What exactly does a Project Manager do in a software development company?

I’ve got a vague idea as to what they get up to, mostly because I’m always bothering them to get updates on how my clients’ projects are going. And I know they are in constant contact with various development teams and review calls with clients all the time because it’s so damn hard to get some time with them!

However, I wanted to know more about their day-to-day tasks, and I thought it might be interesting for you.

I booked some time in to talk with Jaimit Modi, one of our Project managers. He was an android developer and naturally grew into managing dev teams as he’d seen so many projects from start to finish.

Ket: Hey Jaimit! Thanks for taking some time to out to chat with me, I just wanted to learn more about your role as a project manager at Satva Softech.

Jaimit: Hey Ket, pleasure!

Ket: Awesome! So, tell me, what does a typical day look like for you as a project manager at Satva Softech?

Jaimit: Well, you know, every day is a bit different in my role, but it usually starts with a cup of chai!

Ket: I mean for work!

Jaimit: Ha! I start with reviewing project progress and checking in with the team. We have a morning meeting where we discuss tasks, address challenges and answer any questions they may have. Throughout the day, I stay on top of project timelines and make sure everything is moving forward as planned. Communication is key for me, so I’m in touch with clients, developers, and other departments to keep everyone in the loop. Look at this – I’ve got Teams, Skype, WhatsApp, Trello, Azure and all these other tabs open to communicate with different teams!

Ket: Sounds pretty fast-paced! You mentioned discussing tasks with the teams, what are the key tasks and responsibilities that YOU handle?

Jaimit: Mine are mainly the tasks that revolve around planning the project like defining timelines and setting milestones. Then I organise myself to keep on top of them AND my project team routinely. I also take care of allocating the right team members, making sure the right developers are working on the right tasks, as most of my projects have a mixed tech stack, say android, iOS, .Net and so on. Risk management as well; I try to identify challenges early on, potential ones, and come up with strategies to tackle them, but don’t forget.

Ket: Sounds like there’s a lot on your plate, but it’s great to see that you’re managing everything! How do you contribute to the successful completion of software projects at Satva Softech?

Jaimit: Teamwork is everything to project success! I focus on fostering collaboration and open communication between everyone. I feel that if I can give my team crystal clear direction then motivating them and resolving issues that come up becomes collaborative, so we ensure that everyone is working together seamlessly towards achieving our project goals. Meeting client expectations and delivering a high-quality product on time and within budget are always high on the priority list too.

Ket: Teamwork makes the dreamwork!

Jaimit: Such a cheesefest!

Ket: During project planning for software projects, what activities do you typically undertake at Satva Softech?

Jaimit: In project planning, I work closely with everyone involved to define the project scope, goals, and deliverables. We estimate project timelines and allocate resources accordingly. Of course, risk assessment is a significant part of the planning phase; we want to identify any potential hurdles and be prepared for them. That way, we can ensure a smoother project execution.

Ket: That’s a great approach to leadership! Could you explain its importance at Satva Softech and how you handle it?

Jaimit: So… Risk management is crucial because it helps us identify potential challenges early on. By doing so, we can come up with strategies to address them proactively, reducing the chances of any unexpected issues derailing our project. It’s all about being prepared and staying ahead of the game.

Ket: And how do you monitor and keep control of software projects to ensure they stay on track and meet their objectives?

Jaimit: Regular monitoring is essential. We keep a close eye on project milestones and performance metrics, making sure everything is progressing as planned. If we encounter any deviations, we take swift action to get things back on track. Staying on top of project progress helps us ensure that we’re meeting our objectives and delivering the best possible outcome.

Ket: You mentioned earlier the importance of communication in project management. What communication strategies do you employ at Satva Softech to keep everyone involved informed and engaged?

Jaimit: It’s near enough the first thing I do – I arrange when and how often I’m going to catch up with clients. Most often we’ll pencil in a weekly or fortnightly call. The team and I already know that we’re going to have daily standups. These regular meetings keep everyone involved in the loop about project progress, challenges, and achievements. Status report updates as well but I don’t want to bore you with detail!

Ket: What about QA (quality assurance)? How do you ensure quality standards?

Jaimit: We all agree to and set quality standards that we adhere to throughout. These are based on the budgets and timelines that have been agreed with a client but regular reviews, testing, and feedback sessions are all part of our approach to maintaining the highest possible standards.

Ket: I won’t go into budgets vs expectations there’s enough content about that on the socials! How do you handle resource allocation and management in your software projects?

Jaimit: Yes, this is usually set early on but as you know things often change. It involves assigning the right team members with the appropriate skills to each task. However, there may be a new request from the client so we might need a particular developer with a particular skillset for longer than planned or we may need the designer to come back in to help solve an issue that comes up way after they’re out of the project.

Ket: And Budgets for the resources? Is that for you to think about or do you stick to what we’ve confirmed during the estimating stage?

Jaimit: It’s integral! Yes and no. You’ll set the budgets based on the client’s needs and I’ll track the project expenditures, I’ll often have to make some difficult decisions to stay within the allocated budget. Staying on budget ensures that we can deliver the project without any financial constraints.

Ket: Staying on budget is always important for the success of a project. Could you tell me about the documentation practices you follow during software projects at Satva Softech?

Jaimit: Documentation is a critical aspect of project management. We maintain comprehensive records of meetings, plans, and project-related documentation. This helps us keep track of project progress, decisions made, and outcomes achieved.

Ket: Now, let’s hear about challenges. How do you address challenges and implement change management strategies during software projects at Satva Softech?

Jaimit: Challenges are part and parcel of any project, but we tackle them head-on. We encourage open communication and brainstorm solutions together as a team. Implementing change management strategies involves evaluating change requests carefully and understanding their impact on the project. By making informed decisions, we ensure that any changes are smoothly integrated into the project without causing disruptions.

Ket: Proactive! How about after completing a project, are there any post-project evaluations you conduct to assess project success and gather lessons learned?

Jaimit: Yes, I’m big on continuous improvement. I conduct thorough assessments to evaluate the project’s success and gather feedback from everyone involved, I know you get involved too by asking the client what they thought of us. It good to identify what worked well and areas for improvement, helps us learn and apply these lessons next time around.

Ket: Tell me about these projects, I’d love to hear about some of your successes. Could you share any specific examples of projects you have managed at Satva?

Jaimit: I’ve been lucky, I’ve had the pleasure of working on some incredible projects here. One of the reasons I got into tech was because of the great impact it can have on improving our lives. And one project that stands out is the work we did with CCR and our client Ali. It involved developing a new mobile application to reduce the admin burden on his drivers. The drivers are tasked with home to school transport for kids with special educational needs.

I headed up a team of 8 developers popping in and out of the project at different stages and milestones. The biggest reason I loved it was the fantastic collaboration between the team and the client…so much so that he had me work out of his office 2 or 3 days a week. I had regular meetings and updates to keep everyone engaged and informed throughout.

By staying on top of project timelines, addressing challenges swiftly, and ensuring quality at every stage, we were able to deliver the product on time and exceed the client’s expectations. Since then, we’re probably on project number 5 as Ali’s always looking at new ways to improve the app and add value for his customers.

Ket: That sounds like a great success story! Congratulations on that accomplishment. It’s clear that you have a solid approach to project management at Satva Softech. I appreciate you sharing your insights and experiences with me today, Jaimit!

Jaimit: Thank you, Ket! It was a pleasure chatting with you and sharing my experiences. If you have any more questions or need further information, feel free to reach out anytime.

Ket: I definitely will! Thanks again, Jaimit. Have a great day!

Jaimit: You too, Ket! Take care!

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