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. This article focuses on discussing the role and responsibilities of a software project manager.
Who is a Project Manager?
A project manager has to face many difficult situations to accomplish these works. 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.
The tasks of a project manager are classified into two major types:
- Project planning
- Project monitoring and control
Project planning is undertaken immediately after the feasibility study phase and before the starting of the requirement analysis and specification phase. Once a project is feasible, Software project managers start project planning. Project planning is completed before any development phase starts.
- Project planning involves estimating several characteristics of a project and then plan the project activities based on these estimations.
- Project planning is done with most care and attention.
- A wrong estimation can result in schedule slippage.
- Schedule delay can cause customer dissatisfaction, which may lead to a project failure.
- Before starting a software project, it is essential to determine the tasks to be performed and properly manage allocation of tasks among individuals involved is the software development.
- Hence, planning is important as it results in effective software development.
- Project planning is an organized and integrated management process, which focuses on activities required for successful completion of the project.
- It prevents obstacles that arise in the project such as changes in projects or organizations objectives, non-availability of resources, and so on.
- Project planning also helps in better utilization of resources and optimal usage of the allotted time for a project.
- For effective project planning, in addition to a very good knowledge of various estimation techniques, experience is also very important.
Objectives of Project Planning
- It defines the roles and responsibilities of the project management team members .
- It ensures that the project management team works according to the business objectives.
- It checks feasibility of the schedule and user requirements.
- It determines project constraints, several individuals help in planning the project.
Activities Performed by Project Manager
1. Project Estimation
Project Size Estimation is the most significant parameter based on which all other estimations like cost, duration and effort are made.
- Cost Estimation: Total expenses to develop the software product is estimated.
- Time Estimation: The total time required to complete the project.
- Effort Estimation: The effort needed to complete the project is estimated.
After the completion of the estimation of all the project parameters, scheduling for manpower and other resources is done.
Team structure and staffing plans are made.
4. Risk Management
The project manager should identify the unanticipated risks that may occur during project development risk, analyze the damage that might cause these risks, and take a risk reduction plan to cope with these risks.
5. Miscellaneous Plans
This includes making several other plans such as quality assurance plans, configuration management plans, etc.
- Lead the team: The project manager must be a good leader who makes a team of different members of various skills and can complete their individual tasks.
- Motivate the team-member: One of the key roles of a software project manager is to encourage team members to work properly for the successful completion of the project.
- Tracking the progress: The project manager should keep an eye on the progress of the project. A project manager must track whether the project is going as per plan or not. If any problem arises, then take the necessary action to solve the problem. Moreover, check whether the product is developed by maintaining correct coding standards or not.
- Liaison: The project manager is the link between the development team and the customer. Project manager analysis the customer requirements and convey it to the development team and keep telling the progress of the project to the customer. Moreover, the project manager checks whether the project is fulfilling the customer’s requirements or not.
- Monitoring and reviewing: Project monitoring is a continuous process that lasts the whole time a product is being developed, during which the project manager compares actual progress and cost reports with anticipated reports as soon as possible. While most firms have a formal system in place to track progress, qualified project managers may still gain a good understanding of the project’s development by simply talking with participants.
- Documenting project report: The project manager prepares the documentation of the project for future purposes. The reports contain detailed features of the product and various techniques. These reports help to maintain and enhance the quality of the project in the future.
- Reporting: Reporting project status to the customer and his or her organization is the responsibility of the project manager. Additionally, they could be required to prepare brief, well-organized pieces that summarize key details from in-depth studies.
Features of a Good Project Manager
- Knowledge of project estimation techniques.
- Good decision-making abilities at the right time.
- Previous experience managing a similar type of projects.
- Good communication skills 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 to these problems.
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