Project Planning Guide For Startups


Dev Cham

August 9, 2019

Development Startup

I am going to be very real here, and there are things that you may not like and here it goes. I have never seen a single project complete on time when I have worked for small to big corporates, with vendors and agencies and even here at Smartly Built. And, I have spoken to 100’s of Founders and Startups – and the story remains the same.

Good development is hard and takes time

Every good developer can really think and code logic for about 4-5 hours a day of stuff they have never worked on before. Anyone else telling you that they will code for 8-10 hours a day straight is just full of shit. So, think how you are budgeting time.

Developers playing multiple roles

Most developers are playing multiple roles of designer, architect, coders, tester and even business analysts. If you are questioning your developers – “Does this make business sense?” you are de-focusing your developer out of context.

Re-work is a pain in the ass

Yes, I can’t tell you the number of times a code or function has to be re-looked at due to compliance irregularities, missing requirements, not matching the experience, unoptimized algorithms, or just not looking through entirely for all dependencies and functionalities from day 1.

Everybody can plan and execute

this is not the problem. But, the reality is maybe not looked across so transparently as it should be.

Align values within your ecosystem

Here are some terms of your values we expect from ourselves and our partners.

It’s about the structure of the team. Here is what I would implement for a project like Jacktrade

1. Systems engineering – for API and data structure engineering / FE engineering
2. Lead architect – focused on R&D, open source evaluation, pr review, code quality and optimization focus.
3. Lead developer – to lead the project and doing at hand code
4. Software developers – no one less than 2 years of experience, or exceptional candidates if before 2 years.

I would accompany this team with
– 1 QA manager
– 1 QA for each 3 developers (1FE , 2 BE)
– 1 Business analyst
– 1 Product analyst
– 1 Ux designer

There are 4 solutions to every problem:

1. Accept it
2. Change it
3. Leave it
4. Reject it

Let me offer 3 suggestions for you to manage your day today:

  1. The most productive people I know spend more time thinking about WHAT to work on… than HOW to be efficient
  2. Low-productivity people do exactly the opposite, obsessing about tactics and to-do lists instead of systematically deciding WHAT is worth their time
  3. In other words, you can be highly EFFICIENT, but if you’re working on the wrong things, it doesn’t matter. Think about that carefully — which one are you?

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