Tools for Effective Management of Large Projects
Handling a large project from start to finish is no easy task, especially if it’s your first time going about it. Still, if you want to see progress in your company, there’s no way around it. You’ll sooner or later have to get your hands dirty and work on a larger scale. Don’t worry though – project management tools have advanced sufficiently to allow you to get through this relatively easily. It’s all a matter of knowing the right tools for the job and using them properly.
Task Organization and Kanban Methodology
First and foremost, you’ll need some way to sort out who’s doing what, and what needs to be done in the first place. Task organization can be approached in multiple different ways, and some will work better for the needs of specific project types. It’s worth taking a look at the Kanban methodology if you aren’t familiar with it yet though.
It’s proven to be one of the best solutions for effective handling of the tasks in a larger project, regardless of the number of employees involved. It’s also easily available and doesn’t take much time to set up and deploy.
If your project involves working with shared assets – such as programming, art, data, etc. – it’s important to have an efficient way to manage their organization between your different team members. This can become quite complicated as the project’s requirements grow, so don’t underestimate it. Git is a commonly used solution for programming problems, and it’s become the industry standard in recent years.
There’s also Git LFS for projects with larger assets, such as graphics, videos, sounds, and so on. An alternative that’s still used by many organizations, despite its fading popularity, is Perforce. Some developers claim that it still handles larger assets better than Git.
Communication is simple enough when you just have a couple of people on the project. But as it keeps growing, things will get increasingly more challenging in this regard. Try to visualize the network of communication and you’ll see why. If everyone needs to talk to everyone, the number of connections between people will explode as the number of team members grows.
You need an organized, centralized solution designed for business purposes. Slack is a common choice in this regard, and it’s one of the most actively supported applications of this type. It might take some getting used to, at least for team members who’re not familiar with its workflow, but once you’re used to it, it can completely transform the way people in your organization talk to each other and share information.
No matter what kind of a product you’re working on, quality assurance is always going to be an important part of its development from start to finish. It’s not something you can just do in one round close to the release date and call it a day. You have to set up an integrated testing system from the beginning and ensure that it’s aligned with the workflow of your organization.
Automated testing tools like Selenium can be very useful for software projects. If you’re working on something physical though, then you’ll likely need to come up with a custom-tailored solution. Or better yet, have someone design it for you. There is no shortage of testing specialists on the market, and this is something you should take advantage of.
Last but not least, a common mistake that we unfortunately still see in many organizations – even larger ones – is a careless attitude towards backups. One system failure is all it takes to potentially wipe out your entire project, and this is something that you may not be able to recover from. There are plenty of horror stories of this kind on the market.
Considering how easy it is to set up a complete backup solution and just have it running and doing its own thing, you have no excuse for letting this go unchecked in your own organization. If you’re not clear on how exactly to approach that problem, talk to specialists who’re experienced with it already – as with quality assurance, you’ll find that there are plenty of them on the market at the moment.
If you can, try to maintain a patient approach to the whole project too. A common mistake that we see in beginners is to push too hard, rushing to complete the different stages in quick succession. Unless you’re working on a tight deadline, it’s much better to take your time and ensure that everything is verified at every step. With time, you’ll build the kind of experience that you need in order to handle larger and more complex projects, and to ensure that they never fail at any point. But until then, you have to take things slowly and learn as much as you can at every step of the way.