Modification date: September 6, 2020

Keys to a successful project launch

logo
Syberry
Keys to A Successful Project Launch

Any activity, from mowing the lawn to writing software algorithms for a spaceship that goes to the stars, can be labelled with the same short but capacious term: a project. And whether the project will be successful or doomed to fail very much depends on how you prepare for the launch. After all, as we’ve all heard many times, preparation is the key to success.

Many books and articles have been written on the topic of project management, but in this article, I will highlight the three points I believe are most important. Without these, any project is likely fall into chaos and ultimately fail. The three concepts that are so critical to success or failure are planning, goal setting, and control. In fact, these are three classic management functions that can be applied to any project. Of course, we’re looking at them through the lens of software development.

Planning

You’ve had a fantastic idea for a new product: maybe you want to design a new mobile game or you’re envisioning a much-needed service, and you see great potential for monetization. But at this stage, your idea us just that — an idea. And an idea requires polishing, reevaluation, prioritization, etc. before it turns into a. viable project. And the best way to turn an idea into a project is planning, which can be divided into three major steps.

1. Imagine the Ultimate Goal

Any successful project starts with a clear vision of the end result, and this is especially true in software development. Indeed, a clear understanding of what you want to get on the way out is half of the solution to the problem of where to start.

Do you want to launch a new web application to power sales of your handmade wood products and get a 50 to 100 percent increase in new customers? Or is your goal to reduce paper purchases in your enterprise by 90 percent by implementing an electronic document management system?

There’s no need to plan everything to the last detail (yet). Your first step is simply to clearly outline the final goal. Then, you can gradually delve into the details.

2. Clearly Define Project Components

With the ultimate goal in mind, begin to think through the details of the project. Write a high-level description of the project, then list everything you would like to see in it. You’ll rewrite this draft several times as your ideas take shape, honing the description and turning your wish list into a more structured, logical set of components. Consider both the functional aspects, like the features and the logic behind them, as well as the nonfunctional requirements, like design.

An excellent outcome at the end of this stage is a full draft of your project, with a description of the purpose, logic, functions, and features of the application, as well as a general idea of the design. Most software development companies will be thrilled when a client approaches them with this much detail already outlined. And this upfront work will also save significant time and money in the discovery phase.

3. Create a Dream Team

After you determine the scope of your project, you will be able to visualize the team you need to bring it to life. Maybe your developer friend who lives down the street will be enough, or maybe you’ll need a comprehensive outsourced development team. Whatever the scope may be, pay special attention to the selection of personnel — their geography, their experience, their skills, and their work processes.

Goal Setting

Setting measurable goals and making action plans that will empower you to achieve them are critical to preparing for a successful launch.

And when it comes to goal settings, one of the most useful tools is the SMART framework, which allows project leaders to summarize all available information, establish acceptable terms of work, determine the adequacy of resources, and provide all participants in the process with clear, precise, specific tasks.

So what is SMART? The acronym stands for “Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound” all key characteristics of effective goals. Let’s break that down:

Specific

When you set a goal, the desired result must be precisely defined. Answer these questions to ensure your goals are specific:

  • What do I want to achieve, and why?
  • Who is involved in fulfilling the goal?

Measurable

Specificity isn’t enough. SMART goals must also be measurable. Take one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions, for example: losing weight. “Losing weight” may be specific, but “losing twenty-five pounds” is measurable. Answer these questions to ensure your goals are measurable:

  • How will I measure progress against my goal?
  • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?

Achievable

While it’s okay to set stretch goals, they should still be achievable in order to keep the project manager and team motivated. Whether a goal is attainable is determined based on the team’s experience and skill sets, taking into account all available resources and limitations.

Relevant

It’s easy to set dozens of goals, but the more you set, the less focused you’ll be on achieving any one of them. That’s why it’s important to set goals that are relevant to your bigger-picture strategic objectives. Ask yourself what benefits the team will unlock as a result of achieving the goal.

If there are no global, positive ramifications of achieving the goal, it may be irrelevant and a waste of resources.

Timebound

The SMART goal should also come with a deadline, to ensure the team is working steadily toward achievement and that the process doesn’t drag out so long as to become a waste of time and resources. If the goal is not met within the deadline, it is considered a failure and reevaluated.

Once you’ve set these measurable goals for yourself and your project, apply the same formula as you work with your development team. If everyone is focused on clear, measurable goals, rather than simply working aimlessly, the project is much more likely to be successful.

Control

All the planning and forecasting in the world will be useless if you don’t maintain control over your project. Here are two ways to ensure you can.

Meet Everyone Involved

Don’t assume you have met the entire team. Stakeholders, Investors, product owners, project managers, testers, developers, subject matter experts, and architects all comprise a team, and failure to meet all key players will cause communication issues down the road.

Monitor Progress Daily

Don’t lose sight of what’s happening (or what’s not) with the project. Be sure to follow the progress, participate in all status calls, and track the status of every component, keeping track of who’s in charge of key tasks and when they should be completed.

If you attempt a product launch without regard for project management principles, you’re setting yourself up for failure. But adhering to a strong project management strategy will minimize risks, reduce costs, and set you up for an effective launch.

Publication date: August 23, 2019

Explore More Resources:

What our customers say about us

Syberry has provided satisfactory services thus far, and they are very responsive to any issues that arise. The team also possesses strong communication skills. They delivered a functional piece of software at a reasonable price, and they've managed the project very well.

Richard Harkness

CEO, ADEPT Driver

Elk Grove, CA

How we help ADEPT Driver Company

We developed a web-based driving simulator for teens and another for adults. The products run on Chromebooks, and the team added features that enable them to measure a driver's ability to avoid a crash.

Technologies used

I don't think you could find a better company to manage and build your project. I get so many compliments on my application, and it has a lot of unique and complex development.

Todd Surber

CEO, PIXRIT

Charleston, South Carolina

How we help PIXRIT Company

A photographer approached us to build a web-based software platform that combines the fastest social media manager with state-of-the-art galleries and provides the ultimate tool for photographers to upload, store, back up, and share their photos and manage their SMM activities.

Technologies used

The user-friendly software hasn’t encountered any issues or bugs in more than three years. It’s high quality has helped grow the clientele. Straightforward and consistent in communication, Syberry met every deadline and ensured a hassle-free development process.

Vince Hughes

Owner, Steel Estimating Solutions

Knoxville, TN

How we help Steel Estimating Solutions Company

Our client was inspired to create a product that helps steel erection companies perform faster, more efficient estimations and bids. We developed original proprietary software from the initial concept.

Technologies used

The new platform received positive feedback and performs better than its predecessor. Syberry communicated the project’s progress to their partners well by breaking down their steps and utilizing a management system. Most importantly, they delivered world-class service for a cost-efficient price.

Bill Fahy

Owner, FDI Creative Services

Houston, TX

How we help FDI Creative Services Company

Following strict regulations and requirements, we used AWS to develop a custom e-commerce web app that includes shipping integration. Since the site’s launch, the team has continued to make updates.

Technologies used

The application was delivered on time and within budget. Syberry explained their process thoroughly and accommodated to scope changes effortlessly. Their stellar project management, highly responsive communication, and proactive attitude set them apart.

Ricardo Casas

CEO, Fahrenheit Marketing

Austin, TX

How we help Fahrenheit Marketing Company

We developed a large, complex .NET application with various third-party integrations. The team built the software from scratch based on existing wireframes.

Technologies used

The end solution exceeded the client’s expectations. Syberry delivered high-quality products on time and at outstanding value. They provided frequent updates and repeatedly sought feedback at each stage. Customers can expect a highly experienced team that easily translates concepts into solutions.

Rudy Milkovic

Executive Director, Velicom

Austin, TX

How we help Velicom Company

Our team built video streaming software as a web and desktop app for a third-party client. We completed end-to-end development—from scoping to feedback cycles to QA—using PHP and Wowza Streaming Engine.

Technologies used

Syberry has successfully improved the frontend performance of the platform and continues to make thoughtful suggestions for enhancements. They have proven to be communicative and reliable, mitigating the common concerns of outsourced teams. Syberry remains mindful of business goals and client needs.

Cory Kowal

VP of Products, THG Energy Solutions

Tulsa, OK

How we help THG Energy Solutions Company

Taking over for another vendor, we served as the ongoing software engineering partner for an energy company’s cloud-based platform. The company provided scoping, development, testing, and deployment services.

Technologies used

The added team members sufficiently fulfilled the needs of the project. The product was successfully launched and has received positive feedback. Syberry continues to be a supportive partner in development. They provide an impressive team and their expertise fosters a smooth collaboration.

Chris Cox

CTO, MyMelo

Louisville, Kentucky

How we help MyMelo Company

We provided staff augmentation resources for a development project. The team contributed engineers to follow an established roadmap to perform updates and add features.

Technologies used

Syberry delivered a solid website that has become a database of close to 40 organizations. The team worked quickly and efficiently to get the website up and running, and they continue to invest their time into the project. Additionally, they have been a communicative partner.

David Snyder

Product Director, Covid Resource Network

West Orange, New Jersey

How we help Covid Resource Network Company

The company developed a website that serves as a database where organizations can find and donate to other organizations. Currently, the team is working on enhancing the website and fixing bugs.

Technologies used

When the system is up and running, it will save time for the internal team. Syberry was a patient partner, and they performed well throughout the collaboration.

Joyce Cubio

VP of Operations, Ernie's Mobile Home Transport

Yuba, California

How we help Ernie's Mobile Home Transport Company

The team built an information hub for a mobile home transport and permit service. After discussing the existing system and processes, we delivered a new structure for forms and data.

Technologies used

All deliverables have exceeded expectations and function properly once launched. The Syberry team is skilled in juggling multiple projects, and provide strong expertise in software development. Their dedication to the project has fostered continual success in the engagement.

John Fox

Executive VP, Fox Business Automation Solutions

Lakeland, Florida

How we help Fox Business Automation Solutions Company

Brought on as a third party, we supplied ongoing development services. The team work on multiple projects and deliver according to predetermined design specifications.

Technologies used

Contact us to learn more about how Syberry can help your business achieve its every goal!

0 / 2500

Sign a mutual NDA before a conversation.

When to sign an NDA?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between parties, such as the software developer (or a software development firm) and yourself, outlining information to be shared and requiring that information be kept confidential.
Send
Submit loading...

Was this page helpful?