How Do You Evaluate a Dedicated Software Development Team’s Performance?
Because most of what project managers do are qualitative and difficult to measure, evaluating their performance is notoriously tough. When there is a lack of project management, people tend to notice—that communication lines are poor, individuals are unsure what others are working on, unforeseen difficulties cause delays, and so on. When a project manager is there and things are running smoothly, however, many of their coworkers will be unable to pinpoint exactly what they perform.
Another challenge in evaluating performance is that the project management profession is in upheaval. With the emergence of Agile, new positions such as product owner and scrum master have taken over some of the duties that project managers used to do.
In many firms and teams, the functions of project manager and product manager are also mixed together. In certain circumstances, one of them assumes both roles. It's useful to think of the project manager as the product's COO, in charge of how and when things are developed, whereas the product manager is in charge of what and why things are built. The method is owned by the project manager, whereas the content is owned by the product manager. In this view, a project manager's efficiency in completing a project should be assessed.
With this in mind, there are six key performance indicators (KPIs) that may be used to evaluate a project manager's performance:
The project manager is in charge of overseeing the entire project strategy. This involves managing the timely preparation of all deliverables and ensuring that the plan's budget is sufficient.
Project managers in an Agile software development team will be in charge of the teams' communications in order to enable the on-time delivery of a product. While it is acknowledged that the Agile process is supposed to be flexible in order to provide the best solution for clients, if trade-offs are not effectively controlled, scope creep and delays can occur. In this instance, the scrum master, or an analogous Agile coach, is in charge of the dedicated software development team's internal efficiency and the timely completion of sprints.
Delays can occur at any stage during the product development cycle, not only in the engineering and testing departments. It might be a tactical or strategic executive choice to postpone. It's possible that legal or the deal desk aren't prepared to deal with bids and orders. It's possible that marketing wants to time the release to coincide with an event.
To spot any discrepancies, a good project manager would regularly compare the plan to the actual progress.
Project managers may be responsible for budget management, recognizing overruns as they occur to avoid unpleasant surprises. There are three essential areas to keep an eye on when it comes to budget management:
- Availability of resources (headcount and associated dollar budget)
- Resources for development operations (DevOps)
- Resources for network operations (NetOps)
Management of operational costs of products (excluding sales and marketing) is a vital KPI for project managers where margins are a critical corporate aim. When faced with a budget constraint, a capable project manager would search for new ways to cut expenses in other areas. If there is no way to recuperate the costs, they should manage the situation's escalation and, in collaboration with the product manager, seek further budget permission.
Budget management, like on-time criteria, maybe a binary evaluation: did the project manager finish the project on time? The extent of the savings or overruns, as well as budget planning efforts, can provide further nuance:
- Exceeded expectations: The project was finished with a ten per cent or greater cost savings, and budget milestones were scheduled and met.
- Good: The project was finished with savings of 0-10% and budget milestones were scheduled and met.
- Acceptable: The project budget was just 10% above budget, and financial goals were scheduled but not met.
- Poor: The project budget was overrun by more than 10%, and financial milestones were missed.
Internal agreements on how things are done inside a dedicated software development team or corporation are known as processes. The majority of employees do not challenge processes and consider them to be rules. The project manager, on the other hand, has a responsibility to challenge and improve procedures on a regular basis. This is similar to the assessment criteria for Agile project on-time delivery, but it goes beyond. Improvements to processes can help you save time
- By removing needless dependencies.
- By automating processes and reducing human labor, you may save money.
- Simplify interactions and improve the customer experience to boost customer satisfaction.
Process improvements, unlike time and budget reviews, rarely have a binary consequence. Because process improvements sometimes include other elements of the firm, which might be difficult to alter for the project manager, it's critical to add "effort" as an assessment factor. Effort means that no stone was left unturned in maximizing efficiency benefits under the company's conditions. Furthermore, targeting the most profitable process improvement will yield the most significant efficiency benefits.
- Exceeded expectations: Process enhancements were implemented on a regular basis and, for the most part, resulted in significant efficiency benefits.
- Good: Process improvements were made frequently and often resulted in significant efficiency gains.
- Acceptable: Process improvements were implemented often, but only yielded minor efficiency increases.
- Poor: There were little attempts to enhance the procedure.
Relationships and Communication
The project manager serves as the primary point of contact for all parties involved in bringing a product to market. It's vital that such connections reflect the project manager's aim of providing an exceptional solution that meets their demands within the timeframe promised. For project managers, this translates to three questions that will assist determine whether or not the partner company is capable of meeting the project's needs.
- Can you do it with what you've got?
- When do you think you'll be able to deliver it?
- What can I do to assist you?
Speaking with personnel from various departments can give significant information into the project manager's connection building skills. A 360-degree assessment of interpersonal and communication abilities would be a more thorough method. After that, the results may be utilized to assess the project manager's performance.
Every project has risks, which may either be disregarded or managed. While a bad project manager may be easily judged after an uncontrolled risk has caused harm, a good project manager is more difficult to measure since the risks are controlled and there is no negative impact to calculate and quantify.
Examining a project manager's preparation and the consequences of their actions is one approach to evaluate them. A good project manager will create a risk mitigation strategy to determine which hazards need to be addressed.
A good project manager would regularly check decisions against the customer's perspective as well as the company's profitability goals. They'll represent the consumer's point of view in product decisions, and they'll investigate how a customer would feel if one action is chosen over another. Listen for the win-win mentality that balances customer goals with corporate goals when evaluating a project manager's approach to their job.
Create goals with the client in mind for a thorough review. The project manager must collaborate with the rest of the firm to identify any snafus that might harm the customer's relationship.