gestion du temps maison et objectifs de Projet TI

How do you ensure meeting clients’ expectations in a software development project?

Generally, according to managers, software development projects are all urgent, but the reality is that some are more urgent than others!

Typically, in agile mode, we talk about 3-week sprints following sprint 0 which is the initial “definition” sprint. However, we are encountering more and more situations where the client requires Agile+++ development or, if you prefer, projects that require accelerated Agile development… very accelerated!

We’re talking about one, two or three very short sprints (one or two weeks maximum) with well-defined deliverables and expectations.

Are the demands unrealistic?  Was the planning deficient? That’s another story… One thing is certain: in Agile+++ mode, there is no room for “red tape”, we want competent resources that collaborate with each other and are motivated to deliver!

And how does all this get executed?  So, let’s start at the beginning.

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équipe de gestion de projets

How to justify the gap between the initial estimate and the actual Project?

How can you justify the gap between the initial estimate and the actual Project when almost all projects developed in the last decade have been done in Agile mode, which is a good thing because short delivery cycles are implemented, which implies a better communication with the Customers.

This management approach works like a charm with IT people who understand the impact of this management philosophy in terms of cost, time, and scope on a project: fixed time and cost with variable scope.

Plan Management vs Value Management

However, while developers and IT teams have a good grasp of the subtleties of Agile, this is far from always being the case for other Managers and Senior Management for whom, everything should be fixed: time, cost, and scope!!!

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le rendement de votre Équipe de Développement se compare-t-il à la performance du Bitcoin

How can you evaluate the performance of your IT Development Team?

How can you evaluate the performance of your IT Development Team?

The question is worth asking and not easy to answer; how can you evaluate the performance of your IT development team with certainty?

Evaluating the performance of an IT Development team is not as easy as it sounds. The fact is that IT projects vary greatly in scope, budget and schedule; in this context, it is difficult to compare!

In this post, we will not discuss “mathematical” methods such as the “function point” (FFP) method that allows you to evaluate the necessary load associated with a development in terms of points.  This evaluation gives constant results, what changes is the number of hours required by the development team to program a function point. Unfortunately these methods are not very common.

We will talk about some of the basics…

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embaucher des ressources TI à l'interne ou une firme externe: le dilemme de tout projet TI

Hiring internal IT resources or hiring an external firm: the dilemma of every IT Project

Hiring internal IT resources or hire an external firm: the dilemma of every IT Project and a key decision for the Project Manager.

It is true, a new IT Project always calls for a fundamental decision from the Project Manager: should I hire internal IT resources or hire an external firm?

Every IT Project is first and foremost a Management and Logistics challenge. In the sense that each IT project brings its own challenges, its own customer requirements and, at the same time, its own needs in terms of expertise and resources.

The Project Manager must first clearly define the nature of the IT development project to match it with the expertise of his Development team.

 

The Challenge of IT Resources Scarcity at the Dawn of the 21st Century

The magnitude of the Software Development Project Management and Logistics challenge should not be underestimated. In fact, many companies have been involuntarily slowing down their growth in recent years due to bottlenecks in their internal processes, mainly because of resource scarcity.

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Il faut constamment évaluer la capacité de vos ressources à livrer vos Projets TI

IT Project: the constant challenge of assessing the required capacity and expertise

Every IT Project is first and foremost a challenge to evaluate the required capacity and expertise. Indeed, the Manager must constantly re-evaluate the adequacy of his Development team to deliver the next IT Project; both in terms of capacity and expertise.

Information technology tools and technologies play a key role in achieving the growth objectives of companies. More specifically, the automation of certain critical processes can generate a dizzying increase in productivity or a significant improvement in the quality of products and/or customer service.

Consequently, any decision in terms of IT development will have a major impact on the company’s competitiveness and profitability.

In this context, more than one IT Director will spontaneously turn to commercial software to meet the software development demand required to support the company’s growth objectives.

So, in many ways, it seems to us that this is an easy solution for the IT Director and we understand these reasons well:

  • The IT Director believes he can quickly fill a capacity gap with a tool that automates certain processes
  • The IT Director relies on a known and recognized solution to minimize the risk associated with a Development Project
  • The IT Director hopes that the implementation of the commercial solution will be done in a shorter time frame
  • The IT Director hopes to minimize his risk by using a solution already developed

While this all sounds very logical, we argue that there is another option that is just as viable and perhaps more profitable; that of the external software development firm.

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Gestion de la Relation Client dans un Projet de Développement logiciel chez Analystik

eMalaya or the Benefits of Projection in Project Management

eMalaya is a Project Management and Time Sheet entry tool that calculates projections; that is to say, it accumulates the hours executed and the “remaining work” to be done of a Development Project. And this calculation brings a new perspective on Project Management for the greater benefit of Project Managers, Administrators and Clients; the knowledge of the true state of a Project.

IT Projects are almost always complex, involve many resources, and often take several months to complete. And over time, the vast majority of IT Projects will face potential pitfalls or new Client requests, both of which will result in schedule and cost overruns.

In this context, it is not easy for the Project Manager to monitor his Projects in real time and evaluate the performance of Development Team.

In order to get a clear view, the Project Manager must almost always collect project data from different systems. Moreover, the main Project Management software (DevOps / Jira) only looks to the future; that is to say, it only calculates the Remaining Work without taking into account the hours executed.

These different estimates will have important repercussions for all stakeholders of a Project: Developers, Managers, Administrators and Clients.

So how do you know where you really stand in terms of performance of the Development Team, the Budget (Billing) and the Schedule?  How can you get a clear real-time vision of a Project?  Is it possible to objectively evaluate the actual status of a Project; that is to say, to know precisely the actual hours executed by the Developers plus the estimated hours of work remaining to be done by these same Developers for all of their Tasks?

In fact, we are talking here about a new concept in Project Management; the Projection, that is to say the addition of the real time work done plus the remaining work to be done. Interesting, isn’t it!

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Sprint d'une Équipe de Développement d'un Projet logiciel

New Perspective on Project Management: Remaining Work (RW) vs. Projection

Isn’t it time to offer managers a new perspective on Project Management that would allow them to adequately monitor Projects in real time and, in addition, to properly evaluate the performance of the Development Team?

The fact is that the Manager has to take up more than one challenge in the Management of Development Projects, software or other; the task is arduous!

Indeed, IT Projects are almost always complex, involve many resources, and often take several months to complete. In addition, to obtain a clear vision, the Project Manager must almost always collect Project data from different systems.To obtain a clear picture, the Project Manager must almost always collect project data from different systems.

Thus, almost all software development teams use two systems daily:

  1. DevOps or Jira
  2. Time sheet entry application

And almost all Project Managers and Clients complain about the same things:

  1. Lack of visibility on the degree of progress of the project(s)
  2. Lack of metrics
  3. Having to deal with cost and schedule overruns

What is a Projection?

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Gestion de Projet de Développement logiciel chez Analystik

3 challenges of Software Development Project Management

The Services company faces more than one challenge in Software Development Project Management. Unlike a product company, a Service company must constantly match its sales to its ability to deliver.  The goal is to serve customers well while avoiding “non-billable” time.  Project / Production managers in a company generally face 3 main challenges:

  1. Capacity management
  2. Timeline
  3. Budget

Let’s analyze each of these challenges!

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Eliminating paper-based business processes; it’s now or never!

Eliminating paper-based business processes from your company may be one of the best software development projects to undertake in times of pandemic!  Have you thought about it?

We have written in previous posts that Digital Transformation is taking place on two main poles or towards two main goals, if you prefer:

From these two main poles a large number of Communication, Marketing & Sales and Development projects and activities are derived in organizations, but unfortunately, many of these projects and activities still rely on paper business process.

 

Paper-based Business Processes in Customer Experience

Being able to communicate in real time and at any time with Customers allows you to ensure Customer / Consumer Satisfaction and also, to benefit from invaluable Customer Intelligence.

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How do you identify your software development priority in times of pandemic?

How do you identify your software development priority in times of pandemic as several companies are currently experiencing its repercussions.  As the Prime Minister said, some are “on pause” while others are unable to find the necessary employees to meet demands.

One thing remains though, what did not perform well before the pandemic, is still not performing well during the pandemic and will not perform well afterwards.  However, we will return to performance issues in a context of pandemic and economic downturn in a future post.

Of course, you could also embark on the Digital Transformation project, which we have already discussed at length in previous posts, or on an Agile Transformation project, i.e. the integration of Agility into the enterprise. These projects are certainly very worthwhile, but we have something else in mind for you.

Identifying software development priorities in times of pandemic?

For some companies, it will be a question of doing more with less, while for others, it will simply be a question of doing better?

Indeed, any IT manager will seek either a gain in productivity or a gain in performance.  However, there is a third path that is less obvious but certainly just as profitable, the path of Intelligence (not artificial, that is ?).

So, if your company is on idle, why not take advantage of this time to recover Business Intelligence? Such a Business Intelligence-oriented software development project, while requiring good thinking, will not sideline your critical applications. Moreover, whether it is Financial or related to your Customers, this Business Intelligence will prove to be an invaluable competitive advantage in the recovery.

Now, is Business Intelligence identified as a software development priority in your company? It should.

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