Oct 31 CEE-SECR: Banks and courses: «Software product and services sales», «Useful users» & «CMMI», Oct 31 – Nov 1 «Certified ScrumMaster»
SECR 2011 is over. You can learn about our current event at www.secrus.org.

The skills managers need in real-world small projects

Download presentation

And yet, professional project managers are usually involved in large projects. Until recently, it is only in these projects that this role was financially justified. As an illustration to this fact, one may take an arbitrary project management methodology. For example, the PMBOK is widely considered applicable almost exclusively to the large projects.

True, large projects are very complex. Management in such projects requires specific advanced skills for large-scale data analysis, for balancing multiple conflicting risks and constraints that affect the project. At the same time, large size requires a more formal and more ‘rigid’ management approach: the eighteen-wheeler simply cannot be driven with the same speed and mobility as the motorbike! This formalization enables development of management methodologies for these projects. And, what is important, having mastered this methodology, a manager can handle successfully big projects in different areas.

In this regard, small projects are completely different: frequently, there is simply not enough time to apply the formal approach. Moreover, having followed strictly the prescribed processes of the selected methodology, a hapless manager may increase the probability of project failure. For example, in software development, even if the project is completed with the full feature set, it will most likely be over-budget and overdue. In contrast to the larger projects, here the manager has considerably less time for reflection and decision-taking. (simply because the project is too fast) and fewer choices available (as the project budget is more restricted ). In a sense, projects of this type in the management world resemble very similarly sport bikes in the automobile sport if the biker hesitates just a little, the crash may become inevitable.

This may explain the fact that there are very few step-by-step guides for managers of small projects: writing a detailed manual for high-speed driving is extremely difficult! On the other hand, the managers are hardly in need of such a guide. However, they do need some simple but reliable tips that will help to stay in the saddle when the project makes a sharp turn, or buy some additional to take a more balanced decision when needed.

My talk is about such tips for IT and software-development project; about the tips that my colleagues and I tested in dozens of projects. You will learn:

  1. What elements of agile and conventional management methodologies will work in small projects.
  2. What self-management and team-management approaches, what customer communication techniques, will help the manager to buy some time for more balanced decision-making process.
  3. What skills that developers and test-engineers need to develop, when they become managers. And what skills can be leveraged.

My talk will be of particular interest for project managers, dev-leads and QA-leads participating in small software-engineering projects.

Author: Alexander Kalouguine

Alexander KalouguineAlexander Kalouguine

Project Director, Mercury Development

Alex Kalouguine, Ph.D, PMP, Project Director at Mercury Development, LLC. He started his career as a junior developer and moved through all the steps including team-leader and system architect positions. Having successfully completed more than 20 projects of different size, Alex knows firsthand what problems may get in the way of the programmers, who are assigned to management roles. Professional Interests: project management in software engineering, system analysis.  Alex was a speaker at multiple conferences including SEF.BY, ReqLabs, SECR, he co-organizes Samara Project Management Community: http://pmsamara.blogspot.com/ and also writes a blog dedicated to small software engineering projects http://pmarcor.com/.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

© CEE-SECR 2011 • Email: contact@secrus.org
Proudly powered by WordPress. • Hosted by Hosting Community