is a project planning tool that is generally used to calculate the amount of time required for realistically completing the project. One of the essential tools PERT project management offers is the PERT chart. It is used to plan tasks within a project and to make it easier to schedule tasks and coordinate the team members implementing the work.

The PERT technique is similar to the CPM in that both are used to visualize the timeline and the workflow. Therefore PERT requires to create 3 different time estimations for the project:

  • the shortest possible amount of time each task may take
  • the most credible amount of time
  • the longest probable time that may be required to complete tasks if something unplanned happens

PERT is calculated backward. It starts from a fixed end date and, primarily, the deadlines cannot be moved.

#5 CCPM

CCPM (Critical Chain Project Management) is a planning method for better project management. With CCPM, organizations not only may run projects faster but also execute more cheaply.

This methodology (also considered as an extension of CPM) is used to prioritize critical resources. Sometimes a team may run the risk of waiting for others to finish so that the delivery of critical supplies must also be timed out.

In order to avoid disruptions in the ordering of resources, managers put time buffers on critical tasks. Although it may slightly slow down the project completion, it greatly reduces the risks of expensive resources. All the buffered tasks shape a “critical chain” that includes the high-priority tasks on the critical path.

Wrapping Up

Of course, there are more options out there. However, the ones that are mentioned above are the most popular. All of these project management techniques are widely recognized by software development companies, no matter big or small.

The possible issue lies in the recognition of a suitable project management approach as these approaches are like prototypes and the utilized method may be the essential point between the failure or success of the project. To choose the best project planning methodology you should consider:

  • The expectations of your customers about the final product
  • Your business objectives
  • Deadlines
  • Project costs

Yet, if you are confused about the right choice, working with a software development company that follows the Agile project management is always a good choice as it offers various frameworks. Therefore, there is a higher chance of effectively implementing projects. In some cases, it’s also possible to combine different frameworks.






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