Project Management and Quality Assurance: Personal Experience

DBR provides me with an opportunity to work on and improve my PMP and PMI projects. These two types of tasks require certain skills and background knowledge to complete all the necessary assignments on a proper level.

To be more exact, the essence of PMP and PMI projects is closely connected with one of the possible ways to develop, improve, and introduce skills and activities, which aim at presenting high-quality projects. With DBR, I had a chance to manage two projects and perform the role of a team leader. One of the projects was the development of USP, the website for a University, and the creation of a Fitness Club website with the possibility of E-commerce.

My practice at DBR as a Senior Developer plays a very important in my personal and professional life. Even though my major duties are all about the development of the programs in NET/SQL, C#, and PHP/MySQL, the rest of my work helps me to achieve success, deepen my understanding of the profession, and improve my competence. To perform the necessary work on a high level, it is important to comprehend the essence of a life cycle that starts from the analysis and finishes at the implementation.

DBR helps each member to demonstrate how creative and influential workers’ thinking maybe for the organization. My project management skills, which are required for these two projects, improve considerably. I got access to many project processes as a team leader to be able to analyze projects’ defects, positive sides, and possible impact on the work of other projects, to write reports to notice the changes with codes and production data that were created by means of SQL.

The projects under consideration had several stages to complete, and my duty was to take care of the implementation of each of the above-mentioned stages. My responsibility was to mentor juniors and explain to them how and why the concrete step had to be taken. This mentoring could happen in different forms, and I decided to follow one of the most effective and simple plan: to give all the necessary instructions, to weigh their abilities in order to present assignments and to review what my juniors created to evaluate their mistakes, appreciate their attempts, and admit those works were the most interesting and appropriate. I realized that meetings could not follow one and the same way; this is why it was vital to think about the possible improvements and involvement of workers. Each meeting had to be reported and evaluated by each junior. The ways of how the project was analyzed, designed, produced, and optimized had to be mentioned and taken into account to have some kind of plan for further achievements.

As far as my PM techniques are concerned, I may say that I always have to combine various tools during each stage of the probes. For example, while developing website for the company I needed to create a WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) of the whole process. This enabled me to identify major activities and task to be performed. Afterward, I needed to concentrate on scheduling. For this purpose, I used such tools as Gantt and PERT chart the enable us to see the relations among various tasks and timing. I may also say that one of the most critical elements of project management is the allocation of duties to each team member. In the beginning, I encountered several problems in connection with this issue as I did not know my colleagues very well. However, as time passing I became better acquainted with them and now I am better aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Before the initiation of the project, I usually conduct feasibility review. It is normally done by my partners. This approach helps to point out possible those factors that can prevent us from completing the project. Apart from that, our team always makes monthly assessments of our successes as well as failures. This helps us to be more critical of ourselves. At this point, I can argue that there are several keys to increased performance: coordination, information sharing, and most importantly attentiveness to the opinion of each member of the team.

Furthermore, I would like to say that quality management occupies a leading position on my priority list. From my standpoint, quality cannot be measured by numerical methods; it cannot be presented by statistical techniques. This notion is subjective it its core. This is why our team employs various strategies for the assessment of our products: they include customer surveys, peer reviews, testing etc. In this way, we are able to evaluate our projects more objectively. Such sphere as software development has its peculiarities: at first, it is necessary to establish the standards which should be met. For instance, our solutions have to correspond to such criteria as 1) increased performance and functionality; 2) user-friendliness; 3) design and so forth. So, these criteria act as a guideline for us. On the whole, our products are customer-driven; therefore, the opinion of out clients plays a crucial role during the assessment of the projects.

As a senior manager, I need to conduct regular audits in order to ensure that each of the employees understands and complies with quality requirements. One of the most important tasks for me is to explain these norms to each team member. Furthermore, my duties include the development of a quality manual, which enumerates the objectives of the project and describes the properties of the final product. This tool can be of great assistance to the managers and employees. At this point, I can say that the costs of quality assurance are definitely justified by its benefits.

From my standpoint, testing is one of the most important elements of quality assurance. This process consists of several phases: 1) unit testing, which evaluates only separate parts of the source code; at this stage it is necessary to determine whether smallest parts of the application are reliable; 2) stress testing that aims to assess the functioning of the program under pressure, for instance, when there is little disk space left or RAM is overloaded. On the whole, stress testing gives us an opportunity to adapt our solutions to PCs with various capacities. 3) Another vital component of quality assurance is integration testing. At this point different parts of the application are compiled into a single entity and testers need to describe their interactions with each other. As a rule we adopt Bottom-up integration testing. This means that at the beginning we evaluate the functioning of components belonging to the lowest level, and only then we proceed to the elements of the higher level. In turn, regression testing is necessary to check those parts of the program code, which have already been examined. Still, the most important stage is UAT (User Acceptance Testing). It is crucial that the software product complies with the initial requirements of the clients. This is the final phase of the entire process.

A significant part of my workplace activities is to coordinate the testing team with the team of developers. Normally, they work separately, because the key task of tasters is to take an unbiased view on the quality of the product. My duty is to establish a flow of information between these groups. On the whole, this strategy guarantees that each error is eliminated in time.

My practice as a senior developer requires considerable understanding of life cycle that is so important for the organizational activities and improvements. The idea to find out, analyze, and evaluate the defects of production helps to solve the problems, which happen on the higher levels, and to deal with more complex issues, which have to be considered to develop organization’s positions. To succeed with the chosen sphere of business, numerous project management techniques have to be used. For example, the usage of the project tools like MS Project 2000/2002/2007 and CRM become helpful for such activities like planning and reporting, developing of risk management ideas and the solutions.

To offer proper risk management, it is necessary to evaluate the current situation and to comprehend what may frustrate professional goals, worsen the work, and influence workers’ attitude to their duties. The development of the websites in order to improve communications of workers, possible investors, and customers, the analysis of the activities, which aim at promoting fast spreading of information, and the evaluation of risks and their overcoming – all this is a part of my duties as a Senior Developer. The quality of products under consideration considerably depends on such issues like comprehension of software standards and the intentions on how to improve the required quality and how to pass the process of re-engineering of Software.

In general, my practice and the duties of the Senior Developer become very beneficial for my professional development and personally for me. The understanding of the main points is crucial for project management and quality assurance. This is why the ability to learn fast and comprehend information turns out to be very helpful for me. I enlarge the scope of my knowledge, practice how to develop website in different languages and how to use the powerful means to make my work more attractive for different people, improve my communication and project management skills due to the constant practice with the juniors. To be a good example for those, who deal with project management, I try to pay attention to each detail: respect for each member of my team, appreciation of the work, made by different people, and thinking about those, to whom the services of our team are directed.

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