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What is Project Management?

Project Management (PM) is an essential discipline for the success of any technology-related business. It refers to the process of planning, organizing and controlling the development of a software project from start to finish.

It includes defining objectives, assigning tasks and responsibilities, and monitoring progress to ensure that the expected results are achieved on time and within budget.

En este artículo:

How Project Management works?

The Project Management (PM) area is focused on planning and conducting the entire development process of a software product. It is responsible for selecting the team of professionals and their tasks, defining deadlines, implementing work methodologies and guaranteeing a seamless communication, both within the team and with the clients. 

As part of the Project Managers’ role, they are in charge of organizing the work of the people involved in a project, providing the documentation and resources that may be needed, and acting as an intermediary between the client and the team so that each party can fully focus on their tasks.

What are the Project Manager's duties?

The Project Management area performs 9 main duties or tasks:

  1. Define together with the client the scope and objectives of the project.

  2. Create a detailed plan broken down into tasks.

  3. Assign them to each professional of the team (devs, QAs, design).

  4. Monitor the progress of the project and ensure that the agreed deadlines are met.

  5. Manage the budget (usually determined in terms of working hours) and keep it within the established limits.

  6. Define the appropriate tools to ensure a fluent and regular communication with team members, stakeholders and other people interested in the project, allowing them to be aware of its status and progress, and thus be able to resolve any delays or unexpected events that may arise.

  7. Set priorities according to the client's needs and the team's possibilities.

  8. Identify and quickly handle potential risks that may affect the development of the project.

  9. Conduct a final review to evaluate performance and results, taking lessons learned for future work.

At XOOR, the PM role seeks to accompany those who hire our services, in the definition of functionalities, integrations and project scope based on design or development constraints. It also aims to facilitate the work of the entire team, defining a clear work methodology and providing continuous support and feedback to all roles.

How to manage a project?

Although there are specific Project Management methodologies, with clear steps and defined workflows, each company designs its processes according to the business needs, the areas involved, and the people who acquire our services. 

These are the Project Management phases we go through at XOOR:

  1. Discovery process. This stage represents the first contact with the client, who will be key since he or she will actively participate in the decision making process, together with the areas of PM (organization and management), TL/PL (technical definitions on the development side) and design (userflows and wireframes in low fidelity). The objective is to understand the product that the clients have in mind; to identify what they are looking for, their desires, needs and/or problems to be solved.

  2. Allocating tasks. According to the time required or desired to reach the objective, the necessary resources for the project are determined. We define how many people and who will integrate the development team, the QA team, and the design team. We assign duties to each participant through Jira, Figma, Slack and Google Suite, which are the main Project Management tools.

  3. Scheduling. We set a kick-off date, and we schedule tasks, follow-up meetings and deadlines. Also, we plan the first instances of work: starting with the product design, initiating the base development projects (both front-end and back-end), and writing the first test cases before moving on to implementation.

  4. Definition of methodologies and first steps. We decide which methodologies will be the most appropriate to work with: Kanban, Scrum, etc. In addition, it is important to review the documentation collected so far (what has been sent by the client and what has been documented from the PM area) and configure the projects in Jira and Figma.

  5. Meetings with the client. It is necessary to organize and schedule them as often as the project demands. After the discovery, a kick-off meeting is held, where the area explains which the deadlines are, how the team will be formed and what tasks will be performed by each role, how and how often the deliverables will be shared (either a design file, development documentation, test cases or even a deploy to a development environment).

Project Management skills

There are 5 skills or competencies that are key for a good performance in this role:

  1. Communication. Project Managers are the first line of communication with XOOR's stakeholders, so they need to ensure that interactions are possible and organized. It is very important that there be constant and two-way flow interactions, both between team members and with stakeholders, as the project progresses, to make decisions that streamline daily tasks and pursue the best result.

At XOOR we aim to give and receive feedback on an ongoing basis, since the main objective is to avoid delays and unforeseen events, and thus provide excellent quality products.

  1. Organization. Good documentation and info organization is essential, in order to unify criteria for a clear and neat work, to save time and minimize the possibility of unforeseen events.

In XOOR we emphasize that each professional internalizes methodologies and guidelines that allow working in a consistent, pleasant and efficient way. A good practice is to always keep a record of the meetings held and the decisions taken. 

  1. Interpersonal and leadership skills. It is crucial that Project Managers know the team's collaborators professionally (what they know, what their interests are, etc.) and promote good interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, it is necessary to provide them with constant feedback, allowing them to improve professionally.

PMs must also have leadership and negotiation skills, being able to adopt a mediating position between the team and the clients. 

  1. Analytical skills. It is important to evaluate in depth the situation presented by our clients, to know their background, to analyze the problem to be solved, and to understand what they expect from our work.

For example, if they have not done a market study, or they are uncertain about the functionalities they want for their product, XOOR will provide the support they need to work on their commercial proposal, before giving definitions to the project.

  1. Adaptability. As the project evolves, there are usually variations in relation to the original plan. For this reason, the PM area has to quickly adapt to changes of course, always evaluating the risks and considering the different alternatives in order to guarantee an ongoing progress.

In XOOR we try to generate regular meetings, where small but more frequent deliveries are made, aimed at solving doubts and making the necessary modifications and adaptations according to the requirements of the product.

What Project Management certification should I get?

Now that we have seen what Project Management is and what a Project Manager does, you are probably wondering where to study this role. The truth is that there are many options all over the world. 

Nowadays you can take a Project Management degree in Argentina, there are private courses at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE) and, at the postgraduate level, you can access in a public and free way at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), as long as you already have an undergraduate degree. 

For those who prefer shorter options but with the same job opportunities, PM courses can be taken online or in-person, paid or free of charge. The key is to make sure that your knowledge allows you to take the exam that gives you the Project Management certification such as Agile and/or Scrum.

If you found this article interesting, we invite you to learn about how the software development, UX/UI and QA areas work.

Have any doubts? Would you like to be part of XOOR? Email us to hola@xoor.io and we will answer you as soon as possible. You can also follow us on Linkedin or Twitter!