30 JAN 2018 1949
Hi, guys! I’m Victoria, the project manager at Appus Studio. I’d like to tell you about the factors that lead to project success in app development as I know everyone wants to make a useful, reliable, interesting, and world-famous app in a short period of time and with a defined budget.
In my opinion, the five most important project success factors are below:
Strong project agreement
I want to discuss each one separately so you understand their importance for successful project management.
Strong Project Agreement
Do you know how to plan a project? Do you know how to develop a successful app? To begin, you need to create a solid foundation, and by foundation, of course, I mean a project scope with a precise estimation and milestones. This is the most basic but also the most important thing to do at the start of your project. To avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings, the design has to be attached to the job description so that if any problems arise while estimating the functionality, our CTO can take a look at the wireframes and answer any questions. Rest assured, if the project agreement includes and covers all your questions and clarifications, then we are on the right track. Before creating the final request, the following steps must be taken:
Create a planning horizon.
Manage the schedule, and monitor the budget.
Obtain customer approval.
Okay, let’s imagine that we have moved forward and the contract has been signed. The next item that will help you achieve project success is risk management. Defining risk is part of project planning; however, I want to speak about it in more detail. There are three types of risk: low, medium, and high. Low-level risk can be defined as conjecture. So you think that an issue may appear, but it’s more realistic to say that everything will be okay. Medium risk must be estimated to see if it needs to be thoroughly managed. For high-level risk, a separate plan should be written along with the solution. If any critical issues appear, you will always have a “plan B” that will save time and help keep you on track.
Let’s move to the next step toward project success—team selection. We already know the main objectives of how to plan a project, so now let’s find out what’s important to know when choosing a dream team. First of all, everyone needs to understand who the leader is. If you lose control of the project, it will be complete chaos, and successful project management can’t be achieved without order. Speaking of the team, project managers always know who among the developers is overloaded with work, who is not sufficiently skilled, or who is going on vacation soon. Also, it’s important to control how developers work together because the atmosphere within a team plays a huge role and influences the output.
Furthermore, we need a software tool that will link all the developers, designers, testers, and team leaders who will be working on the project so they can be involved in the development process and track their progress. There are a variety of project management best practices and tools available: Witagile, Trello, Freedcamp, Zoho Projects, Basecamp, etc. Companies that develop apps or any other software services are well-versed in project management tools, so there should be no problems with using them.
What makes an app successful? The fourth item in our plan is management control. The definition of management control is as follows: “A management function aimed at achieving defined goals within an established timetable, and usually understood to have three components: setting standards, measuring actual performance, and taking corrective action.” Project management plans are created to help in controlling and managing all the processes at different stages of development. So with the help of a plan, you can keep track of and manage all deadlines, tasks, progress, feedback from clients and developers, requests, and documentation peculiarities. As the responsibility lies on the project manager’s shoulders and he or she is fully responsible for the work of the entire team, it’s better to monitor and, if necessary, stop the work at the right moment than to panic at the end of the project. You will see the direct correlation between how the project was managed and the work that is produced.
Communication is the key to successful PM in Appus. It’s very important to listen to and hear your team. When you have a team of 5–10 members, everyone needs to be well-informed so that no critical issues are overlooked. In my experience, it’s very helpful to have meetings with the whole team at least once a week. This will enable you to have a clear vision of the project’s status and to resolve any issues. Open communication must not just be between the PM and the developers but also between the project manager and the clients. It’s no secret that during the working process, questions may arise that must be answered ASAP. Communication is the best way to prevent problems from occurring.
In conclusion, I want to say that using the project success factors will help you go in the right direction to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t forget about your own aims and intentions. You must work hard and dedicate yourself to what you do because if you love your job, the results will be at the highest level.
Thanks for your time, and good luck with your project!