Saving It All with Proper Distributed Project Management

We, in Agiliway, never get tired of reminding how important project management is. In one of our recent articles, we have already explained what risks distributed teams pose to the project completion and shared our recipe to success in all projects involving offshore teams.   

It is great to observe that companies realize these risks and challenges and correct processes accordingly. For example, having realized the lack of experience in distributed project management, one of our clients chose a BOT cooperation model, which provided a wealth of advantages for the company.     

Unfortunately, not all entrepreneurs can spot arising obstacles to project completion stemming from poor management of distributed teams. This very situation made us take the lead in the management of the project where we were only a secondary provider.     

  

Distributed project management

Background  

A group of American experts with strong background in digital marketing established a start-up to work in the field of customer data analytics. The entrepreneurs had unique algorithms that would allow complementing the customer data of end-clients with the missing details. Thus, the solution that will use the algorithms will be able to produce reports on customer persona, audience’s demographics, geography and psychographics, and the availability of look-alike audiences in various regions of the country.  

Anyone working in e-commerce can easily recognize the great value of such reports, as they allow segmenting, targeting, and converting a target audience. The latter eventually defines the bottom line of any business.   

Gaining the support of investors, the start-up engaged several distributed teams to work on the project. Agiliway joined the project three months before the release date taking responsibility in the development of data visualization part of the customer data analytics solution.  

Challenges

Agiliway experts have strong experience in data analytics, so we quickly defined project tasks we had to accomplish and started working on them. Nevertheless, as we started looking into the platform logic that we had to implement, we realized these major issues existing on the project:   

  • many teams were not meeting the project schedules;   
  • distributed teams did not know about the progress of their counterparts and found out about the delays at the last moment;   
  • there was no dedicated project manager, who would monitor the performance of the distributed teams and set up new deadlines.      

At that moment, timely release of the solution was one true challenge we were facing. So, following one of our core values – Go the extra mile – we resolved to do everything to gain the best possible outcome for the whole project, not only our team.    

Provided Solution  

First, we analyzed strengths and weaknesses of each team involved in the project and the scope of work delegated to them. This allowed us to define main obstacles to tasks’ completion and find ways to prevent them.        

Our Project Manager with more than 10-year experience of managing distributed teams revised the project schedule and started monitoring the entire process of development engaging where necessary.   

In addition, we set up constant sharing of information and statuses between the teams using a proper communication model. As a result, all distributed groups of engineers became a part of the single unified team. Each of them had a clear vision of the project progress, plan, milestones, and dependencies. They became aware that any delays could impact their work or the work of another team and knew realistic due dates for the release of new features.   

Eventually, we managed to implement a structured process with timely completion of all tasks on the project in contrast to chaotic and unconsolidated development used to prevail.  

Summary  

Being a secondary provider, Agiliway tackled the true challenge of the project and provided the solution that exceeded by far the expectations of the client. Namely, we demonstrated superior project management skills and set up proper processes, which allowed to smoothly handle the project development process. Due to these efforts, the project was completed on time so that the start-up successfully entered the market with a high-quality and reliable product and gained trust among the investors. Recognizing and appreciating the value delivered, the startup chose Agiliway as a primary provider for the second iteration of the solution.         

This case makes us really be proud of ourselves, but there is also a good lesson to learn from it. First, never ever underestimate the relevance of project management. Second, appreciate that distributed teams require another type of management than in-house development teams. Last but not least, make smart choices about the providers you attract to your project, no matter whether they will be your primary or secondary outsourcing providers. Who knows, it might be that the later eventually save it all.