How to manage software projects effectively? Axon's Guide

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Product Development
Daryna Tryhub
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Over the years of working on software development, our gold standard has been and remains the ensuring of efficient software project management. We understand that software development involves many associated processes for any business that rely heavily on a productive performance of our part of work. 

That’s why we have developed a set of practices in project management allowing us to not only to reach project deadlines, but also complete it within the approved budget and features scope of work

They include:

Administrative point

Administrative activities on a software project are aimed primarily at ensuring complete transparency of cooperation, as well as providing protection of your intellectual property according to the GDPR requirements. 

They often include management of access to the project materials, maintenance and storing of project documentation, and any work with project management tools. 

Organization point

The primary part of any software project is organizational communication between the client and the development team. The frequency of communication also depends on your preferences and project specifications, weekly status-calls are mandatory.    

Working with us, you are always connected with an engineering team through Jira, Confluence, Slack, and other communication channels and can always track the work progress.

Project documentation maintenance and control

This set of activities involves the creation of a project scope, timing and budget related documentation:

  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Gantt Chart
  • Plan-Fact Analysis Report

Work Breakdown Structure (Software project scope)

In project management, a scope of work is defined as a list of features and functions of the product, or scope of work that is needed to complete the project. 

The initial scope is gathered during the presale stage in the Work Breakdown Structure document (WBS). This is the document that will be used throughout the project lifecycle. 

The Work Breakdown Structure document represents a complete deconstruction of the project tasks into logical and more manageable components.

It is used as a foundational starting point for project managers to keep track of features that are being developed, followed by the priorities that were previously set with stakeholders and used as a reference point in case adjustments of scope need to be made.

In the majority of cases, the WBS consists of name of functionality, estimation of functionality, as well as notes. 

What do you get from WBS?

  • You have the project scope gathered in one place;
  • You know what exact features will be delivered during the development stage. 

An example of WBS is provided below for your reference:  

Work Breakdown Structure (Software project scope)

As a result, with a document such as this our project managers are able to control the scope and keep the clients updated regarding the progress of developed functionalities.

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Gantt Chart (Software project timing)

A listing of a project’s activities and deliverables is shown in project management time, with intended start and finish dates. Project scheduling provides a detailed plan that represents how and when the project will be delivered, the functionalities defined in the project scope and serves as a tool for communication and managing stakeholder expectations. 

A great tool that will help you to control timing on a software project is a Gantt Chart. 

This document allows to add the scope of work for a project on its spreadsheet, by putting dependency relationships between the activities and current schedule status. Having an up-to-date Gantt Chart in place, allows us to control any scope changes and how they affect the timeline of the project.

What do you get from Gantt Chart?

  • You understand the project sequence of activities;
  • You know when each functionality will be delivered to them. 

An example of Gantt Chart is provided below for you to look at: 

 

Gantt Chart (Software project timing)


Plan-Fact Analysis Report (Software project budget) 

Plan-Fact document will help you to control software project costs. This is a document that indicates the initial estimates of the project activities and their actual spent time. Its main focus is to show the stakeholders whether the project is on budget and familiarizes them with any cost deviations in advance. 

What do you get from Plan-Fact Analysis Report?

  • You are completely aware of the project budget status at all times.

This is how the Plan-Fact document looks: 

Plan-Fact Analysis Report (Software project budget) 

Conclusion 

As shown, efficient management of software projects depends significantly on the implementation of numerous administrative and organizational activities that focus on ensuring secure, transparent and productive collaboration between client and development teams. 

Creation of documents such as the WBS, Gantt-Charts and Plan-Facts allows you to have an understanding of the project scope, lists of features your team are planning to develop, as well as a budget status of your project.

Axon Development Group
May 24, 2021
Product Development

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