Conducting business is unthinkable without maintaining control over its internal processes. Leave the project without your control, and bad things are about to happen. Miss the deadline and you will have huge hit to your reputation.
No wonder successful leaders are ready to invest in project management. According to the study, “77% of high performing companies understand the value of project management. Only 40% of low-performing companies understand the value of project management”.
The truth is investments in project management do not guarantee the immediate result. There are many different methodologies and they bring different results. Each methodology is chosen depending on the type of the project. In each given case, product managers are the ones to decide which methodology to choose.
Traditional methodologies (such as Waterfall) imply following intermediate results at fixed deadlines by the customer. It means that the customer does not have a clue about what he gets until the project is ready, at least partially. Later, it may turn into serious discrepancy between expectations and reality.
To avoid such issues, our suggestion for you is to try agile methodologies.
There are several advantages of using it:
- Regular feedback from the customer
- Flexible schedule of functionality realization
- Easy to correct and make adjustments
- Absence of expenses for compiling and adjustments in technical documentation
Having successfully implemented agile software development in our company we know it works for sure. The key here is a thought-out time management, which divides the entire process into series of short cycles. These cycles are called iterations and they last for two to three weeks as a rule. Receiving feedback along the iterations is the key to success here.
Related: The importance of project planning
Agile methodology works at each stage of software development including initiation and planning, project launch, performance/control, and project close. Furthermore, agile software development minimizes the risks and boosts developers’ productivity to the maximum.
Among all agile methods, we have selected two methodologies that proved to work without a hitch. The first of them is Scrum. The scrum team usually consists of three participants or roles, Product Owner, Development Team, and Scrum Master. We appreciate Product Owner, which is the one who represents the voice of the customer, the most. This person contributes to backlog formation and knows the project perfectly. You should appreciate the Product Owner and listen attentively to what this person has to say.
What we take from Scrum is its workflow since the main task for the team is successful completion of sprints. Sprints (or iterations) are the basic units of development that we use. The duration of sprints is fixed so we do it by the units of two to three weeks each.
One of the most important points is dealing with the product backlog. This list of requirements contains all the project tasks. Having all tasks listed, we discuss them with the customer. Then, we divide product development into meaningful units and add them to the backlog for a sprint.
Also, the product backlog helps us to track our progress, and check if we deliver product on time. So, we know the deadlines (and if they are postponed) and the customer always sees the latest updates within the project development.
Another methodology that we regularly use is Kanban. This framework implies task orientation. There are no sprints here, and the team works on the task from the beginning till the end. Task deployment is conducted only when the task is completed.
A kanban board is one of the tools used to implement the kanban method. We highly recommend using such boards for your projects. Using such boards allows one reduce the number of ongoing tasks, show the gaps immediately, and determine the average timeframe needed for each task.
Our project manager observes the level of a task accomplishment constantly. Only when the functional of the task is tested, we set next tasks to be accomplished. So, we get the quality instead of quantity.
As you can see, we are likely to be selective in using the given methodologies. We do not use them blindly, as we pick only elements that work for sure. You are welcome to do the same. Do not be afraid to be selective when using Agile methodologies. They can become your project management best practices in the nearest future.