6 Project Management Practices You Need to Avoid

May 18, 2016

When Agile methods and principles first started spreading across the software development world, they challenged project managers to cast aside convention in favor of adjusting and improving their strategies in response to new problems and needs as they arose.

However, a number of outdated practices still persist today, demotivating talented software engineers and undermining the success of promising projects.

Without further ado, here are six common tactics you should avoid when managing your software development team.

1. Overplanning

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” Benjamin Franklin supposedly once said. While this adage applies to a lot of everyday situations, for those of us working in the ever-changing world of tech and innovation, planning too much might do more harm than good.

In fact, even a 2-3 month long planning cycle might turn out to be too long. Plan in small segments, from one iteration to another, for a few weeks at most. That way, flexibility is built into the process itself, and you and your team can easily adjust to unforeseen changes.

2. Setting Rigid Project Scopes

It’s impossible to know for sure what’s going to be needed in four, five, or ten iterations, so allow for flexibility when defining your project scope, and don’t be too strict about how things should be done right from the start.

3. Constantly Calculating Risks

This one goes hand in hand with overplanning. A fluid development process means that risks will change at every iteration. While it’s good to explore potential risks before the development process begins, it’s just as important to be flexible.

4. Not Keeping Documentation

Trying to remember everything your team has to do on top of everything they’ve already done is hopeless, so keep your documentation ordered and up-to-date. Doing so will enable all members of your team to follow the workflow, review what they’ve achieved, and stay updated on what’s coming next.

Store your documentation online in a wiki or a Google document to make sure everyone can access it at all times no matter where they are. This will definitely come in handy for onboarding new developers.

5. Micromanaging

Micromanaging is one of the most annoying and demotivating habits a project manager can have. If you show your team you have faith in their work, you’ll be amazed at how much better they perform.

6. Not Keeping an Open Mind

If people had decided that horses were a good enough means for transportation, we’d have never come up with cars. Similarly, you and your team should never settle on what you already know and can do. Be willing to learn new things and constantly work on self-improvement. Having a growth mindset instead of a fixed one in the only way to create a great product.

Sharing the best project management practices is only one of the many services we offer to business owners who set up their offshore software development teams in Ukraine with us.

Once we help our clients hire the best tech talent, we place their teams in one of our offices in Ukraine, where we take care of payroll, taxes, HR and retention, and help them build effective and long-lasting work relationships with their developers.

You might also like:

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9 Tips for Building a High-Performance Software Development Team

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