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Being a Project Manager is similar to being a conductor of a huge orchestra: though you don’t play actual musical instruments, it is you who defines, how the music will sound. In software development Project Managers often face up with plenty difficulties in improving teams’ efficiency. We have picked easy, yet working tips to help you out.
Tip 1. Support Initiative
If you don’t want to become a snowflake manager, who one day won’t resist the tension and melt down, make sure you are good at supporting an initiative in your Team. Don’t overdose with micro management and make sure your provide your team with enough space for growth.
This would not only show that you trust and respect your team, but also would give you a bit more freedom. By delegating small tasks now and then and spreading the responsibility you will let everybody feel important and grow as a professional.
Tip 2. Manage Backlog
Another think you can do for your software development team is make sure you don’t have so-called backlog hell, which is especially typical of Agile methodology.
It is a good tone to go through the whole backlog at least once a sprint making sure the following things are true:
- All created tickets are ready for development or marked as not ready
- There are no duplicates
- Tickets are in the priority order
Taking care about your backlog will provide you with better control over the scope and will simply help your developers to avoid plenty miscommunication issues.
Tip 3. Work on Blockers
Though a Project Manager doesn’t write a code himself, he can be invaluable in pushing the blockers through. Make sure you know why tickets are blocked and who can help you to resolve the issue.
It is also good to facilitate communication between client and developer and help to find a compromise solution that everybody is happy with. Quite often developers drop blockers, switch to other tickets and forget about them. It is your job to make sure blockers are remembered about and pushed through.
Tip 4. Keep Meetings Short
One more good rule of any Manager – keep meeting short. Almost any issue can be solved within an hour. If it requires more time, it might be the hint for one of two things: you don’t use your time wisely or you need a few sessions.
Anyway, after the first hour of a meeting productivity drops dramatically, so it is much better to have 3 meeting 1 hour each, than 1 3-hour session.
To make the meeting shorter:
- Send everybody agenda and outline of the meeting
- Stick to it
- Out aside any additional discussions that don’t help solving the agenda
With some practice you will be surprised, how little time you actually need to discuss anything.
Tip 5. Send a Recap
And finally, if you don’t want to argue about what was decided at a meeting that was a month ago, make sure you send a brief follow up for any discussion you have. With some effort and agenda prepared, this would take from you only 10-15 minutes, but you will always be sure everybody is up to date on the issue and won’t have to rely on your memory only.
As you see, there are plenty little tricks to become a better Project Manager. And what tricks are you using? Share with us in the comments!