When you need custom software development, you’ll need to find a software development company equipped to bring your unique idea to life. While the quality of your potential team’s software developers plays a pivotal role in what you’ll receive, there’s another aspect you’ll need to consider: the value of a good project manager in software development.
Even with great software developers, poor project management puts your software project at a higher risk for failing. According to one survey, only 34% of IT projects are completed on time and 42% stay within budget. That same survey noted that “poorly trained project managers” as one of the top reasons projects failed in these two areas.
While your software project could still be a success without a project manager, why take the risk? If you’re still not convinced, here are 10 benefits of having a project manager in software development.
1. Your Translator for Software Speak
Perhaps you’ve identified that your business is in need of a new, fully-custom site, and you generally know what features you need. That said, you may not necessarily be up on all of the latest tech jargon. This can make communicating directly with a software developer a bit difficult, as you might find yourself buried in unfamiliar terminology.
When you call a team with a project manager (PM), however, you’ll have someone who can speak to you in layman’s terms. Your PM will strive to provide you with answers in a way that makes sense, which makes communicating your vision all the more simple.
2. A Pro Planner on Your Side
Whether you’re planning your new ecommerce site or your mobile app, mapping out all of the details can be a daunting task. Especially if it’s your first time planning a custom software project for your organization, you might even feel a bit unsure about where to start.
The most common reason for project failure is a lack of clear goals (37%).
Your PM, however, has plenty of experience planning out software projects. He or she will know exactly what questions need to be asked your path on the right track. In fact, your PM might even remember to ask you about an aspect of your project that you neglected to think about.
3. Maximize Your Budget
As you start fleshing out your vision for your project, it can be easy to let your imagination run wild. As a result, you might find yourself with a software project idea that exceeds your budget goals.
Most organizations (63%) find that IT projects stay within budget with formal project management.
If you’re not sure how you can achieve your goals within budget, your PM could be the problem-solver you needed. Your PM can work with you to see that your budget provides its maximum potential. As such, you should be able to achieve your business for a price that fits your budget.
4. Manages the Project for You
As you enter the development process, you may quickly realize that your software developer is more skilled in development than developing a cohesive timeline or communication. This can put you in the awkward position of playing “project manager,” where you end up creating timelines and schedules for your software development team yourself.
Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time planning your software project, and not on your business, your PM can take those management-related tasks off your plate. By allowing your PM to do what PMs do best, you’ll have more time to focus on running your business.
5. Key Point-of-Contact
If your team doesn’t have a PM, you’ll most likely be communicating with the senior developer on your project. That said, he or she is most likely busy building your project to overseeing the junior developers. Unfortunately, this can lead to irregular or poor communication.
Rather than cross your fingers and hope to hear back from your developer, your PM can act as your consistent point of contact throughout your project’s development. In fact, he or she should schedule regular call times to discuss your project, provide updates, and ensure everything’s on track.
6. Time Keeper
Did you know that, on average, large IT projects exceed their budgets by 45%? That’s a lot of money, especially when these projects are exceeding $50,000 or more. In many cases, going over budget results from changes in project expectations. However, failure to complete the project in a timely manner can significantly impact when a project’s overall budget.
When you have a PM on your side, you can worry less about going over budget from losing track of time. Your PM acts as a designated timekeeper, ensuring that every aspect of the project continues to move along as needed. Not only that, but your PM will also be there to verify that you’re given the stamp of approval on any extra time that needs to be spent on your project.
7. Managing Project Scope
More than likely, your software project will change and shift throughout the development process. To ensure that your project meets your business and budget goals, as well as project deadlines, the scope of your project will need to be controlled. Without a PM, the scope of your project can easily get out of hand, inhibiting your potential to achieve your goals.
Thankfully, your PM can help to ensure that all aspects of your project—namely the resources, cost, and project delivery date—are in line and set to provide your expected end product. If there any of these aspects change, your PM will do what’s necessary to maintain the project’s scope.
8. Mitigate the Issues
While we’d like to think that technology is predictable, software development doesn’t always go as planned. From unplanned issues with the software itself to a software developer leaving in the middle of the project, you may find yourself suddenly playing “problem-solver.”
But why take on that job when your PM can do it for you? While you certainly want to be involved with your project throughout the development process, your PM work to mitigate as many bumps in the road as possible. This frees up yet more time in your schedule to do what you do best.
9. Reduce Issues with Offshore Development
In addition to the issues that software development itself can present, offshore software development can present its own set of problems. Some of the most common issues you may face include language barriers, time zones issues, and a lack of quality assurance.
But when you have a U.S. project manager with offshore software developers, you can offset many of the issues presented by outsourcing. By acting as a mediator between you and your offshore team, you can say goodbye to the headaches of outsourcing and simply enjoy its benefits.
10. Help with Maintenance
Much like your car, on-going support and maintenance are necessary to keep your software project in tip-top condition. When you have a lot of other tasks on your plate, however, it can be difficult to remember what work needs to be done on your site and when.
Once you garner an on-going support package from your team, a PM can routinely put you into your team’s schedule his or herself. From keeping track of what updates, bug fixes, or changes need to be implemented, your PM will ensure that maintenance is done in a timely manner.
At the end of the day, having a project manager in software development only does one thing: It provides you with a surplus of benefits. From always having an accessible point-of-contact to someone else to manage your offshore team for you, having a PM on hand is almost always a plus.
If you are interested in outsourcing but would like a project manager on your side, look no further. At ClikGlobal, we bring together U.S. project management with our offshore team. When you work with us, we match you with a project manager who will work with you every step of the way to bring your vision to life.
To learn more about how our project managers can help, contact us.