Post-Pandemic Project Management of Software Development
The Coronavirus pandemic has evolved life as we know it, especially from a career perspective. Back in early 2020, what would you have thought if you were told that working remotely would become the norm, businesses would be adopting technology at a rate never seen before, and corporate real estate would be being sold to make way for employees making home offices? Well, that’s the world we now live in, and businesses can’t afford to be left behind. With the evolution of the way of working, adaptation is key, especially in the realm of software development project management.
With COVID-19 still present, and many businesses reaping the rewards of transitioning to completely remote working, it’s unlikely we’ll ever return to a landscape where office-based working dominates. In fact, in 2021, we have seen the number of people working remotely more than double, and Forbes predicts 70% of people will be remote working by 2025.
With almost every business adapting their way of work, project management companies need to consider how they can adopt technologies, alter infrastructures, and develop the systems they’re using to match the ever-changing environment. Software development project management is a skill that will always be needed. However, to offer a product and service to the standard anticipated – now’s the time to reevaluate best practices and update those that don’t suit the new way of life.
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Project Managers Need To Enhance Their Skill Set
Software development is notorious for being at the forefront of adopting new ways of working. However, that tends to be when working on internal development projects, using programs like GitHub to collaborate and work in a live shared environment. However, it can be challenging to align your processes with anyone external to your business. One way to tackle this would be embracing collaborative working systems, allowing project managers to keep people external to the development team up to date without having them included in development-only communications.
With the change in working circumstances, it’s going to be crucial for project managers to develop a closer understanding of the work going into a project, the complexities a developer has to deal with, the time a job will take, and how to communicate this effectively with other stakeholders to align expectations.
Take Advantage Of The Plethora Of Technology Available
Now more than ever, project managers should be analyzing the different technologies they can implement into their workflow to drastically improve their offerings. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation have the power to bring exponential benefits to businesses, project managers, developers, and clients.
Choosing to work with systems that are built to make the life of a project manager easier ensures the transition to post-pandemic project management is much smoother. There are many ways companies are already using intelligent automation for project management, including predicting risk, conducting data-driven project analysis, improving work efficiency, and eliminating repetitive tasks.
When working remotely, keeping every project stakeholder could prove more difficult than usual, with no face-to-face office interaction and no quickly heading over to the developers' desk to discuss the next iteration – your project could get a little confusing. However, automating workflows and including all relevant stakeholders at appropriate stages will save you time, hassle, and headaches. Imagine a world where every element of work completed is updated in a central project management system, where everyone can see the progress. No more unnecessary catch-up meetings, no wondering what stage a particular task is at, and better yet, no constant pestering from clients! Not only does this enhance the efficiency of a project, but it also makes communication clear and accurate.
Communication Is The Key To Success
Since transitioning to working remotely, you may have noticed that time in the office was wasted in pointless meetings, water-cooler chat, and answering questions for colleagues who are too lazy to find answers themselves. Although you’ve lost these time-draining distractions, you may have also found it more difficult to communicate with relevant team members and project stakeholders.
With the introduction of flexible working, it’s become a challenge to know what days and times everyone is officially working – this is something project managers drastically need to get a hold of. The quality of communication is what ultimately determines the success of any software development project. Numerous occasions of miscommunication or lack of communication can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Activating practices to ensure motivation, enthusiasm, commitment, and productivity all remain high should be high on any project manager's list. Frequent video conference calls, emails, instant messages, and one-to-one calls should be arranged and prioritized. This approach makes every member of the team stay informed, feel valued, and continue to produce the standard of work needed for a successful development project.
Managing Project Stakeholders Schedules Will Prove Crucial
It's going to be more difficult than ever to maintain transparency and understanding of individuals' working schedules. With remote working making it possible for people to work from anywhere in the world and flexible working allowing them to choose the days and hours they work, project managers could be in for a thankless task if they don’t manage it accordingly.
However, it’s still possible to create project timelines and stick to them. By communicating clearly, and giving accountability to everyone involved, the project manager should create the schedule and trust the individuals involved to meet the deadlines they’ve been set. It’s important to understand that last-minute tasks and alterations may become more difficult. However, if you give stakeholders the autonomy to work toward deadlines themselves, they’ll likely push that bit extra to get last-minute tasks over the line too.
Be open to adaptation, be flexible, and be motivated to help others accept change. Project management is tough in these times, but technology is your friend – use it wisely, and you’ll transform your work, making it thoroughly enjoyable, less stressful, and much easier!
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