Cracking System Design — Top 5 TODOs

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You are the department manager for a large company in charge of the software portfolio, and you have been tasked with creating a system to manage your team’s progress on the current version of their project.

Managing the flow of tasks for your team is very important without doing it well, all that hard work might go to waste. 

System design can vary based on your own preferences and goals, but there are certain things you need to do before proceeding: ask stakeholders which tasks they want you to prioritize, break these tasks down into smaller sub-tasks or sub-projects, develop an action plan, and create milestones that will help keep everyone involved at least moderately informed.

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You work in a large organization with a formal system for gathering requirements. Your company’s executives have told you that the system is a new initiative and that your task is to gather more information about what it should entail.

Some members of your development team want to help develop the new system. However, you are not sure how much involvement they should have until after you gather more information from the stakeholders. You would like to include them, but some internal politics might get in the way of that goal. 

Here are some points discussed-

1. How can you check the final goal and plan?

The final goal is to develop an ideal system and the plan to achieve it. The goal is not restricted only to software development but also the needs of the business. 

We need to help staff before getting into the planning process. The overall goal of task management is simply the delivery of final product to your customers or clients.

In order to overcome these obstacles, we must first create a detailed list of tasks and goals for your development team, including all aspects of this new system that will affect their daily operations: technical and operational concerns, achievement criteria, timeliness issues, schedule, budget, etc. Then you can ask your team to prioritize each task according to their own set of criteria and goals.

2. How to develop a new system?

Management is the system. If you do not have an organized, structured process in place to control your work, you are doomed from the start. 

The same applies to your business systems. A good business management system must exist before you begin creating a new one otherwise it can easily become a quagmire of conflicting goals and objectives, leaving you no clear direction for developing your project plan.

3. How to handle politics and team members?

The task of delegating is done by the manager. Delegation is the process of assigning work to team members or other departments so they can accomplish tasks beyond what you are capable of doing yourself. 

But there are many questions: who should be delegated to? What should be delegated? How much work? What can a manager expect from his team members?

Team Members: If you have several developers, breaking your larger tasks down into smaller subtasks makes sense. However, if you have one developer working on your project, you might want to assign certain sub-tasks to him ahead of time in order to keep him on schedule. Certain sub-tasks might not be useful to other developers, who have their own goals and objectives.

Although the relationship between a manager and his team members is quite complex in practice, there are also some basic guidelines you can follow to make it easier. 

First of all, remember that your purpose as a manager is to facilitate the process instead of hinder it. 

Even if your team members want to go off on their own or circumvent your decision, you must trust them and encourage them to do so when appropriate. A robust communication system can help mitigate potential conflicts.

4. How to make your management methods clear?

It is important that your staff knows exactly what is expected of them and how their actions will affect the project. They should be able to identify the impact of their work and recognize what tasks are more important than others. If a project manager is not careful about delegating work to his team members, it can result in low morale, poor performance, and a loss in productivity.

5. How to ensure all problems are dealt with?

In order to create a good management system, you first need a problem! Problem solving consists of identifying, analyzing and removing the cause of an undesirable situation or occurrence in software or hardware. 

A good problem-solving system allows you to spot problems before they become serious, and therefore helps prevent them from happening in the first place.

In order to make your system better, come up with a list of things that need improvement, any improvements you have made so far, and new improvements. Doing this will help you see how far you have come and how far you still need to go.

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