Driving innovation within any industry is a challenge, but technological innovation is especially difficult. Unlike capital-investment projects, technology projects don’t necessarily get completed faster or better by increasing the size of your team. As a result, technology delivery managers struggle to manage business expectations, productivity levels, and inspire confidence with their team for the length of the project.
One observed reason for the struggle is that technology leaders continue to use intuition and conventional thinking to manage their projects. As a result, technology leaders aren’t using all of the tools at their disposal or current facts and figures, which can offer deep insight into why a project is failing or falling behind. Fortunately, several emerging trends are helping technology leaders make better use of scientific methods and enhanced tools to empower their technology management experience.
Moving Towards a Product-Focused Mindset
There’s been a shift from hiring project managers towards now hiring employees under the title of product managers. Product managers are likely to be more thoughtful and strategic when considering the customer journey and make decisions based on customer data. Additionally, organizations are further restructuring product teams to give them more autonomy, leading to faster response times for project customers.
The Ability to Compile Disparate Data
Data has always been an essential part of getting projects done, but it has regularly been kept in separate departments and systems. Now, data is being implemented in projects in a way that allows businesses to glean better insights. These insights enable major decision-makers to understand how their choices affect a project and the organization as a whole.
The Release of Better DevOps Tools
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The creation and adoption of better software engineering tools also allow leaders to effectively utilize data and insights when making decisions. These tools allow teams to better predict and estimate feasible timelines and the overall capacity of a team to execute a project.
Other tools such as AuditDeploy allow leaders to collect data at a granular level, enabling them to make decisions based on objective technology delivery performance data.
These trends show that organizations are beginning to take advantage of useful data and analytics to drive innovation and make better choices. Doing this will lead to improvements in several areas, such as:
Better Schedule Adherence
Schedule adherence consists of two main parts:
- An estimate of how long a project will take to complete
- The size and scope of a project, including task overrun
These two measures are absolutely critical. Both will directly impact a project and business financially and will affect your project’s time-to-market. To successfully execute a quality project on time, it’s imperative to address issues as early as possible. This will ensure that the end-user, customer, or client isn’t negatively impacted by minor development flaws or time delays down the line.
How can project issues be addressed efficiently? By working with senior management and technology leaders in your organization and then bringing their insights together. When their insights are combined, these leaders can provide a more holistic view of what a project needs to be executed effectively. This makes it easier to identify three important measures:
Variables like your team size, task assignment, and how your team can juggle various duties should be identified during the planning stages. Managers and major decision-makers can change these variables. They ultimately decide on factors like optimal staffing, an individual’s workload, and the number of projects assigned to a single team member at the same time.
This indicates how closely teams can follow proven methodologies. Methods that influence a team’s adherence to best practices include the availability of design documents, time and cost estimates for the project, and how tasks are structured.
Talent indicators measure elements like your team members' skill sets, logistical factors like where they work from (keeping factors like time zones and physical location in mind), and whether you have the right mix of experienced employees.
Finding the right balance between these categories can vary from company to company. However, having a clear vision and understanding of these three measures in the beginning stages can enormously accelerate the rate of project execution and efficiency, leaving more opportunities for creativity and innovation.
An Environment that Nurtures Agile Teamwork
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A critical bonus to using the three measures indicated above are that it allows an organization to utilize agile teams effectively. In agile teams, there’s a strong correlation between well-planned technology projects and the following three capabilities:
Better Product Management Capabilities
A team with a clear understanding of a product and its long-term effectiveness will encourage company-wide adoption. After a product is released, the team will be more likely to continue to improve upon it.
Improved Ability to Conduct Agile Activities
Activities like sprint reviews, sprint planning, and backlog grooming are regularly conducted. Furthermore, these activities are more likely to be performed by team members with the appropriate expertise.
Enhanced Team Autonomy
The team can execute a product’s deliverables from end to end without depending heavily on other teams for support. This minimizes the need to coordinate with different teams.
Achieving Balance of Quality and Speed
In general, smaller teams are better able to optimize for quality and speed, because there’s more efficient communication when it comes to delivery. Small and medium-sized businesses, for example, that use teams of 10 to 15 people are more likely to have a higher degree of schedule adherence. Although more team members can be added to a project to improve delivery times, the actual rate of improvement slows down significantly.
Of course, the product development experience of your team members matters as well. Unsurprisingly, teams with more knowledge, skills and experience will be able to deliver products faster and with fewer errors.
Where Management Science and Technology Product Delivery Meet
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Technology delivery managers are clearly catching up and are starting to understand the importance of incorporating data into their digital innovation projects. A shift to a product mindset and the release of new technology allows technological leaders to be empowered, glean accurate insights and make better decisions into the best way to execute their projects.
In turn, this leads to an environment that nurtures agile teams and better schedule adherence. This also creates a better balance between the speed at which a project is delivered and the quality of the final outcome.
At AuditDeploy, we aim to help leaders make decisions that will drive their companies forward. Find out how our technology delivers continuous value, empowering you to confidently launch your innovative digital products quickly and easily.