THE ROLE OF A PROJECT MANAGER IN THE APP DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
May 05 2021
You meet this specialist when approaching any web and app development company. A project manager will help your idea become a real product. But how exactly will this person do it? Let’s go through a PM’s job overview and then discover what this expert can do for your app or website on every development stage. Finally, we’ll tell you how project managers work at Exceed Team.
Table of contents
WHO IS A PROJECT MANAGER?
Suppose you want to build an app. As long as you’ve talked to a software company’s sales department and made an agreement, the baton is handed over to the app development team. These people will plan your product, create different facets of it, make the product work as planned, and conduct quality testing. The team typically includes:
- Business Analyst;
- Project Manager;
- UX/UI Designer;
- Frontend Developer;
- Backend Developer;
- QA Tester.
Application development is a multi-staged process. Each expert needs to have an in-depth understanding of the project to create an excellent product. A project management professional links the whole team together and enables smooth communication. As a customer explains their ideas, technical requirements, and business goals, a project manager drives the process forward. This expert follows the principles of Agile project management and takes care of time and cost estimations, the right team, problem-solving, quality assurance, and on-time delivery.
THE MANY ROLES OF A PM
Each project manager is a professional with a wide range of responsibilities. They include negotiations, estimations, time management, team management, quality assurance, and quick problem-solving. Besides all those, a qualified PM will:
- help you validate your app idea;
- determine what pain points your app will solve for users;
- roadmap the application development process;
- communicate with you and the team searching for the best way to complete the project while staying within your schedule and budget.
Ready to discover all the details about a PM’s job? Let’s dive in.
These are the key roles of any Project Manager
Role 1: Estimations and Negotiations
Agile project management starts with analyzing the project to better understands how much effort, expense, and time is required. A project manager conveys these estimations to a client and then negotiates on features, team members, technologies, and other things to get consent. The expert works as a point of contact between the client and the software development company. All in all, a project management professional is able to do the following:
- Consider a client’s budget, business goals, and deadlines. That may include your planned release date, marketing campaign, etc.
- Choose the technical solution and development model according to your budget, timeline, type of project (building a product from scratch or adding new functionality to the existing one), and so on.
- Selects the right team specifically for your project. For example, if you need a release as soon as possible, a project manager will suggest an extended team of developers to work faster.
From the very beginning, a project manager can structure all workflow processes in application development. An effective plan will lead to productive work and excellent results.
Role 2: Coordination of Resources
A project manager coordinates all the resources at each stage of application development. This person sets goals, monitors the time, motivates the team to use their skills most effectively, and keeps them on track. What is more, a PM regularly communicates the progress to the client, creates reports, and tracks documents. A specialist in Agile project management makes the development workflow transparent, removes any obstacles, and demonstrates the project value. Another responsibility is introducing changes and testing results to the team. A project management professional can effectively adjust the plan according to changes in a customer’s marketing strategy, an app’s features or technologies, QA testing results, and so on. The PM’s job here is to minimize risks, avoid chaos, and keep costs from unexpected rising. At every stage of web or app development, a project manager handles routine work while monitoring the whole software development process. This person coordinates human, technological, and time resources to ensure quality and on-schedule delivery.
Role 3: Team Management
A project manager composes the team based on each member’s availability so that a project can be completed on time. After that, a PM fully involved in the processes of app design, development, and testing. This person should organize team meetings that include but not limited to:
- visualizing the scope of work;
- telling about changes;
- monitoring results and deadlines;
- resolving problems and misunderstandings.
One of the main challenges for a project management professional is staying flexible while maintaining full control and keeping a finger on the pulse of application development. Delivering the product with maximum quality and minimum risks is an end goal. Throughout each development stage, project managers help the team with issue-resolving, concept following, and time management.
Role 4: Communication and Problem Mitigation
One of the vital roles of a project management professional is to provide effective communication between a client and a development team. Sometimes it involves problem mitigation, handling possible risks, and resolving other difficult issues. During the web or app development process, a project manager often explains to a customer how the changes made or unexpected issues can influence a current work scope and budget. One of the goals of Agile project management is finding ways to fit the project into time and budget limitations. When it comes to problem-solving during the application development process, project managers use their skills to ensure smooth and productive communication between all parties.
Role 5: Quality Assurance
A quality product will sell much better, that’s a fact. This is why eliminating as many bugs as possible and doing quality checks at every development stage is crucial. The project manager carefully monitors testing results to ensure consistent work of the end product. A customer will receive a final project report with a list of built features, technical specifications, recommendations for continuous support, ideas for improvements and future versions, etc. Throughout each development stage, a project management professional will care about the end product’s quality and ensure that developers built a good basis for future extensions.
Role 6: Timely Product Delivery
Each project manager constantly watches how the product goals are being achieved. At the same time, this specialist should make sure that the team members aren’t overloaded with tasks and can finish everything as planned. Another duty is time management and reminding the team about quality and prompt delivery. At this final stage of app development, a project management professional performs the role of a business partner monitoring the quality and ensuring that the product is released in time.
SOME TIPS ON CHOOSING A GOOD PM
You might have already understood that hiring a project management professional isn’t fast or easy. How do you recognize a good PM? In the table below, you’ll find a set of soft skills crucial for agile project management. These are what you’ll be looking for in your ideal candidate.
|PM’s soft skills||Why important|
|Having a flexible plan||There are always some changes to the project scope when the team is already working. A good PM has a detailed plan including the possible issues and risks, the product’s must-have features, and other things to prevent any unexpected changes from piling up.|
|Trusting the team but staying in touch||Trust is good, and the specialists developing your product should be excellent at teamwork. A project manager’s job is to always keep the balance between knowing what’s going on at each stage but not micromanaging the team.|
|Communicating honestly and transparently||A good PM is goal-oriented and works for your product’s success. This means sometimes disagreeing with you and telling openly that your idea needs to be elaborated on, or that the team requires additional time to study new concepts and technologies.|
|Asking the team’s opinion||Apart from brainstorming and discussions with a client, a project manager regularly consults with the team. It helps view things from various perspectives and refresh the knowledge.|
|Being confident at evaluations||Good project managers don’t panic even when something is changing. They can evaluate time spans and budgets as precisely as possible.|
|Paying attention to everything||A project manager should know about anything that’s happening on the project to engage with the situation when needed.|
|Sharing vital information only||No updates on the tiniest progress or information overload. A good PM knows what to share, with whom, and how often.|
Quick tips for choosing a good project manager
In general, an expert in Agile project management will be a person with the following qualities:
- Good interpersonal communication and going along well with the team.
- Relevant expertise in the industry of the project and all the development processes.
- Excellent time management.
- Skills of communicating ideas to others, resolving issues, and documenting progress.
Now you know the skills, expertise, and qualities that a successful PM should possess. But how do you determine if a candidate meets your requirements? Let’s talk about job interviews with project managers.
TOP-NOTCH INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR A PM
How do you find your ideal project manager? Start with asking some classical questions that discover some vital qualities of an expert working with app development teams.
|What to ask||What the answer shows|
|Have you worked in this industry before?||Relevant or similar experience and the learning skills.|
|What’s your communication style?||Using different approaches to communicate with team members, clients, stakeholders, etc.|
|What’s your leadership style?||Knowledge of leadership techniques and ability to practically use them.|
|What’s your ideal project?||Soft skills, interests, strong sides.|
|What was a challenging project, and how did you manage it?||The ability to adapt and the understanding of one’s own strong and weak sides.|
|When you underperform and feel overwhelmed, how do you deal with it?||The ability to monitor signs of burn-out and respond respectively. A successful PM is a person who can take good care of themselves, too.|
|If your project isn’t adhering to schedule, how do you get it back on track?||Readiness to share real experience and practical specifics. Tactical thinking and communication skills.|
|What project management software do you prefer?||Being familiar with reliable tools for project management and up-to-date software.|
|Have you managed remote teams and outsourced staff?||The knowledge of different managing techniques. Or, if the answer is negative, a candidate may demonstrate the willingness to get new experience.|
This list of queries isn’t exhaustive, of course. It just shows the direction while you’re free to add any other relevant questions to discover your future PM’s desired qualities.
PROJECT MANAGERS AT EXCEED TEAM
So, do you always need a PM for your app development project? The answer is yes, you really do. How do we choose a good PM for our company? We start with searching for candidates and then evaluate their previous experience, soft skills, and overall expertise in managing IT projects. During interviews, we not just ask questions but always give practical problems to solve, which allows us to assess each candidate’s way of thinking. We understand that a qualified project manager is vital for all technological and business processes. At the same time, finding such a PM can be as hard as finding a proper coder or designer. Most of our specialists are fluent English speakers, so the language barrier isn’t an obstacle for developers. What’s more important is to share the same conception of a product. The role of a project manager is to provide smooth communication between a client and a development team, helping them find a common ground. Do you need a specialist in Agile project management to fit in your team that’s already working on some application development projects? Or would you like to simply learn more about managing in the IT industry? We are always happy to help. If this article hasn’t quenched your thirst for knowledge yet, drop us a line to ask any questions about our workflow and experience.
Most popular questions
As a PM, what key roles do you perform?
1. Structure all workflow processes. 2. Coordinate human, technological, and time resources. 3. Solve problems to ensure smooth and productive communication. 4. Help the team with concept following and time management. 5. Ensure the end product’s quality and a basis for future extensions.
How to find a PM for a project or company?
List your requirements and find several candidates. Evaluate their previous experience, soft skills, and overall expertise in managing IT projects. Conduct interviews and give practical problems to assess each candidate’s way of thinking.
What are the top-3 qualities of a good PM?
1. Good analytical skills. 2. Effective communication and issue-solving. 3. Excellent time management.
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