Managing Remote Workers / Remote Culture

How to Manage Software Development Projects Successfully

Emmanuel Egeonu
- 3 min. to read

Project management and software development work hand-in-hand like HTML and CSS. You don’t want to see one without the other. 

To quickly and effectively get products to the market IT developers rely on effective software development project management processes to streamline their workflows. Locating the right project management methodology is crucial to staying on top of release schedules and product roadmaps.

So in this guide, we will cover everything that makes software development project management a necessity.

This includes how it can be used, how software development project management is different from other project management process implementations, the tools required, and how it works.

Software Development Life Cycle

All systems,  whether they are software or hardware or a combination of both,  go through a development life cycle. The objective of the life cycle is to guide complex processes to expedite development while avoiding costly mistakes.

A software development life cycle (SDLC) is simply a phased project model that defines a  large-scale system project’s organizational constraints. 

The methodologies utilized in a software development life cycle strategy offer clearly defined phases such as plan, analysis, design, implementation, test and integration, and maintenance. 

The benefits of a well-defined software development cycle include the following:

  • It provides a clear view of the whole project, including resource requirements, personnel involved, objectives to be delivered per phase, and project timeline.
  • Sets staffing and budget decisions based on credible information and prioritization. 
  • Creates deliverables that satisfy design and development standards for every step or phase of the project.
  • Provides developers with a measure of control via the phased and iterative approach. 
  • It enhances the quality of the end product and every milestone on the way. 

What is Software Development Project Management?

Software development product management consists of using  project management systems and processes to accomplish software-related objectives. 

Product development teams use it to deliver projects of all sizes and shapes, including:

  • Updates and patches
  • Test-driven development (TDD)
  • Software development and new products
  • Information system development
  • Configuration management

Simply put, literally every software development project is going to be quite complicated enough to necessitate the use of project management. 

Using a project management platform facilitates nearly every software development project Such platforms are shared digital workspaces where the particular project is managed. 

Agile Software Development Project Management

Most software development projects are managed based on Agile project management principles.

Agile is a group of principles that form the basis of top project management methodologies such as Kanban and Scrum. It undergirds the ideology behind most modern product management processes. 

The agile approach, according to Agile Alliance, can be divided into the following principles:

  • Satisfy the end-user through continuous and early delivery of valuable software.
  • Embrace change and use it to the end-users potential advantage.
  • Deliver quality software consistently and in short timescales. 
  • Employees on the development and business sides of your team must work together closely and daily.
  • Every team member must be trusted and supported to do their job properly. 
  • One-on-one communication is the most preferred way of relaying information. 
  • Working software is the best indicator of success. 
  • The rate of progress, software use, and work must be sustainable. 
  • You must place consistent attention on effective design and technical excellence. 
  • Teams should be given what they require so they can self-organize. 
  • Your team must be provided regular opportunities to self-organize and self-reflect. 

Adhering to the above principles typically proves to be the best structure for software development teams. And it is recommended that you integrate all 12 of them into your project management process. 

The Agile project management system was slowly paced together by software engineers during the latter decades of the 20th century. Nowadays, every software team includes it into their practices, to deliver their projects. creative agencies, web developers, software engineers, and government departments.

So there is no doubt that software engineers will continue to utilize the project management principles their profession crafted to develop useful products for years to come. 

Benefits of the Agile Methodology for Software Development

Here are some of the major reasons and benefits the Agile methodology is adopted by leading organizations for managing their projects:

1. Better Quality Products 

When using Agile project management, testing is integrated into the project execution phase. This means that the overall quality of the end product is better. The end-user remains involved in the development process and can request changes based on the current market realities. Because Agile is an iterative process, self-organizing teams continuously learn and grow with time.

2. User Satisfaction

With the Agile methodology, the client is constantly involved in the decision-making process. This results in better customer retention. Using a popular web framework, the customer is involved just in the planning phase and cannot influence execution, affecting  adaptability and flexibility. With the customer in the loop and developers making changes based on the feedback, you can offer value to the customer. And ensure that the end product truly aligns with their requirements.

3. Enhanced Control 

Using Agile, managers gain better control over the project because of its feedback integration, quality control, and transparency features. The methodology ensures quality throughout the project’s  implementation phase, and every stakeholder is involved during the process via daily progress reports from advanced reporting and tracking tools. 

4. Better Product Predictability 

With improved visibility, predicting risks and crafting effective mitigation plans become seamless. Within the Agile framework, there are many ways to identify, plan, and predict risks to make sure that the project runs smoothly. 

For instance, Scrum methodology,  compared to other frameworks, utilizes burndown charts and sprint backlogs to amplify the visibility of the project. This enables managers to predict performances and plan properly. 

5. Improved Flexibility 

If Agile is properly implemented in a project team, it empowers every member with unparalleled flexibility. Teams can work in small bursts aided by the continuous feedback and involvement of the product owner. Alternatively, other project management methodologies involve costly and time-consuming changes. 

On the other hand, Agile  separates projects into short sprints that are both flexible and manageable enough to enable the team to implement changes within short time frames. 

6. Continuous Improvement 

This methodology works with iterations, which means that every sprint is better than the previous one, and mistakes are not repeated. The methodology fosters an open culture of collaboration and idea exchange, enabling  team members to learn from each other and improve together. 

How to Lead A Successful Software Development Project Management?

Once you have your software developers, it’s time to start. Below are 5 crucial aspects required to lead a successful software development project management.

How to manage software development projects successfully

1. Map Out and Define Expectations 

Defining and mapping out requirements is vital to success when leading software development project management and delivering quality software. You must clearly define the scope of the development work and the required deliverables due in a specific time frame. 

You should also store the information in a central location within your project management tool to ensure that every developer is on the same page and knows exactly what they are to work on. 

Identifying requirements and committing to them in writing also helps in preventing scope creep and last-second feature requests from being included in the workload.

2. Allocate Developers to the Right Tasks 

The to-do list of your developers can get very lengthy. And prioritizing their workloads can get difficult when defects are discovered, code needs to be written, and bugs that require immediate attention are found. 

To assist your team stay focused and on track, ensure that you assign tasks to every team member via project management software. This enables you and your staff to understand the task being worked on and those coming up next. You can also easily pivot when required and reassign tasks as needed. 

3. Don’t Miss Deadlines 

Missed deadlines can impact you and your team negatively. Though deadlines may be estimates instead of unmovable commitments, keeping track of the date is crucial for success. If your team is halfway done and aware that the remaining work scope  will not be done by the original deadline, you can communicate this to all stakeholders. 

With project management tools, you can stay ahead of deadlines and even track multiple deadlines since all tasks aren’t assigned simultaneously. 

4. Share and Distribute Files in One Location 

Cross collaborating, information sharing, and  effectively and quickly communicating with your team will assist you in leading  software development project management easily. 

Instead of sending email after email or communicating  vital information using a chat tool, project management tools can assist you in distributing  information seamlessly. You can send out information to everyone in one location. 

5. Monitor Real-time Changes 

Project management software tools typically provide real-time reporting capabilities, including task completion reports and time tracking. 

Insights and analytics on your team’s tasks and projects can better inform you as a leader to identify gaps in managing conflicting tasks, resourcing, deadlines and help you get a better view of the holistic bandwidth of the team. 

Project Management Tools for Software Development

As we saw in the above section, project management tools can effectively help you lead the process. Here are some of the best project management tools for software development:

Basecamp

Basecamp is one of the most popular project management applications and probably has the largest number of admirers globally. The tool has a user-friendly and plain interface for cooperation between teammates and customers. With the tool, you can:

  • Create to-do lists
  • Manage and share files
  • Schedule dates
  • Set up discussions
  • Have performance records
  • Report on project’s progress

The tool is responsive, so you can use all of its functions from any device on the go. 

Trello 

This app focuses on visual effects. With it, your team would have a vivid demonstration of daily product tasks on dashboards. This is very useful for tracking ideas from the initial concept to the end product. Trello enables you to:

  • Make personalized Kanban boards with zero hassle
  • Seamlessly manage tasks cardboards
  • Visually share ideas with other teammates
  • Share images and files
  • Organize lists based on priority or by date
  • Make unlimited task lists

Trello is the most visual and demonstrative tool to collaborate with big teams. It is also simple and lightweight. 

Jira 

Jira is a platform issue tracking tool, which is a great choice for Scrum and Agile projects. The tool allows you to: 

  • Manage issues
  • Create user stories
  • Prioritize and distribute assignments across your development team
  • Plan sprints 
  • Use customized kanban and scrum boards for iteration 
  • Project performance

The tool provides an impressive set of advanced features and API integration. 

Asana 

This is one of the most effective and powerful task management tools for small-sized teams. With the tool, all team members know what they’re doing and when. It offers the following possibilities:

  • Creating and following various tasks, projects, sub-tasks, sections, etc.
  • Assigning tasks to particular individuals; creating deadlines, descriptions, etc. 
  • Using reminders to meet deadlines
  • Easy and effective communication (voting, custom likes, etc.)
  • Providing instructions and comments on assigned tasks
  • Creating templates for workflows

Asana is very responsive and flexible. And has ample opportunities for third-party integrations, including DropBox, Google Drive, Chrome, GitHub, etc. 

Continuous Integration for Software Development

Continuous software development consists of testing, updating, releasing, and analyzing applications continually  during development. Users play a huge role in continuous integration by becoming beta-testers that contribute to the evolution of the project by providing feedback. 

Every software development organization must continuously find ways to be ahead of the competition. And most have discovered that continued iteration of their project and its features based on actionable feedback helps to succeed in the marketplace. 

There are seven core guidelines for using continuous integration for projects:

  • Fix broken builds right away 
  • Commit code consistently
  • Automate testing (functional, unit, regression, integration, etc.)
  • Make sure integration test pass to move to the next phase
  • Avoid broken code
  • Run private code builds

Looking for a  Software Development Project Manager?

Software development project management helps to smoothen out the development process by making it more achievable and understandable. With the aid of project management tools such as Asana, Basecamp, and Trello, you can keep every member of your team and customers in the loop. This makes collaboration and communication with all relevant stakeholders seamless.

That said, if you are searching to hire programmers for project managementor want to work on a software development project, DistantJob has you covered. Just contact us, tell us the requirements for the candidate, and in 2 weeks, you’ll be welcoming a new software manager to the team.

Subscribe to our newsletter and get exclusive content and bloopers

or Share this post

Are you our next superstar remote developer?

You live, breathe and eat code, and have fun figuring out how to solve problems. And you love living in South America or Eastern Europe. But you don’t feel as fulfilled as your friends in North America.

I NEED A JOB