A Letter From A Project Manager To His Team
Being a developer is never an easy job. At one side you have the Project Manager who wants you to complete the tasks on time and at the other end is the QA team who is ready to blame you for the poor quality of product. And building a wonderful product by maintaining this balance is a herculean task. Below are few things which will help you build that ‘wonderful’ product.
“Stop Working On Projects, Start Building Products” – Vishvajit
Lets first go by the so-called Google definitions of project and product. Project is “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim” and Product is “a thing or person that is the result of an action or process”. If you deeply understand the meaning behind both the words, Project is like ‘helping’ someone achieve his dream and Product is like ‘living’ his dream. Helping means you are a ‘part’ of it and living means you are actually ‘in’ it. So now it’s up to you to decide if you just want to be a small part or the entire thing itself.
Here onwards, I will stop using the term ‘project’ and instead use the term ‘product’ throughout this article.
Whenever you are working on any of the products to be built for the clients, try and understand the vision behind it. Start with W –
Answers to the above three questions will help you understand – the vision behind the product and what difference you are going to make to the ecosystem when you successfully build this product.
Before rushing into development, research about the product you are trying to build. See if someone else has already built a successful similar solution. If yes, try and play around with that product. Observe the UI, animations, screen transitions, alert messages, simplicity and overall user experience. See what they have done and think about what different things you want to do in your product. Even look for similar products which have failed. Compare your product details with the failed products and see if you are repeating the same mistakes again.
Remember- compare to excel not to replicate.
Be responsible for the work allocated to you. At every point throughout development cycle, consider yourself as the owner of the product. At the end of day, look back and see as a owner, you would be happy with the work done today. If the answer is Yes, you are on the right track. If its No, you need to improve.
Remember – products shape up beautiful when everyone takes collective ownership.
If you do not love the product you are building, something’s wrong. Either in the product or your approach towards it. Try to find out what is stopping you from loving it – your inability to perform, high expectations from subordinates or the product idea itself. Find the root cause and overcome it.
Remember – don’t just drag yourself for the sake of it.
Few developers find it exciting to read the complex code they have written. But remember that the more complex code you write, you are weaving a more complex web for yourself to get trapped into later in time. Try to keep things as simple as possible.
Remember – writing complex code is not an art but simplifying it, certainly is!
Try to understand the difference between two. Dedication means being committed to the task and devotion means love, loyalty and enthusiasm for the activity. Being devoted for the task makes you fall in love with the product, be loyal towards it by giving your uninterrupted time and efforts and you eventually work on it with all your passion and enthusiasm.
Your connection with the product is nothing less than a love relationship. Just like you need to be honest in your love-relationship, you need to be honest here as well. Be honest with the efforts you are putting in to write every line of code. Be honest to not to hide/leave the bugs in the code which you write, because – leaving behind known issues in the code is like having unprotected sex. You may get away with it for temporary pleasure but might end up in serious circumstances later in the time.
Remember- karma is a bitch! What goes around, comes around.