Like most disciplines, software is largely about people and relationships so creating trust always has top billing. By far the best way to do this is to listen, contribute, agree and deliver successfully but it is not usually that simple. Typically software development has complex requirements, short time frames, defined scope and budgetary constraints. Projects often have many stakeholders each with differing objectives and mixed methods of communication, and all this adds to project risk.
There are many well-documented methodologies for managing software projects and most are known to FuseIT as our teams often work under the umbrella of our clients adopted methodology.
When we have the opportunity our preferred methodology is the Microsoft Solution Framework for Agile Software Development. This version of MSF incorporates key ideas from the Agile software movement, along with proven principles and practices developed by Microsoft, who developed this framework to deal with their own internal projects. It is designed to help teams achieve a high degree of success by making iterative "enterprise ready" software development releases. The framework has a "lessons learned" deliverable that, along with the long-term stability of our team, allows us to continually improve our project capabilities. Some of the framework features are embedded in our work ethic:
Foster open communications
Maximize team member effectiveness to ensure information is readily available and actively shared.
Stay agile, expect change
Advises teams to expect changes from stakeholders and even the team itself.
Focus on business value
Combining a focus on business value with a shared vision, to develop a clear understanding of why the project exists and how success will be measured in terms of business value to the customer.
Clear accountability and shared responsibility
Establish well-understood lines of accountability and responsibility to reduce uncertainty around the "who, what, when, and why".
Empower team members
Advocate bottom-up scheduling, a schedule that the team can support because it believes in it.
Learn from all experiences
Failing to learn from experience is a guarantee that we will repeat them, as well as their associated project consequences.
Invest in quality
Invest in people, processes, and tools.
Clarify goals and expose conflict and mistaken assumptions so they can be resolved.
Partner with customers
Understand the value proposition of your solution and communicate it effectively.
Always create shippable solutions
Make changes to the product so it can be shipped at any time.
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