Confessions of a Project Manager

June 2nd, 2021

Every Coretechs project is led by a Project Manager – they set milestones, keep the team on budget, and translate developer-speak when things get a little too technical. Today we’re giving them the megaphone and listening in as they share their most frustrating confessions.

We believe that you believe something is wrong — but we don’t believe it’s wrong until we see it

Part of our job as project managers is to understand the problems our clients have. Many times we’re given a problem and the description is “this randomly happens” or “it just does nothing.” Unfortunately, “random” is not applicable in development because nothing is random.

Add in the complicated game of telephone where your user discovers the problem and reports it to you, then you report it to me and I report it to the developer. By the time a developer digs into the issue, they may not be able to replicate it.

To help us debug a problem and set your mind at ease, we recommend reporting issues as clearly as possible. The most important details we need to know are:

  • The order of steps taken that caused the error
  • The device where the error occurred
  • The browser that was used

If we are able to recreate the error, we’re halfway to fixing the problem.

If everything is urgent, nothing is urgent

We know updates and new features mean more money for our clients. We understand your business may need to pivot and we’ll always do our best to accommodate your deadlines. Sometimes you’ll have lots of ideas or updates that need to be managed urgently, and we’re ready to help. But if you need all of them done at the same time, we’re all going to get overwhelmed and you’re going to get frustrated.

If you have multiple projects, we encourage you to set the level of importance for each one. Let us know which one is most urgent and which ones can wait. This process helps us to set expectations and create a timeline that works for your business.

Sometimes your priorities will change, and that’s ok. We can shift gears and focus on the most important task when you need us to – be open, honest, and clear with us and we’ll make sure your project is delivered on time.

We want you to care about your code, but we don’t want you to tell us about your code

I explain code to our clients like it’s a car.  Your car needs regular maintenance to run. If you don’t change the oil in your car, it will eventually stop running. The code for your app, website, and software is the same. As time goes by and technology progresses, neglected code becomes deprecated, easier to break, and more vulnerable to security attacks.

Your car and your code are both strong pieces of technology built by a knowledgeable team of experts, so you don’t need to worry over it all the time. We’re doing that for you.

We provide daily monitoring and weekly evaluations for your apps, websites, and software, so we’re notified about any code-related issues. We strongly recommend that you take advantage of automated care if you are not able to manage it yourself.

Existing features will break with unrelated updates

Part of our process when managing your project is testing. We always include project testing in our proposals because nine times out of ten, something breaks. Most of the time, unrelated code breaks happen when we’re performing version updates for the code that powers your software, app, or website.

Sometimes our clients think they can save money by avoiding testing. The main takeaway here is – testing is worth the money

Your emergency is our top priority but we can’t hold your hand while we work on it

In our line of work, we inevitably get the Panic Call from a concerned client. When you call us panicked, we’re ready to jump into action and get it fixed.

We hope that you never have reason to panic, but when you do call with an emergency, we stop what we’re doing to take care of it. Once I understand the problem, I’m going to call the developer and we’re going to work on it until it’s resolved. When it’s done we will let you know, but until then we need you to trust that we’re taking care of it as quickly as we can.