When managing a project where software development and integration are concerned, there must be strong leadership, effective communication, and a willingness to embrace the inherent uncertainty of software projects. By ensuring a keen focus on these three guiding principles and a steady and unified approach toward the common goal throughout every turn during the project management cycle, a project manager can lead all parties in achieving an overall successful project delivery. In an exclusive e-mail interview with Andrew Filev, a seasoned industry practitioner and the CEO of Wrike Inc., a company that provides a top-rated integrated online project management solution, we are offered expert insight on the unique challenges involved in project management in the area of software development and integration and the keys to overcoming them.
"Software development and integration projects are quite different," Filev first reminds us. "In an ideal world, an integration project is about taking well-known bricks and building a wall out of them. A development project is more about creating a new type of brick. This is much more challenging to manage," he notes. "The 'human factor' in research projects becomes a source not only of potential project failure, but also of potential project success."
#1: Strong Leadership
Strong leaders are the key to guiding a productive and efficient workforce, keeping them on course through the turbulence of rough waters and seeing individual tasks and the overall project through to successful completion. Effective leaders have a complete understanding of the organization and a full awareness of the resources that are available to them, including each worker’s unique skill set and the specific tasks for which they are best suited. With all of the vital organizational knowledge and communication skills that a project manager must master, the key is to know that their project tasks will be performed and delivered with utmost focus on the overall good of the project.
Our expert’s advice?
When asked what obstacles could occur and how project managers might reach successful integration, Filev offers this guidance: "The project manager must be good at understanding organizational dynamics, communicating well, and leading the project in the right direction." And he adds, quite simply, "We get paid for overcoming obstacles."
When working with a combined human and technological workforce, there inevitably will be obstacles to overcome on the road to project completion, but it is the way in which a project manager and the project team weather the unexpected challenges that will leave a lasting impression of their capabilities and the capacity of the business to deliver results for its customers. Above all, project managers must be excellent leaders who are capable of guiding their teams effectively and efficiently through the duration of the project, addressing any issues that may serve to impede their progress along the way.