A few days ago, Anka, our Senior Project Manager, carried out a training session for our employees. She presented the essentials of KISS project management method, which allows her to manage all projects like a pro. And here's how she does it, step by step.
Gather all information you can
We have composed a checklist with fundamental questions related to web and mobile projects. This list reminds our Project Managers to find out what's important. Using it helps a lot in understanding customer's needs and determine potential pitfalls, so we always recommend starting every project by asking those.
Make the pre-analysis
No project can really start without analysis. Pre-analysis usually consists of flowcharts, parameters specification, user roles and permissions, test scenarios, database schemas, and so on. But you can also take into account a specification of error messages, SEO titles or descriptions, information on target groups... You name it.
Easy tasks to do just before the start
The role of UX/UI designers
Any UX/UI designer, unless he or she has a strong technical knowledge, should never create a design without collaboration with software developers. In general, everything that designer creates should be implemented in an app. If you keep that in mind, you can avoid your customer being disappointed later, when the final work is different from what was presented at the beginning.
It's also strongly recommended to set up a short meeting and brainstorm to come up with new (and hopefully better) concepts for the design and its implementation.
Then, the actual graphics always turns into a specification sheet, that tells the developer how to deal with all UI elements: colors that should be used, typography, or the size of margins and paddings. Thanks to this sheet, software developers save time, as they don't need to figure out how to solve "unexpected" design aspects. Furthermore, a tester knows precisely how to validate graphics implementation. Plus, the designer is self-disciplined and if he or she has to expand a project in future, it makes it possible to keep those guidelines and ensure that the whole project remains consistent.
Conduct a daily regularly
There are simple rules we like to obey:
How to deal with bugs
The rule is simple: low and medium priority bugs don't affect the current sprint. Only critical bugs that stop the story from being completed, should be reported in the current sprint. Everything else goes to a backlog and is processed during the next sprint planning.
Trust your team vs. Trust no one
Your team works together with you, towards the same goals. You can trust that everybody works hard and does their best. However, you can still motivate and help them by asking the right questions, such as:
Better done than perfect vs. KISS quality
What is more important - keeping the highest quality or delivering the working product? Ha! It always depends, so we have no golden rule here. But in the face of such an issue, it's still good to talk to a customer.
The role of QA tester
Who knows everything about a certain project? Yeah, this would be the project manager aka product owner. Who else? The tester! He or she knows the technical layer of the project better than any project manager, so the tester is the best person to cooperate with developers and to help them solve the problems. Bringing the tester into the equation also gives a significant advantage to any project that involves different technologies, i.e. a mobile app with a backend as a service.
As you can imagine, our testers are not the ones who join projects at the last phase and just find bugs only then.
The best Sprint review is the review with a customer present. Sure, not every client wants to participate in our meetings, and that's OK. However, if he or she is supposed to be present (in person, or via Skype), the team is extraordinarily motivated to deliver everything that was planned.
Sprint review tasks
Voila! Now you can start to manage all your projects according to the KISS project management method. Just like we all do.