6 Project Management Mistakes We Made (Founder Institute, Hong Kong chapter)
Founder Institute: Hong Kong
Product Management Class
August 4, 2014
Founder & Former CEO/MD Phonejoy
firstname.lastname@example.org | @kesslerhk
Six Development Mistakes We Made
1. Did not understand the true cost of manufacturing
2. Didn’t completely lay out the entire hardware
development process from concept to product.
3. Didn’t use a good planning & project tracking tools.
4. We didn’t factor in complexity cost.
5. Failure to budget for potential delays.
6. Didn’t manage outsourcing well.
Do Your Homework First
Test your basic hypothesis about your business
model (customers, channel, pricing, etc.)
Use Kanban Boards
/ Scrum to track progress.
Beware of Complexity Cost
1. Every piece you add to your product adds complexity
2. Increases development time and risk for delays
3. Often ends up slowing down your product’s performance
or in our particular case the manufacturing speed
4. Increases QA time and customer support
5. Makes your product harder to use
1. Unrealistic schedule
2. Unpredictability of tasks
3. Bad time/project management
(no hard deadlines or penalties)
4. Changes to Scope of Work
Outsourcing Done Right
• Don’t outsource key tasks
• Start with small projects
• Clear description of scope of work (milestones, deadlines,
• Don’t go for the lowest bid
• Evaluate bid (ratings/reviews/portfolio/github)
• Have a technical interview & make sure you or someone in
your team can relay technical requirements and judge code/
• Time zone difference can lead to difﬁculties.
• Use a good project management and communication tool.
For larger projects use scrum. (ex. Trello, Wrike, Basecamp,
• Schedule at least weekly talks (depends on project size)
7 Key Takeaways
1. Do your homework ﬁrst. Before you even start with your project. Make a plan,
create a Business Model Canvas, talk to customers, etc.
2. Gantt charts allow you to map out your project and identify dependencies. They
rarely allow you to be ﬂexible to change and new features however.
3. Split up tasks into subtasks that can be handled by 1 person in less than a day.
Hold daily standup meetings to discuss progress and impediments. Allows for
more agile project management that can be measured more easily.
4. Use the right tools to track progress (ex. Asana, Trello, Wrike, physical Kanban
boards are all great).
5. Beware of adding too many features at once. Create ﬁrst an MVP, and later run
sprints that allow you to build-measure-learn.
6. Especially in hardware development factor in delays in your budget.
7. Outsource wisely (no core tasks, review contractors carefully, be concise in your
scope of work, discuss & setup project management process before you start)