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Software Development Project Management: Definition, Process, and Tools

Joana Almeida
- 3 min. to read

Project management and software development work hand-in-hand with 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 practical 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 necessary. 

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.

What is Software Development Project Management?

Software development product management uses 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 will be quite complicated enough to necessitate the use of project management.

Project management is a key discipline of software engineering. Executing is an important step of developing software, but both management and planning make sure the development is done in a reasonable timeframe while guaranteeing quality standards.

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

Software Development Life Cycle

All systems, whether 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. You may be asking what are the 7 steps of the development process for a software project, and they are:

Planning

Requirements

Design and Prototype

Software Development

Testing

Deployment

Maintenance

In project management, software development should follow these steps (with some leeway depending on the project) to ensure it progresses at a steady pace and delivers successfully. Some of these can be grouped or subdivided into other phases depending on the complexity and requirements of the project.

This approach to a well-defined software development cycle offers clear benefits:

  • 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
  • Enhances the quality of the end product and every milestone on the way. 

Agile Software Development Project Management

Most software development management is based on Agile project management principles. Agile is a methodology used in project management for software development that software engineers slowly iterated during the latter decades of the 20th century.

Nowadays, every software team includes it into their practices to deliver their projects. Agile became the basis of top software development project management methodologies such as Kanban and Scrum and is the foundational ideology behind most modern product management processes.

How to Manage a Software Dev Team with Project Management Software

Once you have your software developers, it’s time to start managing the software projects they’ll be a part of. Below are 5 crucial aspects required to lead a successful software development project management.

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 within 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 prevent 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, and deadlines and help you get a better view of the holistic bandwidth of the team. 

What Is the Role of a Project Manager in Software Development?

Managing software devs is about being a leader and a mediator between all disciplines related to software development. They are responsible for empowering a team with the resources and knowledge to succeed in delivering a quality software development project. In order to do so, their responsibilities are:

Defining the scope, resources, and timeframe of a project.

Supervising the project so it respects the initially defined scope, resources, and timeframe. 

Creating and managing the team responsible for the project’s development.

Assignment of tasks to the team to work towards meeting the project’s milestones.

Preside over regular team meetings to assess the team’s progress and help them with any issues they may have.

Being the central point of communication between developers, executives, and clients.

Research possible technology to include in projects and weigh their costs and benefits.

Project Management Tools for Software Development

Project management tools can effectively help you lead the process. They help you not only with software process project management but also with software development team management as well. 

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, allowing you to set up tasks with several todos, distribute them among your team and allow the participants to discuss and share ideas.

Trello 

Trello’s main feature are its Kanban boards, which are very useful for tracking ideas from the initial concept to the end product. You can create task cards that can then be used to track their progress with to-do lists and where your team can share comments and attachments, keeping all relevant information in one place.

Jira 

Jira is a platform issue tracking tool, which is a great choice for Scrum and Agile projects. It allows you to use kanban and scrum boards for iteration to keep track and plan sprints, which you can then prioritize and distribute across your development team.

Asana 

Asana 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 allows the creation of projects and their composing tasks, sub-tasks, sections, etc., which can then be assigned to individuals to establish deadlines. You can also create templates to augment your team’s existing workflows.

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 the 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 management or want to work on a software development project, DistantJob has you covered. Contact us, tell us the requirements for the candidate, and in 2 weeks, you’ll be welcoming a new software developer to the team.

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