“Hey, you need a quick fix to the functionality issue”, “We need to hire a Node developer on an urgent basis”, “Hi team, we need to obtain fundings for this project”. These are some quick shares between the teams and the product owner that happen quite a lot. And I would say it is highly important that conversations like these happen because they help you map the project progress and help you identify potential threats that may arise at later stages.
Giving my introduction, I am Sanjay Kidecha, CMO at Kody Technolab. This is the seventh blog of the mobile app development process series, which is based on project management and milestone delivery. Talking about milestones, it is of paramount importance to mark significant deliverables and events of the project.
These significant marks, in technical jargon, are known as project milestones. Keeping track of milestones lets you know what is happening in the project and how you need to sync all your tasks to succeed.
Before we move ahead and learn the basics, I would like you to go through our previous blogs of the series. Here is the index for you.
- A Guide on Lean Canvas Model;
- How to Prepare a Product Requirement Document and its importance;
- Importance of Wireframe in Product development;
- A complete guide on selection of technology stack for startups;
- How prototyping helps businesses?
- A handbook to select development company for startups;
- A detailed guide on project management & delivery milestones;
- Role of Quality assurance in product development;
- Importance of User testing;
- Know where you should deploy your project?
- How Feedback and product iteration makes a difference in product development?
- What is the variation in the cost? What factors affect the variation?
- Why is a Good design the ultimate thing in the project?
I know it is a tad difficult to predict everything about the project, but if you don’t, things may start spilling out of control. The Product Manager (PM), the head of the product, is responsible for owning “what” and the “whys” if anything falls out of the line. The PM needs to figure out an alternative approach that will help them build the product constructively.
I truly empathize with how a PM works and beautifully manages the product management process. If you ask why product management is a crucial part of the app development process, then I would say,
For speeding up the process:
This industry is accelerating at an unexpected rate, and for surviving the competition, you need to mark your footsteps.
For scaling up the process:
To plan and manage the fundings for a company without disturbing the on-growing process. Scaling the operations allows you to manage organizational affairs without adding any complexity to the system.
This being said, a PM knows exactly which methodology to select for a new project. All the practices, procedures, and rules followed in a project fall under project management. It serves as a guide for the mobile app development company that can be referred to at any stage.
A wrong selection of project management methodology can slow down the process, and may give rise to potential roadblocks. There are many methodologies to choose from, depending on your project type and scale.
I have narrowed down the list of popular project management methodologies, let’s have a look at it.
|Project Management Methodologies||Best Suited For||Highlights of Project Management Methodologies|
|Agile Project Management||Projects involving, complexity, high adaptability, repeated feedback (iterative), team participation.||It allows you to meet the client’s changing requirements. You can iterate the process easily, frequently, and meet the project deadlines. It pays major attention to six deliverables including a product vision statement, product roadmap, product backlog, release plan, Sprint backlog and increment|
|Scrum Project Management||A project involving less than 7 team members, high flexibility, and continuous quality checks.||It allows you to sustain a project while improving the communication within the team. Scrum is highly fast and very cost-effective as compared to others. It allows you to iterate the process frequently by dividing the project into smaller chunks|
|Kanban Project Management||A project involving smaller teams, higher flexibility, task prioritization, project visualization, and streamlined tasks.||It delivers high-quality results by visualizing the project and using feedback loops. It focuses on dividing the tasks so that it can be streamlined and managed.|
|Waterfall Project Management||A project of large size involving complexity, tough deadlines, and predictability.||It follows step by step approach flow, however lacks flexibility. The waterfall method focuses on documentation and processes the system using logic.|
|Lean Project Management||Projects that need to deliver higher and improved quality, and want control over the system. Projects interested in changing the flow of the system||Lean strictly follows the set of principles and eliminates any variation in the system. It mitigates “waste” from the system thereby increasing the project efficiency.|
|Six Sigma Project Management||Projects that are large in size, focus on customer retention, streamlined operations, and upgrade quality.||Six Sigma was first introduced by Motorola. It helps in mitigating errors by using statistics and empirical principles. Six Sigma is committed to streamline the organization’s process and increase performance.|
|PRINCE2 Project Management||Projects that involve flexibility, and tasks with utmost clarity. Projects that require stakeholder involvement also prefer PRINCE2 Project management.||PRINCE2 is used by private organizations to break down tasks into smaller chunks.|
I hope the above list is useful for finding an ideal project management methodology for your project. The next step to move ahead in the process is to define a project management tool to use to address the concerns and challenges of developers.
Today, mobile app development companies in India and across have minimized the use of the top-down approach for app development. In many cases, it led them to delays in projects, resulted in poor app quality, and increased the overall price than the estimated. Hence, companies resorted to project management tools that allowed them to manage and address the challenges efficiently.
This list of project management tools is easily available at their disposal, which will aid them in meeting the budgetary constraints and project timeframes. Let’s see which one will you choose?
Basecamp application is a highly responsive and user-friendly application. This tool was first used in the year 2004, and since then, it is rapidly growing its user base. Today, around 3 million accounts are registered to make Basecamp having the largest number of admirers.
It has a fantastic user-interface, highly suitable for speedily growing teams. A few highlights of this tool are:
- It allows users to manage and share files across teams;
- You can build to-do lists;
- Schedule dates for meetings;
- Print performance records;
- Have a report on the project’s progress;
- You can schedule meetings date;
- It is loaded with plug-in services.
You can pay $99 per month and access the plans for an unlimited number of users. Basecamp is a cost-effective option facilitating real-time messaging, file storage, and agile-friendliness. Basecamp’s plus point is it has a lot of in-app add-ons and easily integrates with Carabiner, Dashable, and Lodge.
Trello is a Kanban-style list-making software crafted by Fog Creek Software in the year 2011. This project management tool allows you to work effortlessly with incredible flexibility. You can create web-board illustrations and keep track of ideas.
You can define the privacy levels of the visual illustration to the public, private, or team. A few highlights of Trello are:
- It is highly flexible and shareable;
- Allows you to personalize the Kanban boards;
- You are free to create as many task lists as you want;
- You can prioritize the list of tasks;
- It allows you to share the visuals of ideas with the team;
- It works seamlessly and lets you pack a ton of detail into each card.
Trello is free to use; however, you can avail premium subscription at $9.99/year and $20.83 a year.
Asana is available as a web and mobile application both. It is a powerful software-as-a-service designed to manage small teams efficiently. You can manage individual tasks and stay focused on the project deadlines. Everyone using it (within the organization) knows what is going on and pays attention to the progress & deadlines.
Asana stands out to allow the users to keep a record of every single task and create interactive timelines. You can dedicate each task and remind the team about their pending tasks using push notifications. A few highlights of Asana are:
- Create dedicated tasks for the team members;
- Use Push Notifications to remind tasks;
- You can use monitoring tools to know potential potholes in the system;
- You can integrate Asana with Gmail, Slack, GitHub, etc.
- You can engage with the teams and create templates for workflow.
If you have a team of 15 users, then Asana is free of cost. However, premium subscription goes for around $9.99 per month, and enterprise subscription has a different price to offer.
Zoho is a cloud-based project management tool used by millions of developers to streamline their working processes. It is strong in project management that allows you to monitor billable and non-billable hours. It is highly efficient in collaborating teams and working towards progress. A few highlights of Zoho projects are:
- It allows you to create a blueprint of task assignments;
- Allows you to make Gnatt charts for tracking;
- The project lead can keep track of the bug;
- Facilitates you to communicate through social media;
- You can create timesheets for better management;
- Allows you to make project feeds and communicate over the feed;
- You can define milestones in a project management tool for better effectiveness;
Zoho projects are trusted by more than 50 million users globally, and it is highly preferred by small to midsize companies. The software is free to use for one project having up to 10MB storage capacity. You can pay a little extra ($25 to $80) to avail more space and features.
Jira is a simple, secure, and fast Agile-methodology based tool highly referred to by developers working in a variety of team sizes. Development companies who have adopted Agile and Scrum methodology look forward to using Jira for project management.
Jira is a scalable tool, letting the user decide between a cloud-based or self-managed server. It is also easy-to-go with Kanban or any other methodology. A few highlights of Jira are:
- Users can create their own stories;
- It allows you to plan sprints;
- It offers flexible boards and has the potential to manage issues;
- Developers can prioritize and distribute tasks across the teams;
- Allows you to map the progress;
- Easy integration with Tempo, GitHub, and EazyBi
This popular project management tool is accessible at $10/month ( for 10 or less than 10 users). If your team strength is 15, you can get a monthly subscription at $75, and if 50 team members, then you will get it at $300.
Now that you have grabbed enough information about project management methodology and project management tools, let’s talk about another important component: project milestone management.
As mentioned earlier, milestones in app development is a representation of the start and finish of a significant task. It goes step by step and marches towards the end goal of product development.
Deciding project milestones is like dividing a project into smaller chunks and scheduling its completion. Milestones define project objectives accurately and set up a clear outline moving forward.
If you have any experience using the project management software, you would know that these milestones are represented as diamonds in the Gantt chart. Milestones lets you know what stage have you reached in terms of progress and how you should fragment it further.
Also, milestones tracing gives you granular details of the project in real-time.
Let me give you an idea of primary and essential milestones for every project of yours.
Collection of project requirements:
The very first milestone of a project of any capacity is to gather requirements. You can make a word doc or pen it down on a paper starting from the first initiation step to the final product. What all things you will need, objectives, and scope are covered under the milestone.
Uphold the project requirements:
The next step is to get into the specifics of how you are planning to manage the requirements. Sit with the respective team and ask for their planning. Match the requirement expectations with the one you have listed. Do you think you have covered it all? Do you feel that you need to amend the requirement doc? By setting up the right set of requirements, you will be able to decide upon the project timelines and estimated cost of the project.
Opt for pre-development planning:
Mobile app development milestones can be divided into three major phases, first, software development, second, software design, and third, software testing. At this stage, you need to ensure proper planning in terms of which project management methodology to use, which platform to use for developing an app, which programming language to use for development etc needs to be clear. Consider this as a chance to validate your business idea and move towards the specifics.
At this stage, you need to divide the requirements into sets of project deliverables. This way, you will have multiple milestones to achieve during the journey.
Quality assurance and User acceptance testing:
Since milestone management divides the tasks, you can test each milestone after every two or three weeks. Similarly, user acceptance testing can also be carried out at this stage, allowing you to phase out the project deliverables. This way, you will already have a polished product before it goes into the final phase.
Project deployment and Support:
You may wonder how this can be a part of milestone management? It is included in the mobile app development project management process because you need to decide in which environment the project best serves. You will need to run a quick test before you make the application live in the store.
The same goes for support. At the development stage, you need to ensure whether the company would offer support and maintenance after the product launch. This exercise will let you know if you need to hire or train someone for the after support.
Project milestone management helps you in conceptualizing things while minimizing the project risks. It paves the step-by-step process that will lead to project success. Milestone management will streamline the process and clear all the ambiguities around the project.
And the project management software will allow you to coordinate the tasks and increase the team’s efficiency. Software is easy to use, provides real-time collaboration, cost management, template creation, sharing files and docs, and many other useful features.
So, what are your thoughts about project management? What tools do you think will suit your project requirements? If you have any doubts, you can always ask my team or me. We would be happy to answer your questions that will provide agility, sophistication, and high-performance results. In the next article, we will be discussing Quality Assurance importance in a product development process.