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Last July we started a discussion on what successful software development projects look like. We’ve covered the perspective of a project manager and our series will continue covering other roles like clients, product owners, designers and even writers, but this time the spotlight goes to the team behind tech: the developers.
Aristides Castillo, a Sr. Developer at CSW has guided us through the elements he takes into consideration to measure how successful an experience has been.
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The client shall be happy.
This encompasses total user experience: the client will receive the product that was needed –which won’t necessarily be what was asked for–, that solved a business problem, within budget, and within a set timeline.
Service, communications, and project management processes support this experience: if there are signs that the client will not be happy when the project ends, the team will be able to tell.
In turn, developers are satisfied when their feedback is well-received and when their recommendations are included in the dialogue.
A project will look successful in this regard when: communications with the client are direct and open throughout the process.
When the project ends, the client will take the time to share with the team what was done with what was built: success stories, feedback from third parties, etc..
The team won’t want to quit once a project is over.
Cases where team members decide to switch projects, in the middle of a program, are actually very common.
Invariably, every time a project is over, developers have an opportunity to ask themselves “do I want to switch projects? clients? teams?”
A team that is strong and united translates into committed team members that will prefer to bring issues up, and improve communications, when –and if– adversity arrives.
This aspect is successful when you perceive, every day, how committed your team is. Once a project ends, in the conversations that emerge during the retrospective.
Even when a project is declared as doomed, a team committed to their work will aim at wrapping it up positively and together; the project will end, but a stronger team will remain.
Everyone will want to communicate what was just done or learned.
A project ends well and this happens immediately: everyone in the team goes online– to any social media, forum, blog, or community they frequent, and share what they did, where, with whom, and what they learned.
The conversations include the strategy, the challenges, the results, the skills. The team is proud, and even better: the artisan is content.
This looks successful when:
– A developer makes new friends!
– A developer shares what was done, with everyone they know (and don’t know)
– A developer feels the need to keep learning about what was just achieved, and opens a blog, does more research, takes online courses, gets involved in new communities…
Furthermore: a developer will start a conversation with their project manager to encourage this type of projects.
“Did you have a good experience, client?” “Do I want to continue being part of you, the team?” “Can I show you off when we’re done, the project?”
If the answer is Yes x 3 at the time a project ends, you’re all set for the next one.