Mobile enterprise applications from a project manager’s perspective
Great! You have a fantastic mobile enterprise applications idea that’ll be worth a million dollars, and all you need to do is get started. But, as this is a very big project, you want to handle it in the best possible way. You have to take the time to define what project management methodology you will use. And there’s no shortage of choice.
The most common “waterfall method” is the PMBOK Guide by Project Management Institute (PMI). This standard provides a structured way to manage projects and requires a very detailed project management plan from the beginning. The plan should include the three key baselines: scope, schedule and cost. An exhaustive focus on identifying the risks during this planning phase is vital for the project success. Basically, “plan the work and work the plan.”
The agile methodologies such as the PMI Agile Community of Practice, Scrum, Prince2 and so forth, offer a different approach. These standards are a way to manage projects based on adaptability throughout the duration of the project. Constant communication between the teams and stakeholders allows them to handle project changes, risks and issues “on the fly” based on team decisions. It basically allows the team a great deal of freedom and flexibility for how to deal with the individual projects they are working on.
The PMBOK Guide contains the basic guidelines for the project management profession and project management processes. It describes what should be done during the project and what the deliverables will be at the end of the project. Agile methodologies are different in that they describe how to do the things that should be done. In short, waterfall methods in comparison to agile methods could be viewed as what versus how.
When developing mobile enterprise applications, you have to keep in mind several key factors:
- The shorter lifecycle of a mobile application (in comparison to desktop applications)
- The fast evolution of mobile devices
- The diversity and evolution of mobile operating systems
- The need to access data wherever and whenever
And don’t forget one of the principal challenges of mobile data: the security. Project managers must consider all of this without sacrificing the user experience.
Well then, what is the best project management methodology for handling a mobile enterprise project?
A lot of project managers around the world say that an agile methodology is the best way to control mobile enterprise applications projects. In my own experience, it works well due to the dynamic nature of mobile applications. But, as a project manager, I always spend my time figuring out the best plan, visualizing the risks and defining the milestones for each specific project.
What project management methodology works for you on mobile enterprise projects? Leave a comment or continue the conversation with me on Twitter @crubio01.