As a developer, there are several ways you can manage your projects more efficiently:
Define clear goals and objectives: Before starting any project, define clear goals and objectives. These should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This will help you stay focused and prioritize your work.
What are SMART goals?
The SMART in SMART goals stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Defining these parameters as they pertain to your goal helps ensure that your objectives are attainable within a certain time frame. This approach eliminates generalities and guesswork, sets a clear timeline, and makes it easier to track progress and identify missed milestones.
MANAGE Your Work. MEASURE your work.
As the management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” If you don’t measure, then how do you know how you are doing?
Break down the project into smaller tasks: Breaking down a project into smaller, manageable tasks makes it easier to track progress, identify potential bottlenecks, and prioritize work. This will also help you estimate how long each task will take, which will help you better plan your schedule.
Can’t decide how to measure? Read this. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470110120
How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
From market research to information technology to financial reporting, How to Measure Anything reveals the power of measurement to our understanding of business and the world at large. This insightful and eloquent book will show you how to measure those things in your own business that, until now, you may have considered “immeasurable,” including customer satisfaction, organizational flexibility, technology risk, and technology ROI.
With examples ranging from how a marine biologist measures the population of fish in a large lake to how the United States Marine Corps found out what really matters in forecasting fuel requirements for the battlefield, you will discover a “universal approach” to measuring “intangibles,” along with some interesting methods for particular problems.
Here, you will learn about:
- The Illusion of Intangibles: Why Immeasurables Aren’t
- Calibrated Estimates: How Much Do You Know Now?
- Measuring Risk: Introduction to the Monte Carlo
- Sampling Reality: How Observing Some Things Tells Us about All
- Unconventional Measurement Instruments such as the internet, human judges, prediction markets, and more
- Measuring the Value of Information: What’s It Worth to Measure?
Written by recognized expert Douglas Hubbard—creator of Applied Information Economics
USE TRELLO OR JIRA!
Use a project management tool: Using a project management tool like Trello, Asana, or Jira can help you stay organized, track progress, and collaborate with your team members. These tools allow you to create tasks, assign them to team members, set deadlines, and track progress.
Prioritize your work: Prioritizing your work is essential to managing projects efficiently. Focus on the most important tasks first, and make sure you are using your time effectively.
Don’t be afraid of the word “Agile”.
If agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development, then an agile board is a tool that helps teams plan, visualize, and manage that work. In Jira Software, the board displays a selection of issues in columns, with each column representing a step in your team’s workflow for taking work through completion. A board accompanies each Jira Software project by default and provides the team with a shared view of all work that hasn’t started, work that is in progress, and work that is completed.
Communicate effectively: Communication is key to any successful project. Keep your team members informed of your progress, and be sure to ask for help if you need it. Use tools like Slack or Zoom to facilitate communication and collaboration.
Try to learn your own communication style and others. Use a tool that your team uses like DISC or “The Five Disfunctions of a Team” for example.
Don’t forget that meetings are a waste of time if you are not prepared. Consider that most teams want to know what’s going on but want you do keep doing the work without asking for approval. Consider limiting your team meetings to valuable assets only. Could this be an email or blog post or release notes?
Go for 100% code coverage
Test frequently: Testing frequently can help you identify problems early on in the development process. This can save you time and money in the long run.
What is TDD? You know! Google it. Why not do your best to see if you can get to 100% code coverage? Sometimes it’s not worth it. Other times, well, it’s just 5 or 6 more tests. Come on! You can do it! Get those tests on and fix your code for good!
Experiment! Learn! Have fun.
Learn from your mistakes: Mistakes happen, but they can also be valuable learning opportunities. Take the time to reflect on what went wrong and how you can improve your processes in the future.
If you are not breaking things *(in dev) you may not be trying hard enough. If you cry at night only to have big wins when you thought you were dead going in tomorrow. You might be on the right track!
Brian Tracy, author of Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time — was the one who coined the term, inspired by Mark Twain. In his book, Tracy advocates that focusing on your most important task, i.e. “ugliest frog”, is the best way to gain success, status, respect, and happiness in life — hence the whimsical name of his time management technique, i.e. “Eat that frog”. However! DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the power of those items that are in the fun quadrant!
Some of my greatest success in 2022 came from Quadrant 3. Things I wanted to do, but didn’t need to do. The funny part is, after I was done, everyone says “Wow we really needed that!”.
Keep coding…. Troy