Having a good system for project management can save time and money on your projects, help you maintain a strong technical team, and ensure that you stay competitive by leveraging technology that is built to meet your needs.
There’s a lot involved in keeping your projects running smoothly. We’re going to cover a few key areas to consider.
The Project Manager
A talented project manager can be one of the most valuable members of your team, serving as the glue that holds everything together. However, it can often be an overlooked role- much of the work is overhead, if not all of it, and it’s a specific skill set that is often misunderstood. Many times teams will attempt to move an account manager or technical manager into the role only to find that person overwhelmed and burdened by the amount of detail involved. Here are some things to think about when hiring a project manager.
• The level of technical skill required for this role will vary by company, but the role will often require no more than a basic understanding of the technology being developed. The project manager is there to organize and should pull on the knowledge of the development team.
• One of the most important skills for a project manager is communication. They need to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to the development process, coordinate between the client or account manager and the team, and ensure that timelines and deadlines are being met. If problems arise, they need to figure out how to solve them and coordinate.
• Your project manager should be good with details. This ties into the communication skills, as projects often have information coming in from many sources- email, Basecamp or another project tool, Jira or a similar task manager, as well as each individual involved in the process. They have to be able to manage dates, financial figures, and timelines with ease, changing as necessary. That usually involved sorting through a lot of information.
Project Management Tools & Processes
Your project manager will likely have their own processes, developed over time, but they will also have to adjust those processes to the demands of your company’s projects. Since each project is different, that requires a degree of flexibility when it comes to tools and processes, but there are some standards we’re going to cover here.
• Project management software is key to managing all the details. Software like Basecamp, Jira, Confluence, Slack, and Trello offer a wide range of project management tools. Put some time into figuring out which of these tools are best for your team. Also, make sure your team is using these tools effectively, and provide time for project managers to update their skills.
• Just as important as the software itself is how that software is used. For example, Jira is used very effectively with a strong agile project management system with regular scrum meetings to fill out the backlog and prioritize items.
Have a project management system in place that everyone can benefit from.
Project management is easier with help. Give Grata a call to talk about how we can help you improve your project management processes, support your company with an experienced project manager, or help to develop your next project.
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