Project with success? It’s easy.
A lot of books have already been written about project and risk management in projects. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering a few rules that will help avoid basic errors, leading to design problems.
At the very beginning of the project it is worth remembering the so-called project triangle, which is the basis of project management.
At each of the project vertices there is time, scope and budget. The triangle area is quality. These elements are closely related and any change of them will affect the others. For example, by reducing the project budget, we must take into account the decrease in quality or reduction of the scope to maintain the desired quality. Guarding these elements is the task of the Project Manager.
Do we need to know project scope?
In terms of effective project management, it is very important to define its scope. It allows you to plan work, budget and project resources. We have two approaches here:
- The analysis prepared at the beginning of the project and updated during it’s creation. In this case, it is possible to run a project in the Fixed Price formula but any alterations to it are so-called Change Requests.
- The analysis is done in stages and the project is carried out agile. In this case, using the SCRUM methodology, we are able to provide the most important business elements of the system in the first place, taking into account the changes that are visible at the very beginning. This approach allows you to quickly respond to design changes. This approach works best when working in the Time & Materials formula because without knowing the full range it is difficult to prepare an adequate valuation for Fixed Price.
“Tests? It’s too expensive. We don’t need them.” Oooh trust us – you need them.
Another very important element to avoid design problems is the use of software development norms and standards. This allows easy implementation of new people into the project and significantly facilitates Bug Fixing. Among such norms and standards we can distinguish the use of so-called SOLID, DRY, KISS, Clean Architecture, TDD, etc.
Tests are a very important design element that reduces not only qualitative risks but also those related to budget and scope. Both automatic and manual tests are very important. It is important to explain to the client that such solutions are not the cost of the project but an investment, because they allow finding and eliminating errors at an early stage of the project and then at its development and maintenance stage.
Project Manager role
From the point of view of Project Manager’s tasks, it is very important to:
- Risk management to be able to mitigate problems as quick as possible.
- Supervision over work progress – do not disturb your team but check if progress is going well.
- Collecting customer feedback at the stage of UAT testing and then production launch, which allows to eliminate errors in the future – this is something we often forget during projects.
Quality is not a cost – it’s investment
Unfortunately, perfect projects do not exist and sooner or later there will be a problem / risk in every project – the question of how we can compensate for it and whether we can do it. With small errors and quick mitigation, we are able to go straight, but if the project is already poorly planned (e.g. valuation based on incomplete information + no analysis to start), it is difficult to successfully complete it.
Both suppliers and customers must be aware of this. An important factor is the criteria for choosing suppliers – the deciding factor should not be the price but the quality of services offered.