How to become a PM in software development project

1. I began to actively use programs and tools

Yes, you can wash clothes by hand, especially if you do it once a year. But it’s not worth giving up time- and effort-saving tools in everyday work. There are a lot of cool completely free tools.

The main thing, of course, will be the software in which the main planning is carried out. Initially, we worked at Trello, but, to be honest, we were not impressed. The main screen is not very visual, although the fact that the tool is free is pleasing. And it is convenient to keep checklists in it. Then we switched to Kaiten, I like the clean interface and internal device, but there are enough bugs — for example, from the point of view of working with the archive.

By the way, the purchase of paid software needs to be justified, but if it saves man-hours, the management will never refuse it. For example, at first I drew Gantt charts in Excel or in Google Sheets. As a result, changes, synchronization, and even banal “coloring” of the plates took an unjustifiably long time, besides there were confusions and confusion. We tested “GanttPRO” — heaven and earth: it is possible to immediately see the whole picture of the project in time, and not just a huge list of tasks. It is convenient to plan a project, calculate the time and cost, coordinate with the customer, immediately assign roles and start working, since the tool is easy to learn. It is especially nice that the service is friendly with the Russian language, that is, everything will be fine with technical and language support. In addition to planning the work of the team, GanttPRO helps me with the presentation of projects and preparation of reports.

And if there are not enough video tutorials, you can sign up for a demo

Task screen with progress tracking for each stage

New Task Creation screen

And if there are not enough video tutorials, you can sign up for a demo

Task screen with progress tracking for each stage

New Task Creation screen

The service even has its own channel with tutorials on YouTube

And if there are not enough video tutorials, you can sign up for a demo

In terms of my hours, buying such programs is definitely profitable for the company — not to mention saving time resources and improving the quality of work, which increases when you spend less time and effort on the operating system.

use Your own hardware

We have a cross-platform product, so I needed an Android device in addition to my old Apple. I didn’t want to ask and then wait for the official one, so I bought it myself. I’m an Apple guy with experience and I don’t really understand the zoo of Android devices, I chose according to the ratio of characteristics and price. I took the Camon 12 from the so far little-known TECNO on the market for 9k, and this turned out to be more than enough. The screen is large and bright, there is enough RAM (4 GB) for testing the product and my everyday tasks such as checking mail, Telegram and calls, my battery lives for two days (4000mAh makes itself felt), a camera with macro and 4 flashes regularly helps out when the main phone sits down. I admit that I may not be using the phone to the fullest, but I set such tasks for him.

The main advantage of the second phone for me is that you can try yourself as a user before the release and catch many bugs in a timely manner. Sometimes it’s better not to wait for budgets and decisions “from above”, but just take it and do it. Personal technique in work is also preferable because you can do what you want with it without anyone’s permission. In large companies, this is sometimes stopped by the security service (an initiative of the same reasonableness as closing USB ports).

I purposefully allocated time for self-development

At first, reading useful articles and books at work while others were coding, I felt remorse, tried to code myself (I wrote above about how it ended), postponed reading anything useful for the evening, as a result, the information got into a tired head, everything got confused and the next day it faded away…

Later, on quiet days, I began to allocate myself legitimate time to “delve” into the topic, taking into account the fact that there is no scanner that allows you to accurately assess the usefulness of a particular literature, and this is normal — sometimes regretfully close a book or material and feel that I wasted my time.

By the way, in most subject areas (except, perhaps, Internet marketing, in which everything changes at the speed of light) I recommend reading not only beautiful volumes from the business literature section, but also banal university textbooks – they usually have little bragging and empty “inspiration”, plus the information is well structured. Over at the Yurayt publishing house this year, “Product Management” was published, maybe someone has already read it?

What and what have I read about? About management (here I started with the classics, with Peter Drucker), about building business models (“Building business models” by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pinier is very good, just a ready-made workshop), about networking (“Never eat alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and Tala Rez went well for me), about business (for example, “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Rene Mauborne), about marketing and branding (a good “How brands grow” by Byron Sharp), about time management (I studied Allen and Arkhangelsk actively before moving to the position of PM, but it won’t be superfluous to mention them here).

In general, a variety of knowledge can be useful to a product. My friend Dima, for example, was immersed in psychotypes, Censydiam and archetypes, but I’m sure that some information from “Harry Potter and Methods of Rational Thinking” by Eliezer Yudkovsky was very useful to me in my work.

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