Several Ways to Improve your Project Management Skills

Blog Post

In the previous article we talked about the best BA practices in the project. Now we are aiming to describe the improvement process after the project closure.

Polina Salimyanova, our Head of BA, told us about retro meetings, mistakes corrections and new practices:

We usually discuss with a team the project, results, mistakes, failures and success tips. Based on such team meetings I have developed some additional procedures and documents for the future projects.

Business analysis approach planning and its presentation to the client

We elaborate a separate document that describes the importance of business analysis for the project, the benefits of client involvement in the project, and additional information that is very useful for the client, especially if the client has no IT experience.

I have already received positive feedbacks from the client about the explaining the functions and benefits of BA services in the project.

Quality process planning

We create a planning strategy with a detailed description of the QA team involvement at each stage of development process. There is a huge stereotype that the QA team only needs to test something after the development stage, but it is not obvious to anyone that the QA team is involved in requirements planning, in requirements reviewing and more. To avoid these misunderstandings, I prefer to discuss everything with the customer and emphasize the importance of each team member.

Detailed reporting to the customer

Reporting for the customer has been transformed and has become much more detailed. For comparison, in the previous project I provided a report in xls format, which consisted of 4 tabs. Now my standard report contains 11 tabs, and each of them examines the project from different sides, that allows us to show the customer that we have everything under control and in case of missed deadlines, we are always ready to adjust and able to get the project back on track.

Seamless communication process within the team

The Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (PMBOK) even calculated the possible number of communications in the project. The total number of communication channels is n (n-1) / 2, where n is the number of project participants. Thus, for example, for ten participants, the number of potential communication channels will be 45. Therefore, a key element in planning project communications is determining who and with whom will communicate, who will send the information, what information is needed, etc.

To avoid loss and distortion of information, I always insist that it is necessary to create a project channel for the team and discuss there all possible issues. We use Microsoft Teams, and it is a good tool for communications: everyone knows current events, changes, discussions, can share info or opinion.

Agreed communication process with the customer

It is necessary to explain the importance of client involvement into the project, instant response to questions. The communication matrix gives a clear understanding of what we expect from the customer. It is carefully negotiated and approved with the customer.

The concept of product ownership

We offer customers the concept of product ownership when the team does not just complete the assigned tasks but considers various options for solving the problem or the client’s goal and builds a logical chain of explanation with the recommended steps for implementation. Customers appreciate our recommendations, logical conclusions, and options, while leaving the choice to themselves. Our business analysts suggest solutions based on market research, best practices, and their experience.

To sum up, I would like to note that the team’s work in the previous project made a positive impression. Happy to know that this project attracted new opportunities to the company. In my opinion, building long-term relationships with clients is a strategic goal of any project and company in general.

On my own behalf, I want to add that, probably, a real professional never will say that knows everything and learned everything. In my profession, every new project is a new experience, new points for improvement, new conclusions, new heights. And it is a great pleasure for me to realize that there is no end point of our goal.

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