Any IT project implies a great scope of work and a diversity of specialists to work on it. In addition to software developers, the project also requires the involvement of UX/UI designers, business analysts, testers and other specialists.
But there is a person that is a total must-have for any successful IT-project. We are talking about Project Manager.
Who is a Project Manager?
Before getting down to the reasons why the presence of PM is so recommendable for any project team that is bigger than 2 people, first, let’s see who this person actually is.
If we address Techopedia, we’ll get an accurate definition: “A project manager is a person responsible for leading a project from its inception to execution. This includes planning, execution and managing the people, resources, and scope of the project”.
In other words, PM takes care of all project aspects, ensuring it runs smoothly and that deadline, budget, and requirements are under control.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the PM responsibilities and agile project management.
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Specifying the project’s objectives
It is vital that the software development agency understands exactly what the client needs and how it has to be done.
However, it may happen that the client and developers simply have misunderstandings and this results in a waste of time and resources.
PM is a person who is in charge of getting requirements from the client and turning them into detailed and clear specifications for the team. And once the team is clear about the direction, further work process will go much smoother and faster than an unclear one.
Managing roles and tasks
It’s not enough to set goals – it’s also important to create a solid plan on achieving them. That’s another thing that director of project management nails.
Once the goal is clear, PM gets down to breaking the goal into smaller tasks and assigning the right people to the right tasks. The strategy is to get the team to perform in the most efficient manner possible and minimize any delays or errors.
Proper task allocation, organized planning sessions, grooming meetings, and daily standups eliminate chaos and organize the workflow. Instead of making assumptions, every team member is clear on what they do, and what is expected from them.
Managing the workflow and issues
A qualified PM keeps an eye on the workflow and makes sure everything works as it is supposed to. Project Manager controls the quality of work, correspondence of the results to the initial requirements, and informs developers about any changes that need to be implemented.
As well, it’s up to Project Manager to handle any issues that may arise and come up with the fastest and best solution. A wise client understands that mistakes are inevitable – but it’s the customer’s (or sponsor’s) time and money that they invest and good PM understands it too.
Controlling the project’s budget and deadline
As mentioned above, the client invests time and money in a project and is interested in keeping the project within these frames.
That’s exactly what Project Manager does. By managing the tasks and understanding how things are going and why PM can always spot a threat when it’s necessary to adjust the project scope or make any changes to the team. If the deadline shifts or goes over the top of the budget unavoidable PM can see it in time and alert stakeholders in advance.
Communicating with the client on behalf of the team
More and more development agencies started focusing on communication with the client. It has now become a must to have a transparent and regular communication between the team and the client and there are numerous reasons for that.
First, the client needs to be in charge of the project and always know at what stage it is right now, what the latest results are, etc. Secondly, a good communication process builds more trust and loyalty towards the team and serves as an indicator of professionalism.
What project software development manager does is communicating with the client on behalf of the team. Imagine what kind of chaos would start if all project team members communicate with a single client and talk about their specific task. Instead, PM delivers information about the project in a clear and steady manner, describes the biggest takeaways and helps the client in resolving issues and making well-informed decisions.
It can be said that the Project Manager is the heart and soul of the team. This specialist manages the whole project, keeps the hand on the pulse and is the first person to contact in case anything goes wrong or needs to be specified.
Some requirements for a good PM are:
- Knowledge of the business industry to be able to advise on the strategy;
- Excellent communication and organizational skills;
- Strong leadership;
- Excellent knowledge of all project aspects;
- Strong tech experience.
As long as there is a PM in your team, the project is under control. Keep that in mind when assembling a team for your next project.