In this article, we demystify the art of efficient project management in the digital realm, diving deep into the secrets of risk management, the magic of CI/CD practices, the essence of thorough documentation, and the delicate dance of team coordination. If you’ve ever felt like you’re juggling too many balls in the air while spearheading a digital project, this guide is your blueprint to a smoother sail.
How to manage work?
Managing a project to create a digital product requires a combination of technical knowledge and management skills regarding people and budgets. When executing digital projects, it’s not worth forgoing without the involvement of an experienced Project Manager, whose role is to support the project from the beginning in achieving its goals. But project management in the digital world is not only about managing people and resources. It’s also about a synergy between fast-growing technology, changing business environment, outgrowing budget, time, scope and other risks that may occur.
Project Managers manage not only the progress of work but also risks. Their job is to identify potential risks as early as possible by developing mitigation strategies and contingency plans that can serve as solutions during unforeseen blockers. The project risk assessment should be updated as frequently as the product roadmap.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery
Another important aspect is the implementation of CI/CD (Continuous integration/Continuous development) practices, which ensure that all code changes are integrated, tested and deployed in production environments, as appropriate. This approach helps catch and resolve problems early on, providing the opportunity for stable incremental growth of the digital product being produced.
A Project Manager is responsible for collecting full documentation from the project, being the one to encourage technical teams to document the code accurately. Thus, gathered knowledge can be efficiently transferred and refreshed in case of any personnel changes in the team. Clear and comprehensive code documentation will also help developers in case of maintenance, upkeep and updates in the future.
However, it’s not only code documentation that is important. Complete documentation of workflows and processes helps stakeholders understand the status of the project and any problems encountered along the way.
It’s also good practice to create user documentation to help understand how to use the product, troubleshoot problems and take full advantage of its features.
How to manage a team?
Project Managers are responsible for keeping an eye on the scope and allocation of resources. Their role is also to maintain transparent and open communication with the teams involved in the project. By holding periodic meetings, they gather information on a regular basis regarding the progress of the work, emerging challenges and next steps to be taken.
Agile methodologies have transformed the landscape, offering an efficient, transparent, and collaborative approach to managing projects. Popular methodologies like Scrum and Kanban have been making a significant impact, offering flexibility and enhancing team comfort while maintaining a clear vision for stakeholders who, thanks to the iterative nature of the process, can watch the incremental work from the sidelines. What’s more, these methodologies extend beyond processes providing actual practical tools like digital task boards and renowned project management software such as Jira and Asana.
Scrum is a framework that aims to deliver high quality products by fostering continuous improvement, team collaboration and adaptation. Its main goal is to deliver increments of the product at regular intervals and introduce time divisions called “Sprints” which typically last from two to four weeks. During Sprints a team works to achieve specific goals and commits to a set of tasks during planning sessions.
Kanban focuses on visualizing work and maintaining a steady flow of tasks through the development process. Working in Kanban is based on continuous delivery and encourages development teams to pull work based on available capacity. It’s known for its boards that are used to visualize the flow or work, with tasks moving through different stages from “To do” and “In Progress”, to “Done”. The main idea behind this method is to limit the work “in progress” to such a number of tasks that will not affect the efficiency and overwhelm the team with the amount of work.
It’s evident that what’s crucial is a holistic approach. While the beginning stages of digital product development and management lay the groundwork, the continuous effort towards risk management, incorporating CI/CD practices, thorough documentation, and agile methodologies ensures the project’s momentum and success. It’s about more than just tools or strategies; it’s about fostering a culture of adaptability, collaboration, and keen foresight. In a landscape that’s ever-evolving, being equipped with the right knowledge and mindset makes all the difference.