11 Expert Tips For Keeping Resource Waste From Derailing A Development Project

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When launching a new tech project, every seasoned tech leader will ensure they have a well-defined scope, budget and roadmap. Even so, occasionally the budget or person-hours for a tech project get out of control—and in those cases, it’s essential for the leader overseeing the project to pinpoint where things have gone off track and stop the bleeding.

As they grow in their roles, tech leaders quickly learn to identify problems in ongoing projects and, better still, lay the proper groundwork to minimize the risk of budget-busting issues in the first place. Below, 11 industry experts from Forbes Technology Council share effective ways to prepare for and manage a development project to ensure that the unneeded burning of resources is kept to a minimum.

1. Start With A Clearly Defined Methodology

To prevent projects from going over budget and/or burnout, start with good project planning with a clearly defined methodology (waterfall or agile), scope, budget, resources, deliverables and timelines. Waterfall is suitable for predictable projects, whereas agile is better for complex projects with less predictable solutions. Once a project kicks off, be vigilant about scope creep that could lead to increased costs and workloads. – Zheng Fan, University of Miami Herbert Business School

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2. Develop A Consensus On Time And Costs

Prior to beginning a project, there should be a team consensus on the time it will take to complete the project and the approximate costs. In addition, there should be a clear project brief, roadmap and regular check-ins that keep an eye on this. While most projects end up taking up more time and money than expected, it’s usually due to add-ons that can easily be identified with proper planning. – Fehzan Ali, Adscend Media

3. Take A Look At Rework And Idle Time

Multiple attempts at rework should indicate that the requirements are not clear or that the team is not capable of meeting the needs of the project as it currently stands. Renegotiate the feature content that is being reworked. As for idle time, automate the tasks going into your costliest idle resources. – Shriram Natarajan, Sama

4. Break Large Projects Into Specific Deliverables

Resource waste tends to happen when expectations from the business side aren’t realistically aligned with the technology roadmap and progress. Breaking larger projects into epics or tasks with specific deliverables is usually the simplest way to reprioritize and get back on track. – Adam Ayers, Number 5

5. Quantify Project Goals And Waypoints

A good carpenter will measure twice and cut once. So should a good leader. We know we need to be precise, but being precise in tech starts with the right information, known as analytics. Develop ways to quantify your project goals and waypoints. When it comes time to review, you will have insight into what goal or waypoint was missed, and then you have clarity on where the problem lies. – Denver Hunter, First Palmetto Bank

6. Focus On Critical Steps And Find Places To Automate

When project work gets out of control it is important to refocus efforts on the critical path while identifying automation solutions that can speed up the work and “remove the weeds.” The project manager and systems analyst must lead the project team in reestablishing the important work packages that need to be completed, prepare an investment readjustment proposal, and reevaluate team performance. – Spiros Liolis, Micro Focus

7. Communicate And Stay Focused On The MVP

An open relationship between project managers and team leads is essential. It is critical to make sure timelines and goals are broken down into a level of execution where you can quickly gauge effectiveness. Also, stay focused on the minimally viable product; don’t allow scope creep to offset the progress your team is making. – Richard McLain, INE

8. Get Back To The Project’s Roots

Good to have” features and non-comprehensive requirements will lead to resource bleeding and the person-hours on a project going overboard more often than not. The best way is always to regroup and go back to the project’s roots—that is, what was the problem that needed to be solved, and what was the proposed solution? And what is the problem right now? This triage will help a tech leader gain clarity. – Harshil ShahDXFactor

9. Lean Into Agile Methodologies

Leveraging an agile development methodology is an excellent way to pinpoint where a project is spinning out of control. The daily stand-ups quickly identify roadblocks and challenges. This doesn’t mean you need to micro-manage. Instead, the agile method provides a daily touchpoint to move the project forward by focusing on a prioritized backlog designed to drive value for your customer. – Thomas “Ai Nerd” Helfrich, System Soft Technologies

10. Get The Entire Team To Look Into It

Stop everything you’re doing and get the entire team to look into the issue. Retrace your steps by analyzing your meeting logs, your team’s performance and any changes you’ve introduced. Be sure to check your initial estimations to see how far you’ve gone astray from the path. Finally, make sure to reassess your goals for the project, because they might be too broad or even unachievable. – Nacho De Marco, BairesDev

11. Be Mindful Of The Sunk Cost Fallacy

Cutting your losses—that is, avoiding the sunk cost fallacy—is one of the most difficult calls to make, but it’s inherently always the right move. Whenever a goal is no longer the highest returning objective, it’s immediately time to stop working on it and pivot, no matter how close it is to completion. – Noah Mitsuhashi, noahmitsuhashi.io

Original Article Here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/11/04/11-expert-tips-for-keeping-resource-waste-from-derailing-a-development-project

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