I’ve been working at XBOSoft for almost 7 years. I started as a tester and now I’m a project manager. Through the years, I’ve learned a many lessons on testing project management and how to manage projects and people. My Top 3 Most Important Things When Managing a Project are:
1. Manage team resources well, allocate them properly within a project.
– Trust your team members; let them know that you trust them to get the job done and that they will be responsible. Kind of the opposite of micro-management.
– Show care for team members. Ask if they have any problems/issues in normal life, be a good listener.
– Love your team members; Organize and do some team activities like buying snacks and sharing with the team. Spend time outside work together, eat together, get to know each other besides your test cases.
– Give chance to let them learn more from project otherwise they will get bored.
– Help/guide them to improve their capability besides project knowledge. This could include technical and domain knowledge.
– Encourage team members to take some challenge; Push them to learn different things that they have not been exposed to, and sometimes accomplish tasks with a tight deadline.
– Set rules for all team members to follow; Let them know your expectations for their behavior and what is allowed and not allowed.
2. Prioritize project tasks properly and assign tasks to correct team members
– Prioritize tasks depending on client’s information regarding their project requirements via various communication channels (email, IMS, voice meeting etc.)
– Know your team members’ capabilities well and give proper tasks to them depending on their capabilities
– Break down a big task to small blocks
– Follow task timelines and finish tasks before a deadline, allow a buffer in case things go slower than you thought.
3. Communicate clearly and often with both team members and client
– Explain tasks clearly to team members. Make sure they know what ‘done’ means, the definition of correct and when tasks are due. Don’t be vague.
– Give a chance to team members to communicate with the client directly. This goes for internal client or external client. We all have a client.
– Exchange information with client in a proper way using the right channel at the right time according to the type of information. Some things really need a phone call, while others should be in a report or email.
– Write clear concise status reports according to what the client wants to know, not necessarily according to what you want to tell them. These are sometimes the same thing, but sometimes not.
Although we do software testing, I think that these principles can be applied to any project or any company. Trust your team members, have fun together, use them in the right place according to their capabilities and the project needs, and communicate clearly. They seem natural, but be sure to think about them and practice them everyday.