Role of a Project Manager in a Software Development Project

September 24, 2019Website Development

First of all, it’s essential to mention that such a role of a Project Manager (PM) in Agile methodologies doesn’t exist in its classic form. Agile implies that functions, responsibilities, and duties are shared between team members. For other methodologies, a project manager is the one who is responsible for the whole project’s success. For a client, who asked to develop a tailored solution and came to a software development company for outsourcing, a project manager is one of the most important team members on the project.

The reason is that throughout the work, they need to interact closely. It is no longer required to control the entire team personally. Also, there is the only one responsible manager who knows absolutely everything that happens with the project. Besides, a person with a PM role has all the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively and efficiently lead the entire team to success. It may become critically important to be responsive and listen to the project manager on the side of the development team.

A willingness to control the development process bypassing the project manager’s opinion leads to such adverse effects as:

  • project delays
  • demotivation of the development team
  • violation of contractual obligations
  • additional costs for unclaimed functions
  • loss of trust

These consequences mainly take place in cases of misconceptions about the role and responsibilities of a project manager in software development. We’d like to make things clear. In the position of a project manager, a person fulfills 4 main functions:

  • Planning. Project manager’s planning duties include defining and clarifying project scope, developing a project plan and schedule, assigning tasks.
  • Organizing. Setting up the project team’s structure is about organizing. A project manager must determine the optimal number of specialists, their experience, and positions.
  • Leading. Project manager’s leading duties include coordinating team to work as a whole, motivating, managing team dynamics, etc.
  • Controlling. As for control, last but not least, it includes such activities as checking current project progress, finding schedule deviations and their causes, and developing correcting measures.

Interfering with the PM’s work and the role of a project manager in software project management, a client can create extra load to the whole development team. The intention to get full control may not be the only reason for issues during the work on the project. Below you’ll find examples of situations that periodically happen and can have a significant negative impact on the entire project. A client who wants one’s project to be completed as quickly as possible, efficiently and without unnecessary, unwanted anxiety should consider this information.

What is not taken into account is that before a developer will implement, add or remove some functionality, one has to know how it will affect the whole system. Moreover, different people have different levels of communication skills, which may also poorly affect the end result. Frequently, a customer bombards general chats with personal requests, which can make roles and responsibilities too vague. As the communication did not go through a PM, changes to the system may not be reflected in the documentation, as developers do not have such responsibilities.

In some cases, business requires to speed up the development process that was previously scheduled. It may cause more bugs in the final product as there is no time to perform the full range of required tests. This may lead to the result dissatisfaction.

It happens that a client mistakes a product demo for the product itself. Much time is spent on the demo detailing, adding various functionalities, improving the design, and many other things. As a result, the budget is spent, and the product is not ready. The case is more general than specific for customer-to-PM interaction but rather common to ignore it.