Project management skills: Four great tips for developers
As part of TechRemote, our LinkedIn Newsletter, we recently focused on project management skills software developers need to succeed in their careers. We bring you those great tips in blog format at this point so you can get projects on the right track with project management skills any software developer needs to master.
From setting the right expectations to picking the most helpful tools for specific tasks and needs, here’s a quick list of Nearsure’s best project management skills for software engineers.
#1 Project Management Skill for Developers: Map Out Your Plan
Almost nothing is as overwhelming as looking at a pile of unfinished work while trying to keep up with deadlines. Don’t you agree? If you’re a seasoned software developer, you definitely know what we’re talking about. But, you’d be surprised how much a few project management skills can spare just so much time and headaches!
In that sense, most roadblocks holding projects back are commonly due to… you got it! —bad planning. Yet, a job well started is a job well done, they say, so seek to start out strong.
Make planning the absolute first stage of effective project management. Carving out a solid plan from the get-go will ensure you meet goals while providing everyone around you with clear ideas of your project’s scope and objectives. For a much-needed working plan, seek a clear understanding of the project’s reach and desired outcomes. From there, just sit down to map out how this will all play out.
What’s your best format? What works best for your team? All questions to figure out as you map out a concise action plan.
#2 Effective Project Management Tip: Take It One Step at a Time
Overcommitting is a nono. Don’t take on the burden of too many projects at once. That’s one of the easiest ways for multiple efforts to tumble on us like dominoes. Avoid a potential misuse of a team’s time. Of course, to this asssertion some will come back saying: “But being able to multitask is one of the most important project management software skills for a developer!” And that’s absolutely true.
Yet, under that motto, it’s very easy for developers to get caught up in an illusion that they have everything under control when, in reality, it may even be inhuman to expect someone to manage a commonly heavy load of tasks at once – especially during long and sustained periods.
Filling up your to-do list and backlog won’t necessarily help your teams achieve more.
The solution? Take it one step at a time for a reasonable workload you and your team can handle. If the contrary is coming from above, speak up! Set realistic expectations for everyone.
In doing so, try not to use too many panels or work on several parts of your project all at once. Scrum methodologies can certainly help here. Engage in sprints, break down parts, set clear daily, weekly, and/or monthly expectations.
Otherwise, a full stack of chores without a correct prioritization process won’t just keep you from accomplishments, but you also run the danger of burning out. Burnout causes work to stop altogether.
#3 Rely on Efficient Project Management Tools
Tied to above, resorting to specialized tools helps effective time tracking and setting the right milestones as part of our project management skills. Here are three popular tools to consider:
Jira is a favorite for Kanban boards. Track progress, break down projects into smaller parts, and, when you log in for the first time, the system asks a few questions about your knowledge of different solutions and preferences before recommending its most appropriate template. Its simple UI design also allows any type of experienced developer to easily set up a workstation.
Trello is also another favorite for Kanban boards. It helps effective project management in software development with a large template library. Its user interface is simple to understand, and it only takes a few minutes to become adjusted to it. You can assign tasks, set deadlines, develop checklists, and place comments almost anywhere for a client and other developers to see.
Wrike is rich with cloud-based features and integrates easily with third-party tools like Google Drive, Tableau, and Dropbox. Similar to Trello and Jira, it allows you to plan, interact, report, and even write an invoice for your project.
Wrike is free for small teams of up to five developers. Yet, the professional, business, and enterprise tiers come with a monthly subscription fee.
#4 For Effective Project Management, Delegate & Cooperate with GitHub
In many cases, you’re not the only software developer in a given project. Either by choice or out of necessity, effective delegation is one of the most important software skills project managers need to master. We know plenty of hands also make work lighter.
GitHub is perfect for defining tasks, tracking progress, and collaborating with other developers. This tool offers:
- Automated Triggers: As a senior software developer, you’re likely handling several developers at the same time, keeping your eye on many elements at once. So, it’s sensible that you can’t manually move tasks around. With automated triggers, any pull request is automatically converted to a task.
- Asynchronous Communication: Not all developers will always be online at the same time. With GitHub, they don’t even have to be. Teams can communicate out of different locations and time zones.
- Version Control: When a project is moved around among several people, tracking change is vital. Doing so prevents confusion and repeated work. It also settles conflicts as it displays how everyone performed as per each area.
With all these capabilities, what’s not to like about using GitHub? Check it out as a great ally in project management for software developers if you haven’t already done so.
Recap of Four Vital Project Management Tips for Software Developers
Many project management skills make up a list of needs for software developers. They’re all equally useful, too, but they also boil down to: having a clear plan, going step by step on it, and using the right tools to keep up with deadlines while monitoring progress.
As part of our new golden nuggets coming out every month via our TechRemote newsletter, we seek to help tech talent complete their tasks easier and faster.
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