Saturday 5 February 2022

Project management can't be played - it's really not a remote pot

The project management itself is a very demanding job, not to mention that everyone is still working remotely, and remote project management is even more difficult. today, let's talk about how we can do remote project management during this special period.

Once project development process

In the absence of an outbreak, that is, without the need for remoteness, ONES borrowed heavily from Scrum's practices.

In normal times, our entire organizational structure is divided into a Scrum Team, and the PO in the team determines what the highest value of the team's output is. At the same time, the PO maintains the Backlog with the Product Manager.

1. before iteration

Before the iteration, we will have an iteration plan meeting through which we will discuss what we should do next and what we want to do. Ultimately, the PO prioritizes backlogs based on current business value, as well as implementation costs.

When the priority is determined, the R&D team will select on the backlog, generally selecting the functions that can be completed within two weeks (usually two weeks as a cycle) to make a new iteration version.

basically, all of our engineers, pos, and product managers are involved in the discussion. each session is limited to 2-3 hours; if it is more than 3 hours, then we will record the problem and then have another meeting to discuss the problem.

2. iteration in progress

  • the above is what we do before the iteration, and during development, we will do two things:
  • daily station meeting: convenient and timely communication of iteration progress and emerging problems;
  • Continuous integration and continuous deployment environments: Review available features on a daily or anytime basis.

3. end of iteration

  • near the end of an iteration, or just after the end, we organize an iteration demo.
  • the main purpose of the iterative presentation is to invite business parties to learn about the new and available features and get feedback. through customer feedback, let us know if this version should go live, or if this version meets the criteria for going live.
  • In the iterative demo, there may be a lot of new ideas, so we will summarize it into the Backlog just mentioned.
  • immediately after the iteration demo, we organize an iteration retrospective.
  • the iteration review does not require the participation of the business side, only the participating r&d team. its main purpose is to summarize the good and bad things that everyone did in the process of project iteration, and to discuss the places that were not done well and how to correct them.
  • it doesn't mean that our current iteration cycle is over until the iteration review is over.

4. tools related to product development

  • next, i'll share some of our ideas for choosing a tool chain:
  • on the premise of meeting business needs;
  • try to choose existing enterprise service tools;
  • all work, as far as possible through software tools digital, structured, because remote work without digital related tools to help is very difficult to achieve information synchronization;
  • as automated as possible, more in the continuous integration of ci/cd part, because the robot is more efficient, it can handle a lot of things at the same time, and the cost performance is also very high;

try to deploy on the public network instead of the intranet, many times we put the service on the intranet mainly for security reasons, but the intranet will let us ignore the security of the intranet deployment service. at the same time, relying on the intranet is easy for us to access some related content because of network problems, so as far as possible, it does not belong to the public network.

The implementation of once remote project management practices

Leverage tools to digitize workflows;
Pay attention to project schedule management and project resource management;

Set up a team virtual office

1. take advantage of tools to digitize your workflow

first, we need to make the most of tools to digitize our workflows, because digitalization allows us to share information over the internet.

By looking at ones's overall toolchain and workflow, it can be seen that ones already has the conditions to work remotely before it plans to work remotely.

2. pay attention to project schedule management and project resource management

in terms of project schedule, we actually have different levels of management methods.
Team-level project schedule management - iterative Kanban, the Kanban function is relatively easy to use, because it allows us to see the progress of each project very intuitively.

R&d process management

  • THE ONES Project Agile Kanban board provides an intuitive view of the progress of each project
  • Team-level project schedule management - burndown chart, in fact, the performance of the burndown chart is with certain risks. Because in actual work, we usually deviate from the original dotted line and show a fluctuating curve. In most cases, teams can make their own efforts, such as adjusting priorities, or make a short sprint by working overtime to eventually coincide with the baseline and the actual number of tasks. As a result, burndown charts can help us very quickly understand whether the current iteration rate is behind our planned schedule.
  • project management visualization
  • burndown charts understand the current iteration rate

business-level project schedule management - gantt chart. at ones, we have 5-7 people per team, and then multiple teams form a line of business, and if we do project management at the business level, we will focus more on projects with 3 months, 6 months, or even longer cycles. we usually use gantt charts to plan longer projects, because gantt charts can be directly linked to iterations in the project.

Gantt chart plans projects and breaks down work

business-level project schedule management – team resources. at the same time, business-level project progress management, we will also pay special attention to the resources of the team. we don't want all of our colleagues to be too busy, because if they are too busy, they will affect everyone's output efficiency; and we shouldn't be too busy, because being too busy is actually wasting the time of the team and employees. therefore, we observe team resources through specialized views.

Resource management, view work saturation

  • Project Progress Management - Reporting. In terms of project schedule management, whether it is at the team level, or the Team level, or the business level, or even at the level of several lines of business, we will rely on reports for tracking. Use reports to see task completion, code quality, and see if bug density is rising.
  • Project reports to view task completion, code quality, and more

Team virtual office

Finally, i would like to share another important point of remote collaboration - the team virtual office. this is something that we must prepare right away when we decide to start collaborating remotely.
The goal of the Team Virtual Office is to simulate a face-to-face work environment for teams. We'll work as a Team, and after the morning meeting, we'll still be online, and everyone will have to turn on the camera and mute.

Why do we do that?

first, we hope to create a face-to-face work environment to the greatest extent possible; second, we can feel that the friends i work with are also a working state, and at the same time, we can let others see my work status. muting is more about not having a lot of uncontrollable sounds in the home affect your co-workers.
With the above 2-point simulation, it is easier to have the feeling that I am sitting at a workstation and looking up to see that my team members are also working. Next, we will naturally do the next action - when we can't solve the problem with simple communication with IM, we can immediately turn on the microphone to discuss. In fact, when working in a centralized manner, people may get up from their workstations and walk up to a colleague to discuss with him. After the discussion, we will have the next step - record the content into the ONES Project, and other unstructured information will be recorded in the ONES Wiki. In this way, we can basically return to a state of centralized office that we are talking about.


Finally, i would like to summarize some of the most critical points in remote office project management:
first, telecommuting essentially reduces our communication efficiency, so we need to be particularly about the synchronization of project information and project progress.

Second, because the reduced efficiency of communication may directly affect the work focus of team members, we need to simulate a face-to-face work environment to alleviate the problem of reduced communication efficiency.

Third, because we will rely more on the entire project when efficiency declines, we need to digitize the whole process of the project, facilitate the synchronous sharing of information, and help teams and decision makers quickly adjust business plans.
fourth, when we can achieve the above 3 points, we can feel that the remote work efficiency has not dropped too much, and the entire iteration and version release are basically in a relatively satisfactory state.

As a result, when remote productivity is guaranteed, team members can more confidently choose a more robust centralized office hour.

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