Sunday, November 25, 2012

Project Management in 10 steps.

I have been tasked with managing small team of software developers on and off over the years. Project Management is always about getting things done right and on time. If you got these 2 right then you usually don't have to worry about over-budget. 

Any PM can be broken down into these 10 steps assuming the project time estimation has been determined early on.
  1. Find out the goals, or what to get done. If the goals are not clear, don't proceed.
  2. Find out when the project must finish, a.k.a deadline.
  3. Make a quick mental model of tasks to the time available. If you are really familiar with the works then break the tasks down by hours, else break it by days. If things are vague, use "week". This is the point where you either get that comfortable feeling that things will go alright, or getting the sick feeling that you are screwed.
  4. Find out who to report to. This is the person (or persons) you send progress report to.
  5. Find out who is on the team or do you have a team to take on the work.
  6. Assemble the team and brief everyone on about the project.
  7. Create the project structure, the git/svn repo, the bug tracking and give everyone the necessary access to these systems.
  8. Assign tasks to everyone and put a date on the tasks. Tasks without date should be moved to the side for now. I recommend Kanban system of placing stuff.
  9. Monitor team progress, report progress and updates to stakeholder.
  10. Get out of the way so your team can do their work.

Further discussion
  • Getting out of the way is important. If you hire right and the team is in good shape, there is absolutely no reason for you to micromanage.
  • No, you don't have to make everyone happy.
  • Kanban and Scrum fits my organization. You may already be doing these things without you knowing their common names.

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