Software Development: What does a Project Manager Do?

What Does a Project Manager Do in Software Development?

A project manager is vital to any software development team. But the question arises: what does a Project Manager do in software development? Let’s learn more about this role today.

Many companies often overlook the importance of a leadership position that oversees project activities. Some even make the mistake of hiring just software developers and leaving them to do their job.

Most of the time, there is only one lead developer who’s doing both development and leadership tasks. However, the probability of success in this way is very slim. Software development is a systematic process that requires coordination within its moving parts. Each element in these processes needs to be cohesive to ensure delivery regarding time.

So when things get rough around the seams, you need someone to sew the parts altogether. That’s the time you need a project manager.

In this entry, we’ll detail all things you need to know about the role. Here are today’s topics:

Let’s start by defining the key description of the project manager role.

What is a Project Manager?

Software development often involves multiple leadership roles. One of the most fundamental leads in development is a project manager.

Project managers champion product delivery concerning task delegation, budget, and available resources. In other words, they use their skills to manage teams to accomplish a project. The team must fulfill the project’s scope and requirements within a defined time frame.

Objective-wise, project managers answer the when and how of the project. Their approach to processes should be systematic to achieve a finished product on time.

Project Manager vs. Product Manager

As we know, tech is a highly dynamic industry with titles and names still vague even for people within it. In defining the project manager role, we can juxtapose it with a similar job to know where we draw the lines. Project managers are often interchanged with product managers and vice versa. However, that is not exactly the case.

Product managers take charge of the product life cycle. They are responsible for defining the product requirements and priorities. Moreover, they handle the product deployment and prioritization for the product’s future increments. Their primary motivation is user satisfaction. This means that they also work closely with the market to collate user feedback and trends.

On the other hand, project managers are more concerned with accomplishing the product. As mentioned, they do this given the resources in the team, time, and budget. While these two roles overlap, they have different sets of focus. Sometimes, small teams even have one person as both the product and project manager.

Advantages of Hiring a Project Manager

Leadership is fundamental when working with teams of people. This is more evident in software development, where changes can happen dramatically and fast. Every team needs a project manager to manage daily activities and foster a good work environment. Here are the advantages of hiring one:

1. You won’t get out of scope or budget.

The project manager handles certain project activities such as the scope, schedule, delegation, and budget. The software project development controls and validates project scopes and constraints from time to time. This is to ensure that the team is headed in the right way. They manage these entities to accomplish a quality product that the client and customers expect.

2. You ensure project and process quality.

By handling the workflows and processes, project managers can control the quality of the product. They ensure that each software development phase is followed from design, test, to deployment.

3. You work and communicate effectively.

The project manager constantly communicates with all the project stakeholders. They have the skill to translate low-level or technical information in a business context. Moreover, project managers help streamline communication channels to improve teamwork and development workflows. 

4. You increase efficiency in processes.

While projects can undertake certain standards or frameworks, each one is unique depending on goals and resources. Project managers can infuse innovative processes that teams can use to yield more efficiency in work. 

With these advantages, companies are finding value in hiring a project manager. To guide you further, we will detail the project manager roles and responsibilities when working with teams.

What Does a Project Manager Do: Roles and Responsibilities

As team players, project managers have important roles to fill. While they don’t have to know how to code, their expertise relies on their ability to work with different people. As such, they have three key roles in software development: leader, mentor, and coordinator. Let’s discuss each one.

1. Leader

First and foremost, project management is a leadership position. A project manager must navigate the tides to lead the team towards accomplishing their project goals. They organize a team and properly delegate tasks according to each member’s ability. Also, they must define the roles of each member in the team to avoid misunderstandings during development.

2. Mentor

Project managers should guide each member in the right direction. In times of challenges, they must properly handle each concerned party in defining steps to resolve the situation. They may also provide advice on how to do things and deal with issues during development. Moreover, they should always set each member up for success.

3. Coordinator

As liaisons between teams and stakeholders, project managers coordinate relevant information and communication channels to their appropriate recipients. They must work closely with the developers, designers, QA testers, and other staff to communicate the goals of the project.

Project Manager Responsibilities

Companies benefit from project managers for roles only they can perform. This position is responsible for ensuring project delivery and success. Let’s further break down the responsibilities of a project manager.

1. Setting Project Goals

Project managers work closely with stakeholders and other software leads to identify the project’s goals. They would define requirements and milestones and break them down into workable tasks. 

2. Facilitating Project Planning

With established goals, the project manager works with the development team to plan how to approach the tasks at hand. This will help them create roadmaps and contrast if the estimated time matches what the client requires.

3. Managing Time and Resources

During development, project managers ensure to delegate the tasks to the developers properly. They also need to use productivity tools to expedite and streamline development workflows.

4. Process Implementation and Monitoring

Project managers monitor the implementation of defined processes and frameworks. If the team incorporates a Waterfall approach, the project manager ensures to they follow its methodology. Aside from the SDLC, they ensure that processes in terms of communication and assignments are well-established.

5. Team Management

The most important responsibility of the project manager is with people. They ensure that all stakeholders are aware of team activities. In addition, they ensure that teams have all the guidance and resources they need to complete the project successfully.

Hire a Project Manager Today

At Full Scale, we believe that effective teams have great leaders. That is why we always advocate that software developers and our clients liaise through great managers.

So, why not hire a project manager today?

Project managers play an important role in software development. Aside from monitoring the processes, they ensure that everyone gets the relevant information they need. Their value rests in ensuring your software project gets delivered with quality on time.

Aside from project managers, we also have a roster of software developers, QA testers, and digital marketing professionals. We perform an intensive background check, skills assessment, and interviews during recruitment. In this way, we can guarantee that you hire only the right fit for your team. Talk to us and let’s pave the path for your success!

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