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Hello all.

In my professional life I've worked for several little companies of software development. None of them had any sense of project management or quality control. And worst thing was that the owner thought that project management was a waste of time....just code, code, code... fast.

Any of you have been in such situation ? How to "sell" to the owner the need of project management ?

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Replies to This Discussion

I may depend on the company, but the primary interest of the business owner is $$$.
I would suggest that you focus on the potential cost savings that good project management offers.
Identify the areas that you know could be improved, provide some solutions on how it could be improved.
Provide some comparisons of the current method vs a method with PM. Bullet point the advantages and disadvantages for both. These are just a few suggestions to get you started.
I've worked in medium company and from my experience what maters is the size of the project and how many developers are involved. Is their a need for designer? Form designer? Who deals with the client demands? Who will do the QA?
Project management starts from time table and scheduling till managing multi tasks and multi roles – the more complex is the project – there is a need for more project management.
All the best
To Rodney's point, a free project management tool should appeal to the owner. My company, Artifact Software makes project management software built specifically for software projects and is free for 1 project and five users. If you take expense out of the equation, then you just have to demonstrate the need for and benefits of a good tool. I'd focus specifically on issues that impact the owner. Does he/she get frustrated trying to get accurate, real-time project status updates? Does he/she waste time looking for emails or dealing with client issues that could be addressed with a good web-based tool? Focus on the owner's pain points and you are more likely to sway his/her opinion.
I think it's very difficult to measure, Jonathan. Usually, small companies owners only understand about numbers. Any investment needs a business case based on money. So you should be able to measure costs caused by the unmanagement: Hours spent redesigning modules because there wasn't a signed design; time burned solving reopened problems; lost customers due to lack of methodology; slow process to unfreeze bad documented and old projects... If you are able to measure these parameters (amongo others) in euros, your boss will understand. Hopefully.
I have seen programmers who write modular code in their sleep, so for those people minimal design and rapid iterative coding is actually a great fit.
Hi Jonathan,

I know your pain. It is about money and it is about time. The principle on which you base the argument is rather simple.

Do you ever get into your car and just drive?

Don’t you have some destination in mind that then allows you to estimate the required or dependant steps that have to occur before the driving starts?
• If you are going far, do you have enough fuel?
• Should you take extra money? (Toll Gates if you have them)
• Do you need ….. Blah Blah Blah.

If you can force yourself to set up a plan with dependencies and relationships for EVERY journey, why would you risk your business on not having a plan (doesn’t matter how often it changes).

Please note, I am not referring to a schedule (it will come) but a plan or route map.

This has helped most small business owners that I have encountered to “see the light”.

Hope this helps.
@Anton I think most people actually cursorily glance at the fuel and head out. In the situation Jonathan is describing this is the equivalent of making an initial todo list of things to code, pasting it to a monitor, and starting.

@Jonathan Perhaps point out that the team is already using project management, although it may not be via software and it may only be verbal. Someone is telling the developers what to code, even in the code, code, code mode. That's a schedule!
Maybe the answer to sell him the idea of Scrum rather than the Project Management. Something he can relate to, something they can understand specially your company is dealing with coding. Sticky yellow Todo lists are more understandable.

I am an MS Project, Projectserver tool developer since 2003 and have seen so many similar companies. Scrum is answer to your prayers.
@Bobby I used Scrum with my team, and I found that working directly from an issue list gave us more real velocity. SCRUM is definitely awesome but there is still formality about it which difficult for teams that don't like formality (code, code, code)
@Jonathan: If anybody in SME sector, wants to be successful in the PM process implementation, then I believe he should first concentrate on the practical Project Management Approach, which is more flexible, rather than just focusing on PM FAT Books...


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