Whether you are developing brand new software, or simply upgrading or adding on to the software you currently have, you can expect your fair share of challenges.
After all, you and your team may put so much time, energy—maybe even some blood, sweat, and tears—into a project only to see it fail to live up to your original expectations.
However, when you execute an effective software project management strategy, you drastically increase your chances of success. The operative word there, however, is “effective.” The second most important word: “execute.”
Software development teams adopt strategies all the time that simply don’t work for their particular business or team at that particular time. Other teams adopt the right strategy but simply fall short on the execution.
Here is how you know that you are effectively managing your software projects:
1. You commit to serious prep work
Now, we’re not suggesting that you spends months planning. However, you should lay out an organized and strategic approach to completing the project. Look at the scope of the project, set key initiatives, plan how to allocate work, budget, consider schedules and deadlines, predict potential problems, and more. If you are using Atlassian’s JIRA Software, a project and issue tracking software platform, you have already drastically simplified the process of planning projects.
Whether your process is to go it alone or involve your entire team, don’t overlook this important first step. Take plenty of time to come up with a well-thought-out framework for executing the project. That being said …
2. You adopt Agile processes
While a well-defined strategy is your first step, you also need to remain flexible and adaptable. That’s why agile software development makes so much sense. Adopting Agile processes allows you to develop, test, and tweak as you go, increasing your chances that the end result will fall directly in line with the desired result. That means you can get to work faster, uncover mistakes more quickly, and make real-time adjustments that ensure you come in on time and under budget, while still meeting—and hopefully exceeding—your internal or external customer’s expectations.
3. You measure and track progress
At any given point on any given day, you should know the status of the project and have a full understanding of team members’ progress. Having that ability is critical—if you want to hit your deadlines and ensure high quality of the product. You should be monitoring progress and comparing it to your original plan so that you can make adjustments to keep everything moving in the right direction.
Admittedly, that task can be difficult if you aren’t using technology to track the details of the project, requiring you to constantly check in with team members and manage increasingly complex spreadsheets.
4. You don’t botch work allocation
Overloading employees with work will almost guarantee missed deadlines or, worse, shoddy work. Even just one team member who has too much on his or her plate can stall the whole project. Often, teams are forced to bring in expensive freelance workers or pay employees overtime to keep projects moving.
That kills your budget, but worse, overwhelming employees leads to burnout and stress, both of which are terrible for morale and productivity.
Tempo Timesheets, which integrates with JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk (for IT teams), and JIRA Core (for business teams), monitors employees’ hours and progress and offers reporting options that allow you to see at a glance how employees are using their time so that you can avoid allocating work to the wrong people at the wrong time.
5. You keep your budgets in check
It’s safe to say that budget overruns are one of—if not the biggest—leading issue when it comes to software management. Unexpected issues, such as employee overtime, last-minute changes, rework and more, eat up the budget as you are forced to make necessary changes to reach the finish line.
That’s why you must track costs in real time. More than that, you need a big-picture view of which of your IT projects cost you the most money and which make you the most money.
Again, that data is hard to track if you don’t have the right technology in place. For example, Tempo Folio enables you to manage project scope, schedule, and costs at the team and organizational level so that with the click of a button you know exactly how your money is being used—and can pinpoint areas where you need to invest less or more.
6. You are decisive
When issues pop up, you don’t have the luxury to twiddle your thumbs and wait for the best course of action to come to you. No, you have to move quickly to avoid delays and other problems that could threaten the entire project.
When you are armed with data—ranging from where you are budget-wise to how many hours your team members have put in this week—you can make well-informed decisions quickly. Learn how Tempo’s agile project management solutions with full JIRA integration can take the guesswork—and pain— out of your next software project.