Six Tips for Being a Better Software Development Manager

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checkIf you’re looking to make your career in the IT industry as a software development manager, you need to take your project managing skills to the next level. You can understand everything about coding and software, but you are first and foremost a manager of a team. In order to excel at your job and move up in your company, you need to keep your software development projects running smoothly. Here are some tips from industry experts about how to be a better software development manager.

1. Beware of project overruns.

Project overruns will upset your boss and cause major havoc with budgeting time and money. Of course unforeseen delays can happen, but too many project overruns can have a serious negative impact on your team and your career. If you routinely have project overruns, you can also put your job in jeopardy because you’ll become known as the manager who can’t get things done on time and under budget.

2. Break up your project into realistic goals.

When planning a software development project, many managers budget too much time for coding and neglect things like user interface development. Coding actually only takes about 20% of a project’s time, even though many coders still think it takes at least half. When you factor in planning phases and testing, you can see how programming can take up less time than you might have originally thought. When planning out your next software development project, take a look at the timelines from similar projects so you can budget your time effectively.

3. Don’t be afraid to call in experts.

Many of the things that make software unique like user interfaces are designed by experts in their fields, but many software development managers aren’t willing to get outside help on certain phases of a project. Don’t be afraid to get the best programmers and designers in their fields to help with all-important design phases of your project. You’ll end up with a better product and a happier boss.

4. Measure your time and progress.

Instead of tackling each problem as it crosses your desk, take some time to measure your progress and keep detailed records of how your time is used. This not only makes bosses happy, as they can see where you are on any given project, it allows you to manage your time better.

5. Give credit where credit is due.

Armed with your new time and progress measurements, you can make sure to let your bosses or other departments know who is doing a great job. With concrete evidence of your overall progress and which team is doing what, you can make sure to give credit to teams that are performing above expectations.

6. Have fun!

Don’t forget why you entered your career in the first place. It’s true that people who have fun at work do better in their careers, so count your blessings and enjoy your job!

Read more in Project Management

Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.