How To Manage a Software Development Project

Are you trying to build the right product but can’t seem to figure it out? Here’s some software project management help! In this video, I want to share my strategy for how to manage a software project and get things done on time and on budget.

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In 2001, I got a job I wasn’t qualified for.

I was hired by a big oil company to lead a new project with dozens of developers to build a product that would be used by every employee in the company.

No pressure, right?

On the first day, the hiring manager realized I was in way over my head and pulled me aside to tell me I had 2 weeks to “figure things out”.

Umm… ok?

I had no clue what that meant… but the stakes were clear, and I couldn’t lose this project.

I hadn’t worked in 2 months and if I failed, it meant moving back in with my parents.

In this week’s video I share the journey of how I went from a newbie leader on the verge of being forced onto my mother’s couch…

… to someone who successfully managed a multi-million dollar project for 2 years.

The best way for me to show you the difference is by using a real world example…

… so this week I use our new set design (it’s still not finished – it’s an iteration away but watch the video above to check it out).

I worked with my buddy Tim to build it out and let’s just say there were some hiccups.

So in many ways this video is for him… a primer on how to manage projects with a bend on software (my world)!

I go over:
— How to use time blocking to define constraints & force creativity
— How to write outcome driven user stories to set expectations
— Why you should prototype the unknowns
— The right way to validate interdepencies amongst various departments

I also wrap up with a myth that needs to be squashed around “planning” and why nothing works out the way it should and how to overcome that.

Recently I got a call from a founder who had invested $1.5M into a software project.

It had been 2 years and they still hadn’t launched.

In many ways, this video is for them, too.

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