A typical software development company comprises a team of analysts, graphic designers, testers, technical writers and of course software developers. Also to lead this team, a project manager is responsible to supervise every phase of development and to ensure the timely delivery of project to client(s).
Often software development companies are questioned by clients about why they need to interact with project managers when they can directly communicate their requirements to developers and they can build the product accordingly. The answer to this query is answered when clients realize the difference between the jobs of developers and managers. While developers build tangible things which can be used by clients’, a project manager is responsible for all the intangible aspects of project development. Some of the roles of a project manager that may go unnoticed but are highly influential for success or failure of developments are-
1. Guiding and managing a team
The individual resources working on a software development project may be highly skilled and efficient in their work areas but they always need a direction to proceed. A project manager directs his team to move on the right path and synchronize not only the resources, but also their specific tasks. He/she also ensures that each of the jobs is concluded in a proper sequence and that they are delivered on time with optimum utilization of time, money and resources. Moreover, he/she becomes the single point of contact who communicates the word of everyone involved in project to the client and thus being a guide for his/her team.
2. Determining the scope of project
A project manager’s knowledge and experience must be sound enough to determine the scope of the project being developed. Scope is a critical factor and is dependent on what requirement needs to be delivered. Based on time, cost and delivery time, the scope is determined and changes in these factors must not disturb the scope of delivery. Though scope is subject to change, but the project manager must be capable to manage these factors such that the pre-determined scope is not manipulated or does not affect the project development.
3. Dealing with problems and concerns
Though all the resources and their works are aligned as per required sequence, there may arise situations such as change in staff or business process, budget concerns, delayed deliveries and more. All these issues need to be conversed upon with the management as well as client to resolve at the earliest. None other than the project manager is required to handle these concerns. The project manager should track the flow of software development, identify issues/ concerns and then resolve them on priority.
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