There is nothing quite so exhilarating (or intimidating) as a blank sheet of paper. Like the blank sheet of paper, the inception of a new web or app development project holds the promise of limitless possibilities (as well as risks).
Thankfully, we’ve done this so many times that we’ve had a chance to sharpen our planning skills. So if you’re searching for tips on how to better manage the scope of your development project, you’ve come to the right place. Below are a few key points to help you and your developers manage a project so that it meets your needs efficiently and effectively.
Simple Project Management Tips for Technology Development
- Prioritize your requirements so effort is concentrated on what is most important to you. Most development is at least somewhat modular. Letting developers know your priorities helps them design systems that reflect your priorities.
- Focus on what you need your project to accomplish. Asking what features are possible removes emphasis from your goal while explaining what you need keeps the project focused on the goal rather than on what could go wrong.
- Ask questions. And if you don’t understand the answer, ask again. Some people feel silly asking questions but not nearly as silly as they feel explaining why the completed project doesn’t do what they wanted. Speaking with developers is often challenging, we know. Don’t be afraid to say, “explain this to me as if I’m a five-year-old.”
- Take the time to explain to the development team what the system must accept as inputs and what it must produce as outputs. Be explicit and make sure to explain any necessary insider terminology.
- Tie every loose end. Any question or ambiguity may be a future distraction.
- Express your misgivings immediately, if you have any questions or doubts whether the development team fully understands your objectives. Every line of code has a cost and may be a constraint on what might be added or changed later.
- Respond quickly to developer questions — you don’t want developers making design decisions because they haven’t heard from you.
- Empower one, or a very few people to make decisions and grant approvals. Don’t let decisions become committee discussions. This will keep your project moving and help to avoid “analysis paralysis.”
- Provide content and data early in the development process. Content and data inform your project’s design. Building a website without knowing its content is like designing a cage without knowing whether it should hold an elephant or a mouse.
- Trust the recommendations of your developers and designers. You hired them because you realized you needed professional help — take the advice you’re paying for.
You understand the challenges your project is intended to overcome. Our role is to help narrow the possibilities so that your project meets your expectations. Following the quick tips above will help ensure that your development team has what it needs to efficiently deliver a project that does what you want it to do.
Remember, bells and whistles will certainly come later. Focus first on building a functional piece, and then build from there. Significant resources will go into in your project. Make sure they are spent well.