For the past 7 years I have been in a variety of roles at MLT. I started off as their first Software Developer back in early 2012. From there I transitioned into the role of Software Technical Lead and now I find myself as the Business Analyst & Project Coordinator. Overtime I have noticed that project quality can be visualized differently by two management aspects, Project Management & Task Management.
Project management is in essence the management of an overall project. Generally overseen by the role of a Project Manager, their main responsibility is to maintain the project schedule, keep an open flow of communication with the project stakeholders as well as verify that the project is still on time and within budget.
Task management is granular by nature. It is the overseeing of individual task that are designed to complete a project from start to finish. At Missing Link this is usually governed by the Project Coordinator and task are identified by the project Tech Lead. Since the task in this particular example are all software related, each task is usually defined with more technical details. This can be easily described as the “What”. What do I need to do in order to complete the need of this assignment? These tasks are then divided among the project team and once a they are completed the project milestones can then be marked as completed. Project milestones can be made up of many tasks.
How I Visualize Quality
What is quality when it pertains to Software? I believe quality can be defined a couple of ways. Quality of code for example is something that a Developer and Technical Lead may fixate themselves on. The quality of the project for them may be solely based on this. As a stakeholder, they may see quality differently. Perhaps they will be more fixated on, does the software accomplish their business need? Was it delivered on time, within budget and is it efficient?
With Task Management I find that the quality of the project becomes more improved. As task are defined and managed it helps set the stage for what needs to be done. The more granular the task are defined, timelines and deliverables can be better managed. This means that smaller snippets of code can be written, properly tested and defined. Project quality can see an increase in efficiency in regards to more complicated algorithms and the time it takes to process. Taking more time to properly manage the task could result in cleaner code that process more efficiently, thus increasing the quality.
Project Management is at a higher level of the project scope. I have seen in my experience that some task although necessary in the eyes of the developer have to be cut in order to deliver on-time. The over all project will continue to function at a standard that even the stakeholder might not be aware of or understand but the developers can foresee future and current impacts of these decisions. As being a developer by trade I can appreciate the impact of quality from both sides. Future improvements or additions to the project might cause some technical quality issues like unnecessary code that may take longer to process. Not to say that Project Management cannot impact quality for the better. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for Project Management keeping the to the defined scope of work, timelines and budget overall Task Management wouldn’t be possible.
Brian Bourgeois, Business Analyst/Project Coordinator Missing Link Technologies ltd.