Project Manager Role in Software Development
When you contact a mobile software development company, you will have to communicate and cooperate with its various representatives. If you know what specific specialists will participate in your app creation and what contribution each of them will make, you will clearly comprehend the whole project development process.
A project manager is one of the important participants in the software development process. In this article, we will describe what functions he carries out, and why he is important for the successful creation of your product.
A project manager is a person who is responsible for project planning, the development launch and its process, task setting and control, as well as project completion (release). He is responsible for decision making, risk management, and uncertainty minimization.
Simply put, he is the captain of the development team, who supervises software engineers’ and other specialists’ work, makes sure they adhere to a plan and helps them manage their time in the best way possible.
This approach is economically beneficial for customers because the administrative load is reduced, work on the project is performed faster, the number of errors is minimized, and all this results in a positive effect on the budget in all.
Key Roles and Job Responsibilities of Project Managers
A good manager knows all aspects of the app development process, and that allows him to reduce risks, optimally organize processes, and launch the work successfully. All these factors ensure a smoother development process and allow avoiding additional costs or unforeseen problems. Here are a few key responsibilities of such a specialist.
Communication with customers and developers
Communication with customers and the development team is an important part of the project manager’s work. Working with a customer, he fills out a brief, discusses technical specifications and approves the development stages (action plan, deadlines, budget/hours). When it comes to the team, he specifies deadlines, controls the processes and results, and, being interested in the team’s productivity, he motivates the developers as well.
Documentation and record maintenance
Technical and project documentation maintenance is an important component of the project manager’s work. He documents each stage of negotiations with customers and task discussion with developers. After the task is completed, the manager generates an appropriate report. Correct documentation maintenance improves project efficiency and allows avoiding chaos at the operational level.
Project team management
Minimum bureaucracy, clear and understandable plans, process organization stimulating the team and allowing it to reach its potential on the way to the ultimate goal — this is how the work of a good project manager should look.
Lots of specialists of different profiles (developers, analysts, testers, designers) may be engaged in the work on a project, and it is crucial to be able to correctly coordinate all these people’s work. To arrange the work in the correct sequence, a project manager should see the big picture.
Project scope management
Project Scope comprises the time frame, the description of work to be done, the necessary resources, evaluation criteria, quality requirements, and the results expected. In other words, it is everything that needs to be done to get a product, service, or result.
If the system consists of a large number of interconnected elements, changing one of them will surely affect all the others. This means that a project manager should trace every change and take it into account with respect to the rest of the project parts.
Controlling the project scope is a decisive point.
Work planning and time management
Many projects fail due to poor planning, unrealistic deadlines, and the team’s capabilities incorrect assessment. The work on the software proceeds in several stages. To create a good plan, it is necessary to take each stage complexity, team capabilities, and other factors into account.
Customers commonly evaluate work success or failure based on the fact whether the work was completed on time. Consequently, a project manager has to do the following:
- Define work stages and a list of tasks;
- Plan a sequence of actions;
- Estimate the time necessary to complete them;
- Set a schedule and control its fulfillment.
Process control and progress tracking
Process control at every stage of the project guarantees compliance with deadlines and allows efficient solving of any unforeseen issues. That is why process control is an important task for a project manager, who has to keep himself up-to-date with the development routine.
The road towards successful project completion will not do without some rough moments. If something goes wrong, not the way it was planned, a project manager has to take stringent corrective measures, track the progress personally, and notify customers about issues.
Risk and problem management
When resources are defined, there is a plan and the processes are controlled, everything should go smoothly, shouldn’t it? However, reality always differs from intentions, and sometimes, it differs very much.
The development process may bring many risks and issues which will affect deadlines and may prevent the project from being implemented the way it was originally planned. It may be a variety of things like staff turnover, payment delays, or some external factors, and it is necessary to manage all these issues.
Risk and problem management is another important responsibility peculiar to PM, as he has to make sure that the work goes on smoothly and the team will complete the project within the timescale stipulated.
Now, when you have read this article, you should clearly understand the project manager role in software development. This person becomes a partner for a customer and is interested in bringing a software product development process to its successful conclusion.
Such a specialist as a project manager is greatly valued because he is a person who knows all aspects of the work on your project, who plans and controls the development process, and with whom you can always communicate to make sure everything goes the way it should.
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