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Hybride Project Management Methodologies

September 6th, 2011

What I’ve found most interesting these days is, conventional practices no longer work in this fast paced work environment.  While working on managing projects or products, I found it most useful to create a hybrid process between Agile and Project Management methodologies.  Using this process, I’ve found 90% success rate in delivering software development projects on time.

Here is a process that I would recommend any project manager to start with, if you don’t have a process set in place:

1) Gather Business requirements

2) Create a project plan to include: Theme and features, resource allocation, and approximate timelines

3) Work with Technical Lead to go over the project plan and make needed adjustments to Features and timelines

4) Communicate the project commitment to the business

5) Start Development Cycle

  • Estimate features based on stories that are written (Agile process)
  • Set time frame in which a set of features can be developed, tested, and bugs fixed (2 week iterations)
  • Select features set (after stories are estimated) that can be developed in the selected time frame in the following order
    • Technical Requirements  such as Webservices, setting up dev environment, etc are worked on first
    • Select Theme related features to be worked on next
    • If previous iterations were completed select top priority bugs that must be completed
    • Select the stories that are small in size
  • Have the development team work on the selected stories w/o any interruption
    • Prior to story being ready for testing, have another developer test the completion of the story
  • Have the developer move the story to ready for testing phase
    • Move the code to test environment
    • QA engineer will take the story to verify its accuracy and quality
  • Have the QA move the story to completed column, where the Project Manager verifies its completion one last time, before signing off on the story.

Along with this process, the PM will also need to consistently ensure that the stories being selected for a given iteration are being completed.  If not, have the PM re-estimate the timelines, create a status report, do a risk asssesment report, and do an iteration retrospective to help team members understand the hurdles, so that the team can work to improve the process.

What is truly amazing about the Agile methodology is that it hold team members accountable for the work that they do in short periods of time.  There is less risk in missing deadlines, because the team is constantly evaluating their progress.  This in turn helps the Project Manager to communicate better with all stakeholders.