Various aspects of human societies are rapidly adopting software technology. Health, transportation, communication, and commerce sectors have taken up the technology to automate and improve production and minimize cost. That, in turn, results in increased demand for software technology technicians globally, particularly project manager software developers. Let’s explore the ones and twos of becoming a great project manager.
Who is a Software Project Manager?
A software project manager is someone responsible for organizing, planning, and executing software development projects within the set time and budget restraints.
What Role Does a Project Manager Play?
A project manager is in charge of leading the software development team, defining the goals and scope of a software development project, bridging the gap between the software developers and the stakeholders, and seeing a software development project through its completion and closure. They are also responsible for planning the project’s cost and sticking to the set schedule.
The project manager is also responsible for managing the project’s financial and human resources. It’s their responsibility to document the project’s progress, assess any risks, and lead in quality assurance processes. They’ll take up the responsibility of a failed project and receive the credit for a successful one.
How to Get Started as a Project Manager?
Anyone interested in project management must get the required training and credentials. You can begin a career in software project management if you have a bachelor’s degree in business, IT, software engineering, project management, or computer science. Beginners often start as interns or coding specialists and later elevate their careers to portfolio managers or software development directors.
It’s vital to combine knowledge, certification, skills, and education in software development, business administration, and project management to succeed as a software project manager. As your skills advance through experience, ensure that you get an education in the field you’re working in. Additionally, check your coding skills and keep up with new trends and coding technology in software development.
What Skills Does a Project Manager Need to Have?
Software development projects are multifaceted and dynamic. Project managers need integrated skills and abilities to accomplish a software development task within the stipulated time.
According to Felix Marsh, an Agile consultant and trainer, clear and effective communication is arguably the most important quality for anyone to be an effective project manager. Being the focal point of the software development process, you need to communicate with the entire team. This skill also allows you to effectively interface with the stakeholders, clients, and any entity involved in the project.
The software development process involves managing a team of software engineers and coding specialists. Therefore, a project manager should have leadership skills to guide the professional team towards completing the software development task. They need to bring out the best of every team member to enhance effectiveness and efficiency.
Software development project teams encompass people of different cultures, backgrounds, personalities, and characters. As a project manager, you need to have exceptional team management skills to bring out the best of everyone and ensure that the team members work together to achieve the set goals. Team management skills encompass consistent motivation and appreciation.
Managing work schedules and delegating software development tasks are other crucial skills. That directly affects and impacts the output of each member of your software development team. Coupled with proper team management skills, you can easily align your team members’ schedules with their strengths and avoid overworking or under working anyone.
You should have remarkable critical thinking skills to be an exceptional project manager. This skill forms the foundation of making sound decisions. You’ll need to constantly and logically weigh the pros and cons of multiple situations during a software development process, and that’s where critical thinking comes in.
Part of the role of project managers is to manage the financial resources surrounding software development projects. Finance management is crucial as misappropriation of funds can ultimately lead to project failure. Besides maintaining a talented junior workforce roster, you should have extensive experience and knowledge in pricing to avoid financial problems, a damaged reputation, and even lawsuits.
The Project Management Processes
The success of a project management task depends on five major project life cycle phases:
It’s the first phase of the project life cycle, whereby you conceptualize the project and assess its feasibility. Here’s where you define or determine the goals, scope, potential risks, timeline, and estimated budget. The initiation phase is also a crucial contact point for the project manager and the stakeholders. Moreover, stakeholders can now perform due diligence before allowing the project to begin. If the project manager and the stakeholders agree to go ahead with the project, the former needs to create a project charter that outlines the outline and purpose of the project.
The planning process is the second phase of project management, where you map out the scope of the project and create a project management plan. This stage determines the team’s success as it’s the time to develop a road map for achieving goals. The project’s scope helps identify the cost, create a realistic timetable, and establish a baseline where you’ll measure progress and performance. On the other hand, the plan defines every person’s responsibilities and roles towards achieving the goals. Some important documents that the project manager needs to develop at this stage are the work breakdown schedule, milestone, a Gantt schedule, a risk management plan, a communication plan, and a scope statement.
The execution is the phase to commence the project management plan. Here, a project manager’s skills will come to light. They’ll oversee the procurement of the required resources and develop a team. Later, the project manager will ensure the beginning of assigned tasks, hold status meetings, and set up a progress tracking system. At this point, they’ll need to update the project schedule and modify the plan if necessary.
Here’s where a project manager measures the project’s progress and performance. It’s critical to ensure that all the activities align with the project management plan. You can use the key performance indicators you developed and adopted during the planning phase. Alternatively, it’s possible to assess performance per the baselines set during the project initiation and planning phases. In many cases, project monitoring/performance occurs with the execution phase to ensure that the team executes every process in plan and works within the scope.
The closure is the last phase of the project management life cycle. It occurs once stakeholders approve and validate the project’s outcome. At this stage, the project manager will close all the contracts with the team and any third-party supplier involved in the project development process. They’ll also archive all the documents about the project and create a project finalization document. The closure initiates the final part of the project; troubleshooting and maintenance.
What are the Benefits of Project Management?
Project management is pretty structured. Therefore, there are multiple benefits for the project manager, the project team, and the stakeholders:
- According to a Forbes article, project management helps teams achieve goals and solve problems in the set deadlines. Best practices help project managers organize tasks and ensure that the output meets expectations.
- The management process also improves the coordination of the software development team as it provides a clear and organized plan.
- Each team member knows their role to eliminate confusion and the possible double allocation of an activity.
- There are well-established communication channels between the project manager and their team or the stakeholders. That ensures that everyone involved in the project is aware of the happenings.
- Project management also helps to minimize costs, thereby maximizing output.
- A little project management magic ultimately enhances customer satisfaction since you’ll meet their expectations.
- It’s also easier to anticipate and deal with problems before they harm your entire project.
FAQs on Project Management
What is a project manager certification?
A project manager certification verifies that a person has the skills, education, and experience necessary to manage projects. For instance, PMP certification is the gold standard for project management.
How much is a project manager’s salary?
On average, a project manager can earn between $93,000 and $140,000.
What is project manager software?
Project manager software is special software that project managers use to plan, organize, manage, and develop resource estimates for a software development process.
What does a software project manager do?
A software project manager is in charge of planning, budgeting, scheduling, executing, and delivering a software project development goal. The project manager also oversees the team working on the project.
What are the four major responsibilities of a software project manager?
The four main responsibilities of a project manager are planning, scheduling, budgeting, and executing software or web projects.
What does it take to become a software project manager?
You’ll need a degree in either information technology (IT), software engineering, software development and management, computer science, project management, or business administration.
What software do project managers use?
Project managers use Hive, Trello, Asana, ProofHub, Wrike, Smartsheet, Nifty, and Basecamp.
Is project management a good career?
Yes. Project management is in high demand in various industries, in part due to the competitive salaries.
What’s the top-paying project management job?
An IT project management job like cloud computing is the highest-paying project management job.
What qualifications do you need to be a project manager?
You’ll need an undergraduate degree in IT, software engineering, project management, and on-the-job training and experience in project management. Also, it’s vital to be a certified project manager.
How do I become a project manager without experience?
Show your commitment to the industry and have the skills the project in question requires.
What do project managers do all day?
Project managers set the right expectations for the team and coordinate with the project stakeholders. They also keep track of the project’s progress, motivate the team members to deliver the set deliverables, and actively solve any problems.
Do you need to know coding to be a project manager?
No, you don’t. However, understand the time complexity of any software or web development tasks that require coding.
How do I start a career in software project management?
Develop or acquire basic skills in project management and look for an entry job position related to project management. Next, grow your skills and get credentials and project manager certification for different levels of project management.
Is project management stressful?
Yes. There is immense pressure to deliver on time and within the stipulated budget. The job could also be stressful if you deal with unrealistic client expectations, limited resources, and an overwhelming to-do list.
Is Excel a project management tool?
Excel is not a fully designed tool for project management. However, you can use it to handle tasks like mapping out the project scope, managing the day-to-day activities, and recording the financial aspects of project management.
What are the 5 stages of project management?
Project initializing, planning, execution, performance/monitoring, and closing are the five stages of project management.
What are 4 management tools?
The four management tools are task, time, people, and information.
Why do project managers get paid so much?
Project managers are accountable for the project’s results. They typically receive good pay to motivate them to achieve the set goals.
Why did I quit being a project manager?
Some main reasons why project managers quit are the stressful nature of the work, a lack of work/life balance, disorganization of the team, and poor executive level management characterized by non-communication and poor allocation of resources for software or web development activities.
How hard is being a project manager?
Project managers can face challenges if they don’t master interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. They’ll also have a hard time if they aren’t keen on the details. Generally, project management challenges vary from person to person.
How hard is the PMP exam?
The project management professional exam is known to be pretty hard. However, 40-50% of candidates who take the exam pass after the first attempt.How long does it take to be a project manager?
It may take between three months and many years, depending on your level of education, experience, and career goals.
Why Choose Sonatafy?
Project managers play a vital role in the success of any software development project. At Sonatafy, we pride ourselves on building a leading-edge team of software engineers and developers in Mexico and beyond. Get in touch with us now to find a new home, join our software experts, and learn about how to advance your career in project management!