When you’re building your business, you want to make sure everyone is on the same page. But that can be most difficult when large-scale, complex technical projects with multiple teams or stakeholders involved are underway. That’s why I asked nine members from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
What is one valuable way you break down a complex technical project using PM software that has benefited your team?
Their favorite processes and tools are below.
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1. Separate Requirements From Implementation
Decomposing projects is about separating things into logical components. I begin with a requirements gathering phase, speaking to all relevant stakeholders to find out WHAT abilities the system/feature will need. Next, I put together a Functional and Architecture spec to see what logical components will need to be created or modified as well as HOW we plan to build the system/feature. – Arian Radmand, CoachUp
2. We Use Mingle
We mirror the product delivery process in Mingle, starting with objectives (what the business wants to accomplish), through requirements harvesting to UX to build to acceptance. These are all tracked on boards in Mingle with the appropriate metadata. Not only does it help with understanding status, but it also provides great traceability of a feature from conception to completion. – Inderpal Singh, Northshore Partners
3. Create User Stories and Plan Agile Sprints
We start building software by making user stories, an important exercise to do early on. User stories then get prioritized based on importance to the overall project and dependencies. From here we make a build plan of 2-3 week sprints, including polish sprints along the way. Design and dev collaborate during the sprints to hit goals based on user stories. We manage all of this in Pivotal Tracker. – Anthony Scherba, Yeti
4. Break Down Tasks in Asana
My company uses Asana. Basically, whenever I discover a problem in a project, I will assign it on Asana to the leader of whichever task group it falls under. I then let them further divide tasks and assign them to other people. Since I can view when tasks are completed, I’m able to manage what’s going on from a distance. – Kumar Arora, Aroridex, Ltd.
5. Prioritize Features Using JIRA
After breaking down the project into its main components, the next step is to list all the features in order of importance. If there are features that are unimportant and time consuming, then remove them. After that, breakdown the features into well-defined sub-features or user stories to complete in two week sprints on JIRA. This process is useful as it simplifies a complex project. – Randy Rayess, VenturePact
6. Create Project Templates With Todoist
Templating is one of the biggest time savors with project management. If you have a common set of tasks (i.e., build a new website or promote content), you should lay out the template of every task within this project type. With Todoist you can assign each task, set deadlines, and ensure consistent execution by updating a template and rolling it out each time you need to. – Anthony Johnson, American Injury Attorney Group
7. Group Organization by Task
First, our project managers break down large projects into a detailed work structure in a Google spreadsheet. They organize task groups by specialty and assign tasks after using Harvest Forecast to determine available resources. Next, we use Teamwork.com to establish project milestones and tasks with duration estimates. The benefit of Teamwork is that we can provide clients access to tasks. – Jyot Singh, RTS Labs
8. Delegate Tasks With Wrike
When working on a complex technical project that involves multiple team members and departments, it is beneficial and easy to use Wrike project management software when trying to breakdown and organize. Wrike allows us to “tag” team members and send alerts to their emails so every individual is on top of their work, which makes delegating responsibilities much more clear, concise and quick! – Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
9. Develop a Central Wiki
Our team is spread across three continents in five time zones. To keep everyone on the same page, we use a Confluence Wiki. It’s like Wikipedia for our company. Meeting notes, project specs, brainstorming sessions and ongoing processes are all held here in different, inter-linking areas. Maintaining one wiki also allows to bring on new talent faster (and it reduces email). – Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
Image credit: Shutterstock
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.