Project management is a challenge. Software development project management is even more of a challenge, whether you develop new software applications, work on infrastructure related projects, or maintain web based solutions. However, the challenge isn’t insurmountable, and there are things you can do to manage these issues better. Here are four project management challenges dev teams have to face and how to tackle them.
The IT industry is plagued by legacy systems and infrastructure problems. Businesses invested a lot of time and money into older legacy systems. This means they are reluctant to replace them though they are no longer good enough. This creates a challenge and opportunity for innovative software companies.
You have to convey the benefits to the company for a successful software migration, such as a small business being able to redirect capital to other areas once they move to SaaS offerings, but you’ll also have to deal with various stakeholders who may get in the way. For example, managers may be reluctant to have an outside vendor take care of maintenance and service requests.
One issue with IT development is the high level of quality required. This makes quality testing essential, and you have to do it at repeatedly various phases of development. However, issues do arise. This makes testing of bug fixes essential. Once it is fixed, teams should go through retesting to ensure that all issues are resolved and no new ones have arisen. Failure to do this hurts customer satisfaction.
Good project management software for developers can handle everything from new software application development to tracking the state of bugs reported in production software.
Heads of IT development teams deal with some of the most complex user requirements of any project managers. Every system needs multiple user levels such as basic users, power users, and system administrators. There may be different types of users for different systems, applications and projects. Whether user-specific or role-based access is used, it is supposed to work properly and smoothly every time. Yet internal controls and IT security requirements are strict. In the case of financial systems, the system must properly adhere to generally accepted accounting principles, too. Any project management system you use must be able to track the many user requirements your development projects must meet.
Every project manager is challenged to meet both the budget and the schedule. A common mistake is setting unrealistic deadlines. The solution is to use existing data for similar tasks to build a realistic schedule. Another issue that kills both budgets and schedules is scope creep. The solution is to have set project requirements and goals. Don’t add new requirements or expectations without everyone’s approval and adjusting both the budget and the schedule.
Project managers in IT have a faster evolving industry with greater complexity than anyone else. However, with the right tools and strategies in place, you can succeed, whether you’re developing phone apps or moving legacy systems to the web.