Software development project managers are professionals who oversee plans and schedules for the development of software and web applications. They are responsible for defining project management policies and ensuring their implementation in all stages of a project, and they lead teams of software developers and engineers from the concept phase to product launch.
Software development project managers typically define the objectives and scopes for each stage of a software development project, and are responsible for managing quality control and for coordinating the work of all team members to ensure that the product is delivered on time.
Software development project managers must have an advanced knowledge of software programming and development, and be able to lead and manage cross-functional project teams. Project management skills are essential to the role, as is significant industry experience.
These professionals must have excellent organizational and time management skills, and be able to communicate project details clearly to the teams working under them. Presentational and client-facing skills are a strong asset in this line of work, as software development project managers regularly meet with clients to discuss project specifications, business needs, and technical requirements.
The ability to estimate project costs, set deadlines, and effectively manage teams of professionals to meet the deadlines is crucial.
Software development project managers must have at least a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer or software engineering, business administration, management, project management, or a related field. Employers and recruiters will generally favour candidates with at least five years of experience in a technology environment, and at least a couple of years of project management experience in a relevant industry. Some employers will only consider candidates with a Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate, which means that obtaining the credential can open doors to a wider variety of career opportunities.
Software development project managers are typically responsible for a wide range of activities across all project phases. Their daily duties vary depending on the scope of the project, but usually entail planning, implementation, monitoring, and control. They work closely with software developers, architects, engineers, and the client's representatives to define the direction and approach to product design and execution, and they are responsible for tailoring the development and support processes to meet project requirements.
Software development project managers determine project schedules, create detailed project plans and scope statements, and write status reports for each stage of the project. They estimate costs, develop resource plans, and work to assess potential issues and risks.
Their job entails meeting with clients and management to discuss project deliverables, sponsors, trade-offs, and key decisions, as well as to manage expectations. They make recommendations to senior staff regarding project schedules, priorities, resource allocation, asset creation processes, and strategic planning, and are responsible for organizational capacity planning, ongoing reporting to account managers and clients, and training project team members on various development processes and industry practices.
Along with the supervisory aspect of their job, software development project managers also usually assist with the design and coding of software products.
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