From whom do insights come?
At DAC.digital, Radek performs the role of Head of Growth and executes growth and business strategies for one of Europe’s fastest-growing software and AI companies. With over 14 years of experience in the IT industry, he has helped numerous clients and partners achieve their digital transformation goals and create value for their end customers.
6-step no-fail formula
In the last issue of “Software Development Insights,” I discussed why software projects fail. Now, it’s high time for some tips for you and your team to turn your projects into satisfying ones.1. Define the project’s scope goals clearly from the start
Defining the scope and objectives of your project at first will help everyone involved understand what needs to be done and by when. Establishing clear objectives and requirements upfront will help ensure everyone is on the same page and that you’re not building something that no one wants or needs.
Having a clear project scope helps managers stay on track and ensure all deadlines are met throughout the project life cycle. In addition, scope management provides a clear picture of the project’s time, labor, and cost. In this way, it is easy to sort out what is necessary for the project from what isn’t. Finally, remember that even if you discuss and plan out all the details in advance with all project stakeholders involved, the project’s scope is always subject to change during its execution.
On the other hand, it is vital to have clear goals in mind. Staying motivated and on track is easier by knowing the end goal. Keep in mind that there are a few things to consider when setting goals for a software project:
- What do you want to achieve?
- Is this even possible to do?
- How will you measure your progress?
- What are the potential consequences of not reaching your goals?
- Are your goals time-related?
Once you have defined your project’s goals, it is essential to remember them. It can be easy to get sidetracked if your goal isn’t specific, but you can ensure a successful project by staying focused on what you’re trying to achieve.2. Establish a project team structure
A successful project depends heavily on the team chosen to carry it out. Perfect teams need a talented project manager and a group of individuals who are dedicated to a single goal. Therefore, teamwork enhances commitment, communication, cohesion, cooperation, and celebration.
Every software development team member should bring skills that will add value to the group. That’s why every project has requirements, and roles are assigned according to rank, experience, skill, knowledge, etc. The most crucial function of task management is to gather influential people together.
Here are some tips for setting up a project team structure:
- Define roles and responsibilities.
- Assign tasks and responsibilities to individuals.
- Create a clear line of communication between team members.
- Finally, hold individuals accountable for their duties and responsibilities.
Project planning is an essential step in the success of any software project. With a plan, it is easier to determine what needs to be done, by whom, how much work will be required, and when the project will be completed. A good project plan includes the following:
- a schedule that identifies when each task should be completed,
- a list of resources needed (time, resources, equipment),
- a list of risks and potential problems,
- an estimate of how much work will be required.
This will help keep everyone on track and ensure that deadlines are met. So make sure everybody accepts the plan. It is a critical phase after initiating the software project management process. When you plan a project and set its specific details, you streamline the entire project into a series of steps and guarantee that all the resources will be available on time.
It is tempting to jump over your project, but you’ll get much better results if you always have a plan in mind. Without a basic plan and necessary details, your team may be heading in multiple directions.4. Set realistic deadlines
Setting realistic deadlines for your project is essential so that everyone knows how much time they have to do what they must do. Placing too long can lead to frustration on the part of your stakeholders, while setting too tight deadlines may not allow you enough time to achieve your goals. Try to find the sweet spot.
You should also remember that deadlines are always subject to change, depending on the circumstances. Therefore, taking some time off and reassessing the software project may be helpful if you are running behind schedule.5. Communicate effectively with the stakeholders
One of the most important aspects of a successful software project is communication. It is essential to be clear and concise when communicating with your stakeholders so that everyone understands what is required and can work together to achieve the project’s goals. There are a few key things to keep in mind when communicating with them:
- be clear about what you need from them,
- make sure you understand their needs and expectations,
- avoid giving them too much information at once,
- be prepared to answer any questions they have.
Make sure everyone understands the requirements. It is also helpful to keep everyone updated on any changes that occur so that they are aware of the situation. If you need help communicating with your stakeholders, it may be helpful to consider using a project communication tool such as Jira or Trello.
What is also essential is keeping communication channels open throughout the project. It will help identify and resolve any issues as they come up. Also, use a proven methodology and adhere to best practices as much as possible. It will help ensure that your team is productive and effective and that your code is maintainable and scalable.
Creating an open communication culture is the most effective way to inspire your team to excellent performance, improve employee morale, and eliminate all doubts about the software project. This is directly related to getting feedback. Getting timely feedback means that issues are resolved immediately. And by avoiding it, you ignore your team’s and client’s opinions.
Try to communicate via email, in person, over the phone, host weekly and monthly meetings, do surveys, and be in touch through social media channels. Whether it’s your teammates or your clients, or regardless of your organization’s size, make sure your communication is transparent. And do not forget that being available on your communication channels when the project is open is a must.
When starting any software project, you should be prepared for the challenges that may come. This includes knowing the project’s scope, having a plan for completing it, and ensuring all team members are on board with its goals. Projects can be more successful and less stressful by preparing for potential challenges.
But don’t forget about the many opportunities your project will face. Then, some changes may be better than sticking to the plan. Think about it carefully and ask your team for an opinion.
A successful software project meets users’ needs while meeting developers’ expectations. However, many software projects fail due to risks and opportunities that must be adequately analyzed. Project managers can ensure their projects succeed by understanding these risks and opportunities.
Last time I shared a video sample created by our delivery team in which they provided some advice on coping with risks and limiting their negative influence on project development. Highly recommend watching it if you haven’t done it yet.
Has the video picked your interest, and would you like to know more about our project management? You can check out the DAC.digital website for more information.