Look Ma, no Project Manager! [Crash!]

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Icons/Position/Pos. No. 4


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Working with clients all around the world, we notified a strong urge for many clients to cut the Project Management expenses of IT projects. Having experience with both approaches, here’s a couple of our insights into the role of Project Manager in the projects with a tight budget.

Here’s one of our previous posts, that might interest you if you are looking for insights on software development outsourcing.
>> Working On An ICO With A Software House – 6 insights

In short: We avoid projects, where there’s no project manager. We deeply believe that lack of proper control wastes the time of the developers – the time you, as the client, pay for.

Here are the main gains of having PM:

Better Control – easier to meet tight deadlines

PM is the person that has a grip on the whole process, meeting deadlines, coordinating the activities and tasks, and sticking to your vision. It allows the team to increase efficiency and be more agile.

Without this control, your developers can be behind schedule, and not even know about it – and you won’t know it either.

A Project Manager is always there to prevent scope and feature creep – a usual risk of projects that aren’t properly managed. You need them to prevent the project from bloating and save your time and money.

With the PM the projects are usually cheaper

Including a Project Manager in your team decreases the total cost. The rule of thumb is to add 50% of the time that the developer spends on the project.

Without them, you can easily add this same amount of time to your developers work time just going in circles, trying to solve the problems they didn’t use to.

Increased efficiency of software development

A PM is responsible for risk assessment. They anticipate the problems and prevent them from happening. A good Project Manager can remove obstacles from the way of your project before it influences the developers work.

This kind of control allows you for a more dynamic and agile approach, and let developers do their job without taking care of distracting details. Their time is expensive, and you want to use their abilities in the most effective way.

Working without PM – self managing team of developers

The tasks of PM range from status reporting, through schedule management, conducting status meetings, budget and resource management, to coordinating communications.

If you decide to get rid of the Project Manager, you can delegate some of this tasks to the developers (usually, it will work out worse, and be more time consuming), and you can get rid of the rest (usually resulting in worse transparency and communication within the team).

It can be done in small teams – but from our experience, even the small projects benefit from having a full project management, and it grants you a much better experience.

4soft perspective

If you choose not to hire a Project Manager in your development process, you might as well be cutting its head off – and the bigger and more complex the project is, the worse the consequences.

It has nothing to do with the self-managing the competence of the developers.The developers can manage themselves – but because a Project Manager is an expert specialized in solving particular operational issues, straightening the ways of the developers, keeping them on the intended track and keeping the full helicopter overview of the project.

The Project Manager can be on either side – your own, or ours, but it’s a crucial thing when it comes to achieving customer success and a smooth cooperation.

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