Why is it Important to have a Project Manager for Software Development Projects?

Why is it Important to have a Project Manager for Software Development Projects?

A project manager is responsible for ensuring that all the necessary resources are in place and organized for success. Project managers manage things from start to finish so that nothing gets lost along the way. Their job is more than just organizing tasks. Being an effective project manager involves knowing when someone needs help or advice regarding their task or the overall project plan.

The project manager is the most pivotal player for the successful completion of any project. They are accountable for projects from the planning stage to the execution of the project, monitoring timelines and milestones, and closing out completed projects with success rates that they can monitor over time. Project managers need to keep abreast of industry changes that may affect their decisions throughout each project phase.

The worldwide demand for IT project managers is increasing, especially with more and more companies opting to do software development work themselves instead of hiring software engineers from other companies. A good project manager should have relevant experience and educational background that can help them execute tasks on time while communicating what needs to be done, allocating funds where needed within the budget, and ensuring that the expectations of the management and the clients are adequately met.

The project manager essentially fulfills three fundamental roles:

  1. The project manager acts as a leader who leads his team members successfully towards the finish line for each project. As a leader, the project manager provides directions, assigns different roles, and uses the right person for the right job.
  2. The project manager links his team members and stakeholders such as the top management and the clients and communicates the requirements, change requests, and progress reports to the relevant parties.
  3. The project manager mentors his team members and guides them whenever they face hurdles or difficulties.

Project managers are tasked with the most critical aspect of software development, i.e., the planning and successful execution of projects. The following are the essential responsibilities of a project manager.

  • Planning the project: To successfully execute and deliver a project, the project manager should plan all the project stages. Within the planning phase, the following steps and requirements need to be undertaken. 
  • Scope: The first step in the planning of a project is defining the scope of the project. The scope outlines the features of the project, the limitations in terms of usage, users, and minimum requirements.
  • Defining timeline and milestones: Milestones refer to the critical stages of the project that are governed by tightly regulated timelines.
  • Allotting activities: Activities are assigned to different team members depending on their skills and the importance of the tasks. These tasks are organized in Gantt charts and automatically aggregated in team productivity software such as Trello.
  • Risk management: Projects always face the chances of running into potential risks such as downtime from team members, budget deficits, change requests, and design or development flaws. These risks can be mitigated by having contingencies and backups in place to fulfill any unanticipated need or hurdle.
  • Time management: The project manager ensures that things are on track for smooth and timely completion of all the milestones. In the event of any lag or gap, the project manager brings in additional reinforcements to assist the team in getting back on track.
  • Implementation: Once the project plan is finalized and the team starts working on the project, the project manager ensures that the project is implemented as per the management’s expectations and the clients.

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Clarence is the Editor-in-Chief for Free BSD Made Easy focusing on the production and quality of the contents.