The basics of running a project

Your software developers may be brilliant and energetic, experts in the field that your business is based on, and completely fluent with the programming languages and software technology that you use. If so, congratulations! But this is not enough to give you the best possible chance of success with your software projects. Your people also need to know the basics of how to conduct a software project effectively.

There are a number of well-established best practices, some of them decades old, that are common in the best organizations. Here are two of the most basic:

  • Incremental development and delivery
  • Peer reviews and inspections

Do your people know how to do these effectively? Do you use these practices as a matter of routine on your projects? If not, we need to talk!

Here are a few more essential skills:

  • Monitoring of progress using meaningful measures
  • Proactive management of risks to a project's success
  • Dealing with the inevitable changes to requirements
  • Rational responses to schedule pressure

Your developers -- at the very least, your project leaders and managers -- need to know things like these. I can help with training and guidance, and help you "grow" skilled project leaders and effective team players from the good people you already have.

Once you have the basics under control, you may want to turn your attention to defect prevention.

Next: Defect prevention