Does Your Project Need a Project Manager?
You meet this specialist when approaching any web and app development company. A project manager will help your idea become a real product. But how exactly will this person do it?
WHO IS A PROJECT MANAGER?
Suppose you want to build an app. As long as you’ve talked to a software company’s sales department and made an agreement, the baton is handed over to the app development team. These people will plan your product, create different facets of it, make the product work as planned, and conduct quality testing. The team typically includes:
- Business Analyst;
- Project Manager;
- UX/UI Designer;
- Frontend Developer;
- Backend Developer;
- QA Tester.
Application development is a multi-staged process. Each expert needs to have an in-depth understanding of the project to create an excellent product. A project management professional links the whole team together and enables smooth communication.
As a customer explains their ideas, technical requirements, and business goals, a project manager drives the process forward.
THE MANY ROLES OF A PM
Each project manager is a professional with a wide range of responsibilities. They include negotiations, estimations, time management, team management, quality assurance, and quick problem-solving. Besides all those, a qualified PM will:
- help you validate your app idea;
- determine what pain points your app will solve for users;
- roadmap the application development process;
- communicate with you and the team searching for the best way to complete the project while staying within your schedule and budget.
Ready to discover all the details about a PM’s job? Let’s dive in.
ROLE 1: ESTIMATIONS AND NEGOTIATIONS
Agile project management starts with analyzing the project to better understands how much effort, expense, and time is required. A project manager conveys these estimations to a client and then negotiates on features, team members, technologies, and other things to get consent. The expert works as a point of contact between the client and the software development company. All in all, a project management professional is able to do the following:
- Consider a client’s budget, business goals, and deadlines. That may include your planned release date, marketing campaign, etc.
- Choose the technical solution and development model according to your budget, timeline, type of project (building a product from scratch or adding new functionality to the existing one), and so on.
- Selects the right team specifically for your project. For example, if you need a release as soon as possible, a project manager will suggest an extended team of developers to work faster.
From the very beginning, a project manager can structure all workflow processes in application development. An effective plan will lead to productive work and excellent results.
ROLE 2: COORDINATION OF RESOURCES
A project manager coordinates all the resources at each stage of application development. This person sets goals, monitors the time, motivates the team to use their skills most effectively, and keeps them on track. What is more, a PM regularly communicates the progress to the client, creates reports, and tracks documents. A specialist in Agile project management makes the development workflow transparent, removes any obstacles, and demonstrates the project value. Another responsibility is introducing changes and testing results to the team. A project management professional can effectively adjust the plan according to changes in a customer’s marketing strategy, an app’s features or technologies, QA testing results, and so on. The PM’s job here is to minimize risks, avoid chaos, and keep costs from unexpected rising.
At every stage of web or app development, a project manager handles routine work while monitoring the whole software development process. This person coordinates human, technological, and time resources to ensure quality and on-schedule delivery.
ROLE 3: TEAM MANAGEMENT
A project manager composes the team based on each member’s availability so that a project can be completed on time. After that, a PM fully involved in the processes of app design, development, and testing. This person should organize team meetings that include but not limited to:
- visualizing the scope of work;
- telling about changes;
- monitoring results and deadlines;
- resolving problems and misunderstandings.
One of the main challenges for a project management professional is staying flexible while maintaining full control and keeping a finger on the pulse of application development. Delivering the product with maximum quality and minimum risks is an end goal.
Throughout each development stage, project managers help the team with issue-resolving, concept following, and time management.
ROLE 4: COMMUNICATION AND PROBLEM MITIGATION
One of the vital roles of a project management professional is to provide effective communication between a client and a development team. Sometimes it involves problem mitigation, handling possible risks, and resolving other difficult issues. During the web or app development process, a project manager often explains to a customer how the changes made or unexpected issues can influence a current work scope and budget. One of the goals of Agile project management is finding ways to fit the project into time and budget limitations.
When it comes to problem-solving during the application development process, project managers use their skills to ensure smooth and productive communication between all parties.
ROLE 5: QUALITY ASSURANCE
A quality product will sell much better, that’s a fact. This is why eliminating as many bugs as possible and doing quality checks at every development stage is crucial. The project manager carefully monitors testing results to ensure consistent work of the end product. A customer will receive a final project report with a list of built features, technical specifications, recommendations for continuous support, ideas for improvements and future versions, etc.
Throughout each development stage, a project management professional will care about the end product’s quality and ensure that developers built a good basis for future extensions.
ROLE 6: TIMELY PRODUCT DELIVERY
Each project manager constantly watches how the product goals are being achieved. At the same time, this specialist should make sure that the team members aren’t overloaded with tasks and can finish everything as planned. Another duty is time management and reminding the team about quality and prompt delivery.
At this final stage of app development, a project management professional performs the role of a business partner monitoring the quality and ensuring that the product is released in time.
HOW WE HIRE GOOD PMs
So, do you always need a project manager for your development project? The answer is yes, you really do.
How do we choose a good PM for Exceed Team? We start with searching for candidates and then evaluate their previous experience, soft skills, and overall expertise in managing IT projects.
During interviews, we not just ask questions but always give practical problems to solve, which allows us to assess each candidate’s way of thinking.
We understand that a qualified project manager is vital for all technological and business processes. At the same time, finding such a PM can be as hard as finding a proper coder or designer. Most of our specialists are fluent English speakers, so the language barrier isn’t an obstacle for developers. What’s more important is to share the same conception of a product. The role of a project manager is to provide smooth communication between a client and a development team, helping them find a common ground.
If you are interested to learn more about hiring a PM, feel free to continue reading this article on our blog. We will share some tips and interview questions there.