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10 EFFECTIVE TIPS FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUCCESS

Marketing Manager
Anastasia Shevchuk

INTRODUCTION

Management isn't something that you receive a handbook for and start doing immediately. Carrying out projects is not one of the easiest tasks. The job of a project manager includes not only project planning, preparation of documentation, and project controlling but also a deep understanding of people's emotions, great negotiation skills, and the ability to motivate both externally and internally.

As a project leader, you encounter a plethora of tasks but the main is to be the intermediary between customers and your team. Good project managers know how to organize productive meetings, set clear goals and complete projects successfully.

In this article, you will find 10 tips on how to manage projects effectively and achieve excellent results!

SET THE TASKS CORRECTLY WHILE PLANNING THE SPRINT

Keep in mind that during the sprint, developers are not only engaged in writing code. They also have third-party tasks. For instance, participation in team events, daily meetings with customers, bug fixing, code reviews, and so on.

It takes time, which is worth considering when planning a sprint. Many people estimate this large part of work by eye, for example, they put 10 hours for communication and 30 hours for development. These numbers are not universal for every team. Remember that people have different personalities, different speed work and other factors that should be taken into account.

To understand how much time a developer can spend on tasks, discuss each in detail and calculate how much time approximately should be allocated to it. These data can be entered into a table and used for planning the next sprints.

EVALUATE THE TASKS BASED ON THE TIME FOR STUDY

In a development process, there are situations when a team has to master technologies or implement third-party solutions with which they have never worked with. In this case, to minimize the risk of failing business goals, you must first give them time to familiarize themselves with the new technology, study the documentation, analyze the features and methods of application. After having analyzed, it will be much easier and more understandable to see the scope of work that should be done.

ASSIGN TASKS CLEARLY

The specifics in the task statement is an important point in the development process.

Before starting a project, you need to answer several questions:

1. Why should we do it?
2. What needs to be done?
3. What task management tools can help us achieve goals?
4. Who is doing that?
5. What results are we going to achieve?

Task descriptions should be made in such a way so that a person without context can read them and understand everything. If tasks are written in a lazy and imprudent way, it's likely that team members will execute them that way and the solution to the burning problem will be postponed until an indefinite period of time.
tasks assignment

GIVE REGULAR FEEDBACK

People achieve high performance only if they know the truth about their effectiveness. Try to give feedback as often as possible. Both positive and negative feedback motivate employees to perform better.

Employees like to feel valued and appreciate being asked to provide feedback that can help formulate the right business decisions.

USE PRIORITIZATION TECHNIQUES FOR SETTING TASKS

Task prioritization helps you understand what should be done first to convey the maximum value of the project to the customer and earn more money for the company.
Each organization has its allocation of resources. There are teams with shared and limited resources: several managers can involve designers, programmers, and analysts in the development of the same team. In this case, the fight for them begins: at general meetings, you need to quickly and reliably justify why exactly your feature should be taken and implemented first, and not your colleagues'.

There are several helpful techniques for correct task prioritization.

The most popular are:

1. ICE Score
2. RICE Score

The ICE score includes three elements.

1. I- Impact.
Impact shows how much the idea will positively affect the indicator you are trying to improve;

2. C- Confidence.
Confidence shows how much you trust the impact estimates and ease of implementation. To determine this indicator, answer the question: how confident you are that this feature will lead to the improvement described in Impact, and will be as easy to perform as described in Ease;

3. E- Ease.
Ease shows how much effort and resources will be required to implement this idea. This indicator is usually measured in person-weeks. The easier the task, the higher the number.

To determine the ease of implementation, answer the following questions: how long will it take? How many people will be involved? It is also necessary to take into account the work of all departments: development, design, marketing.


 prioritization techniques

How is the ICE score calculated?

After placing the indicators, all 3 indicators are added and divided by 3. After practicing this prioritization technique with all the tasks, those that are more priority at the moment are identified.

The RICE score is another method of prioritizing product ideas and features.

The framework includes 4 factors:

1. R-Reach.
Reach is measured in the number of people/events per time period. That might be "customers per quarter" or "transactions per month". As much as possible, use real measurements from metrics instead of pulling numbers from the head.

2. I-Impact.
As with the ICE score, in RICE there is such an indicator as Impact. In RICE, Impact is accessed on a three-point scale. 3 for "massive impact", 2 for "high", 1 for "medium", 0.5 for "low", and finally 0.25 for "minimal". These numbers get multiplied into the final score to scale it up or down.

3. C-Confidence.
As with the ICE score, this indicator determines how confident you are that this feature will lead to the improvement described in Impact, and how much effort should be made. The main difference from the ICE score is that it is estimated in percentages: 100% is "high confidence", 80% is "medium", 50% is "low". Be honest with yourself: how much support do you really have for your estimates?

4. E-Effort.
To move quickly and have an impact with the least amount of effort, estimate the total amount of time a project will require from all members of your team: product, design, and engineering. Effort is estimated as a number of "person-months" – the work that one team member can do in a month. For instance, project 1 will take about a week of planning, 1-2 weeks of design, and 2-4 weeks of engineering time. I'll give it an effort score of 2 person-months.

How is the RICE score calculated?

Multiply "Reach", "Impact", "Confidence" and divide into "Effort". Once the initial scoring is done, sort your list and re-evaluate. Are there projects where the score seems too high or too low? If so, reconsider your estimates and make changes, or accept that your gut instinct may be wrong.

Practice both prioritization techniques and choose the most convenient for you :)

DO NOT ADD NEW TASKS DURING AN ALREADY SCHEDULED SPRINT

Sometimes, during a sprint, unplanned tasks are added to the current sprint.
According to the scrum methodology, you can't add tasks to an already scheduled sprint. However, managers do not always follow these rules. As a result, the team is distracted and does not have time to complete all the tasks. While planning, answer the question: "What happens if we do it not in the current, but the next sprint? If you often add additional tasks to a sprint, scrum may not be the right fit for you.

SELECT THE RIGHT PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

Technology will never replace human wisdom, but it is a good ally. Opening to new solutions and relying on innovativeness in management is worth it. Due to the right chosen project management software, automation of processes greatly simplifies many boring and sometimes unnecessary tasks. Increased efficiency of operations translates directly into a higher tactical and strategic level of project management. Deployment of project management software is a key tip for the project manager. The best program is something that combines collaboration, time management, communication, planning, and document sharing into a single ecosystem.

Here is the list of the most interesting options:

Jira

A legend in the world of project management software. Jira is a highly developed program with a lot of functionalities. It supports roadmap requirements, integrates with third-party software (Slack, Hipchat) and works for different types of users (developers, project managers, engineers and other non-tech business professionals). Unfortunately, Jira is very difficult to tackle – the number of functions makes it very difficult to implement the software in the company and, first and foremost, to teach your employees how to use it.

Trello

A great task management tool with similar popularity to Jira and used as its alternative by many companies. In Trello, project managers can set and manage the tasks. The main limitation of this project management tool is limited storage and work only with small projects.

Slack

One more great task management tool for convenient messaging and sharing documents (written, image and video) with colleagues and managers. Furthermore, Slack has an opportunity for setting reminders for yourself and others.

WORK ON THE PROJECT QUALITY

In the development process, you need to deal not only with the development and implementation of features for users, but also with infrastructure, scaling, and non-functional requirements.

You also need to work with technical debt (today you will temporarily speed up without writing tests for a new feature. But every day while this feature has to be tested by hand, it slows down your overall progress. At some point, the amount of this time will exceed what you would have spent on the original writing of the test). Technical debt itself is not critical, but when it accumulates, it greatly affects the health of the development process. Critical bugs are constantly appearing. The team has to postpone business goals indefinitely and fix what is broken.

Working on the quality of the project requires the time of the developers, and it should also be taken into account in the plans.
BOOST YOUR PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WITH A DEDICATED TEAM!

MANAGE RISKS & OBSTACLES

Risk management is the process of identifying the factors that pose a risk to your project's success and the steps you can take to eliminate the effects of these risks. In some instances, you might decide to accept the risk if it won't have much impact on your project team and your stakeholders.

You could do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis at this point, focusing on the weaknesses of your project team and the threats your project faces. Weaknesses might include factors such as the lack of technical skills in your organization, while threats include competing products or other constraints from outside your team that could contribute toward the failure of the project.

COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

Communication, communication, communication. This is a professional skill many are lacking in today's competitive business arena. Managing a project successfully requires effective communication between all the parties involved: customers, team members and project managers. Should there be a problem in the communication arena, then there will be attacks like 'Well, we've agreed on blue but you made dark blue color!'. Ultimately, the lines of communication must always be open, employed constantly and ready to use. What is necessary to undertake to ensure communication working properly?

Here are a few tips:

1.Write project status reports keeping everyone on the same page about any new developments;
2. Hold general communication meetings at the start and end of every workweek;
3. Allow anyone with questions or concerns to speak freely;
4. Learn to hear and listen to the wishes of your customers and team members.

SUMMARY

Productive meetings organization, customer satisfaction, successful projects - sounds nice, right?

Management is not a child's play, it requires constant learning and upgrading both hard and soft skills.

Hope that the listed tips for project management success have been useful and you will take them into account :)
HAVE A GREAT PROJECT IDEA?