Quality Project Management First
A Project Manager is usually in charge of 3 main aspects: Costs, Deadlines, and Quality of final product. Thus, the PM serves as a bridge between the client and development team. According to statistics, in the United States for every $1 billion investment, $122 million was wasted due to deficient project performance. This issue is also directly connected to the education level. Just over half (56%) of Project Managers are certified.
To make a rational choice of the contractor, you should know the following key components of good project management:
1. Choose the Right Project Methodology
– Waterfall – the traditional method, that consists in the execution of all project phases (project planning, requirements gathering, architecture creation, design, implementation, verification, delivery and acceptance) in that specific order. Waterfall provides the best control over performance at each phase of project development. It is used mostly for large-scale projects where thorough planning and a predictable process are paramount. However, it can be highly inflexible if you want to add changes to the original scope later. Therefore Waterfall method requires an in-depth consideration and a clear concept vision on the stage of project planning.
– Agile – focuses on regular feedback from both sides (customer and contractor). It is suitable for smaller projects and/or those with accelerated schedules. Agile is the best option for clients who want to apprise all phases of project development. It gives the opportunity to add any changes at any stage of development, but sometimes drastic shifts can delay the working process. Hence a strong, professional Project Manager is a mandatory team member.
– Rational Unified Process (RUP) – iterative methodology, which combines the best from Waterfall and Agile. It consists of four main phases: inception, elaboration, construction and transition. Each of these phases has their own goals that help to facilitate successful completion. RUP requires well-defined documentation and allows implementing the project within a predictable schedule and budget.
– V-Model – modified version of Waterfall methodology. The main difference is that after the coding, each development phase is tested individually and any changes or corrections are made more efficiently. Accordingly, the left side of the V-model represents requirements and system specification, where the right side tests their validation.
2. Certified Project Managers
PMP-certification (Project Management Professional) is one of the most trust-worthy and internationally recognized certifications that is provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI). In 2015, the PMP credential was ranked as the #4 certification by Global Knowledge.  Not every Project Manager can receive this certification. As part of the qualifications, there is an experience requirement of at minimum 4,500 hours leading and directing projects. Therefore, we can conclude, that PMP-certificated managers have more practiced skills and higher efficiency in executing projects.
Having a certificated Project Manager will ensure that the customer has a professional team with controlled project budget and deadlines.
3. Project Plan Precision
Creating and updating a project plan is a direct responsibility of the Project Manager. The plan helps to define clear goals and conditions, allocate resources, tasks, cost of work, and estimate the work time. Project plans are updated weekly with the actual hours performed by task and by resource to ensure that project tracking and metrics can be performed on a regular basis.
4. Team Structure
The Project Manager prepares, monitors or conducts reviews of project elements (plans, processes, project status reports, requirements and design documents, test cases, test reports, etc.). In addition, the PM makes sure that all tasks are designated to right team members and each of them completes their work in time.
- Technical Coordinator
- Business Analyst
- Software Architect
- Software Engineer
- QA Engineer
- Integration Engineer
- Technical Writer
- Graphic Designer
5. Weekly Status Reporting
We recommend to make weekly status reporting, because it provides a customer with a clear vision of work-progress, future activities, encountered problems and a budget summary. Project Manager sends report directly to a customer. Client also can ask for a presentation of intermediate or draft result if it is possible.
6. Project Progress Tracking
Last but not least important component of quality project management is statistics. Statistical process control helps you see your progress (or regress) against the selected metrics. And increase efforts or correct them if necessary.
Professional Software Associates’ Project Managers have rich experience and many successfully accomplished projects. Our latest project was for serving a leading science company. The client addressed PSA to develop a centralized production database and associated management and reporting services for use with the special personal dosimeters, which collects information about environmental condition. As a result the client received a database system with data import utilities and reporting services. Project development took 6 month of intensive work. The team included 7 members.
High-end project management played a key role in successful project implementation. Throughout the process, the PM sent weekly status reports and project tracking, updated project plan, held conference calls to discuss task status and progress and added any changes according to client requirements. Good leadership helped to rationally allocate the resources, complete all tasks and keep the project on track for on time delivery. Agile methodology was used on that project.
In conclusion we ask: why is quality project management key to successful project realization? The answer lies in the fact that a PM is a front-line player in the achievement of project goals: he/she is planning, assigning tasks, controlling, communicating with the team, and making sure that the customer is fully satisfied with the performance.