The software development industry has been exponentially growing over the past few decades. As the field grows, so does the demand for field specialists in the job market. Particularly, for project managers.
However, filling the job position requires a set of skills and expertise that are not easy to acquire and incredibly hards to truly master.
A software project manager is responsible for defining the requirements of a project, dividing work amongst team members, and setting a timeline for the deliverables.
Further, he/she is also in charge of budget allocation and ensuring that the targets are met in due time. This article discusses the role and responsibilities of project managers in software development.
Role of Software Development Project Manager
A software development project manager plays three roles: leader, liaison and mentor.
Project managers are responsible for leading their teams towards deadlines and making sure all targets and deliverables are met.
They should be capable of providing clear guidelines and making sure everyone understands what is required from the project.
Secondly, project managers are responsible for inter-team and client communications. They should be able to coordinate with the stakeholders and provide regular updates about project progress.
Lastly, they should be able to act as mentors for the development team. They should be capable of providing instructions and making sure the team works in cohesion. The project managers should have enough knowledge to guide the team in the right direction at any point in the development process.
Responsibilities of Software Development Project Manager
Coming to the responsibilities of a project manager, they are pretty similar to the roles. However, they are certainly more specific.
To discuss some of them:
The foremost responsibility of a project manager is planning the whole project. It should be planned effectively to make sure all deadlines are met, and the functional and non-functional requirements are fulfilled.
The first step is to define the scope of the project and answer some basic questions. These include queries about the customer base, their technical background, and how they will interact with the application/portal.
A project manager needs to decide on the extent of depth to explore in the project and prioritize the use cases.
In many cases, team leads, technology or domain experts assist the project manager in defining and estimating the scope.
Next, a project manager is responsible for making activity schedules and planning them according to their priority. Software Development Project Manager needs to list the jobs and tasks that need to be completed and allot them to the team members according to their skills and expertise.
Requirements from each task should be clearly defined, with every critical decision specified before the tasks are handed over to the development team members.
Project Tracking and Visualization
Project managers should also create scope and progress visualizations. For example – Gantt charts of the activities and assigns time frames for deadlines.
This allows for better management of the time, making sure everything is in cohesion and there is no overlapping for interdependent tasks. For instance, if task 2 is dependent on task 1, the project manager should assign deadlines or slots in a way that that task 1 is completed first.
A Gantt chart not only helps the project manager keep track of deadlines but also helps the team members to adhere to them in a timely manner.
Risk Identification And Mitigation
Every development project comes with its fair share of risks. There is no task that involves zero risks.
A project manager should be able to keep the potential risks in mind while making important decisions. Especially, while deciding on some critical aspects of the project, the project manager should be sure of what risks can be incurred and how they can be eliminated.
The next important job of a software project manager is setting goals. These goals should define the overall objective of the project and make sure its main purpose is served.
These goals may include setting a deadline or setting a threshold for the budget to be used. Clear goals can result in better management of the project.
A project manager should be able to estimate or gather the optimal time required for every task.
He/she should be able to realize the importance and depth of tasks to assign them a time limit. These time assignments should cater to any delay while making sure the whole project gets completed within the due date.
Budget allocation is also an important aspect of software development. Numerous resources – monetary or otherwise, are required to make sure the software developed is up to the mark and fulfills all the requirements assigned by the client.
The budget allocation should not be too much or too little, however, it should be enough to cater to any issues that might arise during the development process.
Monitoring and Implementation
Lastly, a project manager is responsible for monitoring the whole project and making sure the use cases are implemented with the best quality.
From making sure every deadline is met to ensuring the project is progressing at an optimal rate, a project manager should be able to get the best quality work from the team while also keeping their morale high.
Overall, a project manager plays a crucial role in software development. He/she is the face of the project and is answerable not only to the clients but also to the higher authorities.
The progress and implementation of the project are entirely dependent on how the project manager handles the work. Therefore, he/she should have the confidence of delivering everything while taking up the job.
If you are looking for a project manager job, make sure you can handle the above responsibilities to ensure the best quality work. And as always, good luck in your journey!