10 Best Practices in Software Project Management in 2024

 / March 19, 2024

When developing the software with your team, have you ever wondered what the project management best practices are? Or what an excellent manager needs to do to ensure that their software products are delivered on time as well as within scope and budget?

10 Project Management Best Practices Deserve Trying

To give you the most proper and helpful answers, we have researched, read tons of materials, and even interviewed several experienced project managers before writing this article. Finally, we have picked out the best practices for software project management.

Let’s go through these sections below!

1. Manage the relationship with the client and all stakeholders

There is no doubt that effective communication plays an essential role in your project management. To ensure the smooth operation of your software project development, a manager needs to maintain consistent communication with the client and all stakeholders throughout the whole project. 

From the first days, make sure that each person has an in-depth understanding of their responsibilities and roles, as well as of the project: the scope, the milestones, performance constraints, goals, and benefits of the project, etc. You need to apply day-to-day project management best practices by getting their working status thoroughly and constantly until your project ends.

Similar to the clients – it is crucial for you to inform your clients of all key elements of the project at the beginning. Also, coordination with internal resources and third parties/vendors will help you deal with every issue if there are any new requests or changes.

2. Have a risk response team

As an intangible product, a software project requires managers to be ready for predictable and even unpredictable risks and problems in the development and maintenance process. For example:

  • Technological/ environmental issues (hard drive crashes, service problems, etc.)
  • Changes in human resources
  • Over budget or time
  • New requirements 
risk of project management best practices

Hence, the question is, how to manage risks throughout your project?

First of all, your team needs to identify any relevant risk in every field and phase. It will be an ideal option if all team members can have a discussion of potential problems before implementing the project. Then, it is time to establish a risk response team with experienced people who can analyze the probability of risk occurrence, make plans to avoid them, and deal with the worst scenarios.

Trust me, almost all of the projects might go wrong, and creating a risk response team is one of the project management best practices!

FURTHER READING:
1. 10 Project Management Skills to Succeed at Work
2. Develop a Management Product: 3 Things to Keep In Mind
3. How to Estimate a Software Project? A Detailed Guide From Designveloper
4. 3 Types of Management Products You Should Know

3. Defining and setting up the project scope

setting up the project scope

Every project, especially a software project, needs a detailed and correct scope. It shows the main constraints in terms of time, budget, and quality, meaning points out which activities or processes would be done and which would not. 

To get a proper project scope, a manager is responsible for clarifying several questions, such as:

  • What are the goals and benefits of the project?
  • What is the expected software the clients require?
  • How to allocate internal sources efficiently?
  • Which requirements ensure the standard quality of the software?
  • What are the potential problems? 
  • Is the estimated time and cost feasible?

During software development, the project scope might change because of both internal and external factors. But don’t worry, it is time to adapt to changes and tackle them to achieve the final goals.

Recommended reading: 4 Best Work From Home Productivity Tools

4. Estimate the project correctly

estimate the project correctly

In terms of software development, project estimation is a must-have step to determine the further ones correctly and make certain that the final product is delivered on time and within the planned budget.

Some main factors that need to be estimated in a software project are:

  • Software size: To estimate the size of software, we highly recommend 2 project management techniques, KLOC (Kilo Line of Code) or function points.
  • Time: How long will your software be finished? How long will each phase be? Time estimation needs to answer these questions and more. It is time to create a project management plan template that we will discuss deeper in the next part.
  • Cost: It is complicated to estimate a project’s cost because numerous factors have an impact on it. Some of them can be mentioned here are the size of the software, software quality, training, hardware, human resources, additional software or tools, etc.

Besides these factors, it is also important to take other requirements into consideration when developing software, for example, human efforts, maintainability, feasibility, usability, performance, etc.

One of the services Designveloper offers is project estimation, all you need to do is provide us with your information here and we’ll have your back!

5. Implement software life-cycle methodology and develop a detailed project plan to track progress

SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is said to be one of the project management best practices. Used in the software development project, this process’s purpose is to provide high-qualified software.

As you can see, SDLC has 6 main steps, including planning, defining requirements, designing the product architecture, building/developing the software, testing, and lastly, deployment. 

We will go deeper into the project management best practices for each step of SDLC.

If what you want is a flawless execution of your project, you need to create a detailed project management plan template for yourself. 

First of all, write all the key elements such as project scope, budget management, resource allocation, milestones, and so on down. And then based on this, you can develop a detailed project plan for your team to follow. It is the most effective way to track the progress of your project and measure the completion status of each task.

6. Perform software testing constantly

project management best practices

Software testing includes 2 main approaches, black-box testing (or functionality testing) and white-box testing (or implementation testing). Black-box testing aims to confirm whether input and output match without any concern about the structure of the code. Whereas, white-box testing analyzes how the functionality is implemented to get code better.

Testing is a must at every phase of a software project, in order to find out hidden errors and avoid failure. 

It can be said that there are 3 software testing levels. Unit testing focuses on the operation and efficiency of each individual unit. Integration testing points out whether these units are matching smoothly. And system testing shows how the final software works as well as its accuracy, quality, or condition.

Thereby, it is the reason why performing software testing constantly is one of the project management best practices.

Recommended reading: An Overview of Project Management Services

7. Adapt to changes

define a project

Regardless of project scope, project estimation, or the detailed plan, your software project might change due to internal and external factors.

When it comes to internal factors, your team members might not complete their work on time, the project budget runs over what you estimated, or your project encounters some unpredictable problems. If you are in these difficult situations, keep calm and adapt to them. 

An experienced manager will track the project regularly to find out and correct bugs as soon as possible. 

In terms of external factors, it might come from your clients. It is normal when they want to adjust the timeline or give new requests. Remember to inform your all these changes to your team quickly and take corrective further steps.

FURTHER READING:
1. Agile vs Kanban vs Waterfall: Definition, Purpose, Disadvantages, and Perform
2. 18 Software Project Management Methodologies for Software Development

8. Hold retrospective meetings regularly

No one can deny the impact and importance of project management. The software project management best practices is a powerful tool that you can make use of to reach your goals. Along with these tips we discussed above, we also cannot skip a crucial method – periodic meetings.

It is a good chance for you to go through the status reports and check whether everything is following your plan. You need to review what your team did within a given time period, take into consideration problems, and encourage your colleagues.

Keep an eye on one of the project management best practices, guys!

9. Ensure resource availability and allocation as well as technical feasibility

  • Do you have enough staff with experience and excellent skills?
  • Do you have enough software and tools to ensure the best project management techniques?
  • And do you have enough necessary documents and materials for your software development?

Before kicking off your project, answer these questions and prepare everything carefully. Proper allocation of resources requires skills. Be realistic. Don’t over-allocate. Don’t waste the available resources. Make plans in advance. Change if necessary.

In addition, carrying out technical feasibility is also a must-to-do practice. In case of meeting all the customer’s requirements, within the project scope, could this software be built? 

This analysis evaluates the software, hardware, operational characteristics, and other technical demands, and measures the probability of the idea’s success.

Recommended reading: What is The Quality Assurance Process?

10. Conduct post-project evaluation

project evaluation

We believe that you would learn useful lessons after each software project. Practices make perfect. 

Therefore, after a project ends, you should spend time evaluating the success, the drawbacks, and the improvements compared with the previous projects. It is also an ideal time to have a meeting with your team to send your thanks to everyone for their efforts.

Designveloper’s Best Practices in Software Project Management

At Designveloper, we’ve honed our approach to software project management over the years. In this section, we’ll share insights and tips that have helped us succeed in this dynamic industry. Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or just starting out, we hope you’ll find these practices valuable.

Best Practices in Software Project Management We Adhere to

At Designveloper, we’ve mastered the art of software project management. Our approach is rooted in the  best practices in software project management. Here’s how we do it:

  • Agile Methodology: We’re big believers in Agile. It allows us to deliver project increments quickly and efficiently. Clients see progress after each short sprint, reducing the need for extensive rework and fostering continuous improvement.
  • Kaizen (Continuous Improvement): We’re always looking for ways to get better. By gathering feedback from clients and team members, we enhance our performance after each sprint.
  • Flat Team Structure: Everyone on our team has an equal voice. We encourage all members to think like a product owner, fostering a collaborative environment where the best solutions rise to the top.
  • Active Communication and Knowledge Sharing: We promote open dialogue and learning. Regardless of roles or levels, everyone shares knowledge and communicates positively.
  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): We streamline the deployment process with CI/CD. It makes everything simpler and more efficient.
  • Thorough Planning: We don’t rush into things. We dedicate ample time to planning and consider our approach carefully before starting work.
  • Task/Issue Tracking: We keep track of tasks and issues using tools like Kanban/Jira or git project. It helps us stay organized and on top of things.

Aha.is Project Success

Designveloper's Best Practices in Software Project Management

Let’s take a closer look at the Aha.is project, a shining example of Designveloper’s  best practices in software project management in action.

Our team dove into the Aha.is project with a clear understanding of our client’s needs. We communicated actively and solved problems efficiently, earning high praise from our clients. This active communication was not just about keeping the client informed; it also provided our team members with opportunities to develop their communication skills.

The progress in the work was clear and consistent, thanks to our adherence to Agile methodology and thorough planning. Our team members achieved a certain level of independence, capable of analyzing requirements, breaking down tasks, and suggesting solutions. This independence is a testament to our flat team structure and our emphasis on knowledge sharing.

Possible Challenges in Implementation

Implementing the  best practices in software project management is not without its challenges. At Designveloper, we’ve faced a few hurdles along the way.

One such challenge is communication. Some clients, due to their busy schedules, find it difficult to communicate via chat or email. This can lead to delays and misunderstandings, hindering the smooth progress of the project.

To overcome this, we’ve found that scheduling regular meetings at specific times can be highly effective. This establishes a routine and ensures that the client stays informed about the project’s progress. It also provides an opportunity for the client to raise any concerns or provide feedback, which is crucial for the successful implementation of our best practices in software project management.

Conclusion

The best practices in software project management are not just theoretical concepts; they’re practical strategies that have been tested and refined in the field. At Designveloper, we’ve seen firsthand how these practices can lead to successful project outcomes. From adopting Agile methodology to promoting active communication and knowledge sharing, these practices have become the backbone of our project management approach.

Despite the challenges, we’ve found ways to overcome them and deliver top-quality software solutions. As we continue to learn and adapt in this fast-paced industry, we remain committed to these best practices and to our commitment to client satisfaction. After all, our success is measured by the success of our clients. And that’s what makes us a leading software development company in Vietnam. 

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