The Role Of A Project Manager In Software Development

Gimena Aguerreberry
June 23, 2021

Having a qualified Project Manager is crucial to the successful management of a project. They are knowledgeable, but they also have the experience to understand contingency planning and help fix problems. There are various certifications available, but the most recognized is PMP through the Project Management Institute, which has global availability.

A software PM defines the requirements of the project, builds the project team, lays out a blueprint for the whole project including the project scope and parameters, clearly communicates the goals of the project to the team; the targets to be achieved, allots budget to the various tasks to be completed, and ensures that the expectations of the Board of Directors and Stakeholders are met through timely completion of the project.

A software project manager is the most important person inside a team who takes the overall responsibilities to manage the software projects and plays an important role in the successful completion of the projects. A project manager has to face many difficult situations to accomplish these tasks.

In fact, the job responsibilities of a project manager range from invisible activities like building up team morale to highly visible customer presentations. Most of the managers take responsibility for writing the project proposal, project cost estimation, scheduling, project staffing, software process tailoring, project monitoring and control, software configuration management, risk management, managerial report writing and presentation, and interfacing with clients.

Project Manager in Software Development

Software project managers oversee and prioritize development tasks and communicate with clients. This involves the application of project management principles, such as identifying blockers, keeping team members accountable, effective communication, and giving feedback.

1. Scope Definition

One of the chief responsibilities of a software project manager is to define the scope of the project. Software development won’t be successful without a clear delineation of timelines, schedules, project styles to use, projections, available resources, and overall goals.

It’s the responsibility of a project manager, with the help of a capable team, to set these clear terms at the beginning, at regular intervals, and to revisit the terms at the end of the product development life cycle.

2. Project Coordination

A project manager is expected to be able to coordinate company resources and that of third parties to ensure that the project is carried out perfectly.

The scope of this involves making sure that all projects are delivered on schedule while ensuring that the expended resources keep with the scope of the project and that expenses remain within the budget.

3. Resource Allocation

To successfully manage resources, a project manager has to be able to delegate resources efficiently to maximize output while minimizing waste. Part of the responsibilities of a project manager in software development is expert resource allocation.

4. Change Management

Expectedly, there will be unforeseen circumstances that make changes to a project plan necessary. It is a project manager’s responsibility to spot those changes early and address them. This requires some level of foresight, and the ability to be flexible and adapt to necessary changes, even when these changes are not the most convenient option.

5. Project Execution

And of course, a project manager is expected to be able to execute a project. It’s the combined responsibility of a software project manager, which is to ensure that a project comes to a successful close.

Necessary skills of a project manager

Good theoretical knowledge of various project management techniques is needed to become a successful project manager, but only theoretical knowledge is not enough. Moreover, a project manager must have good decision-making abilities, good communication skills, and the ability to control the team members by keeping a good rapport with them and the ability to get the work done by them. Some skills such as tracking and controlling the progress of the project, customer interaction, good knowledge of estimation techniques, and previous experience are needed.

Skills that are the most important to become a successful project manager are given below:

  • Knowledge of project estimation techniques

  • Good decision-making abilities at the right time

  • Previous experience of managing a similar type of projects

  • Good communication skill to meet the customer satisfaction

  • A project manager must encourage all the team members to successfully develop the product

  • He must know the various type of risks that may occur and the solution for these problems

Organisation of Work in Scrum Teams

Scrum does not have a role called "project manager." The essence of Scrum is a Scrum Team. It consists of developers, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. The scrum team needs to be flexible, able to quickly, and efficiently adapt to the needs of the clients and their products. It is also important for both the client and the Scrum Team to remain open-minded and expect challenges and changes.

"The Role Of A Project Manager In Software Development" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Markus Winkler.

Categorized under agile / software development.

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