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Software Project Health Check:
Best Practices and Techniques
for Your Product
Prepared by Artemiy Firsov
 MANAGING EXPECTATIONS VS. REALITY
 DYNAMIC PRIORITIZATION OF FEATURES
 KNOW CLIENT’S PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY KNOW IT
 TECHNICAL MEASURES FOR A HEALTHY PRODUCT
 USE DATA FOR DECISION-MAKING
 TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
 INTEGRATION AND CUSTOMIZATION OPENNESS
 Q&A
Today’s Agenda
Managing
Expectations vs.
Reality
CLEAR USE CASES AND SOW
MILESTONES WITH ETAs
KNOW WHO WORKS FOR YOU 
Managing Expectations vs. Reality
1
2
3
BUDGET
4
 Define budget
 Define objectives
 Define acceptance testing cases
 Set ground truth for every stakeholder
 Do that for each initiative in your product
Managing Expectations vs. Reality
1. CLEAR USE CASES AND SOW
 In software development, usually hours = $
 Keep in mind deployment, acceptance
testing, contingency, documentation, auto-
testing, etc.
 Track your operating costs like subscriptions,
cloud hosting, provider fees, etc.
Managing Expectations vs. Reality
2. BUDGET
 Allow for planning a budget burn rate
 Set expectations for everybody, but more
importantly for the team
 Increase motivation
Managing Expectations vs. Reality
3. MILESTONES WITH ETAs
 WHO works on WHAT project for how much
FTU during what PERIOD
 Define teams
 Personal approach – aligning employee
expectations with the reality of the product
Managing Expectations vs. Reality
4. KNOW WHO WORKS FOR YOU 
 Great mockup and scoping tool
 Automation, formulas, timeline tracking,
more flexible than JIRA and requires less onboarding
 Issue tracking system for tasks and epics as well as
initiatives tracking with timelines
 Great tool for tracking data that does not fit anywhere
else, allows quick prototyping of metrics
 Allows granular tracking of different project variables
but requires deep knowledge of how to use it
Some Tools That Help With That
Dynamic
Prioritization of
Features
ONGOING MARKET REVIEW
 What is offered?
 How is it offer?
 How that corresponds with
global trends?
LISTEN TO EXISTING CLIENTS
 Offer feature requests along
with support
 Develop a protocol to prioritize
client requested features,
keeping them in the loop
 Offer paid customizations based
on urgency
EMBRACE THE TEAM
 Perform brainstorming session
 Allow every member of the
team to define the product
Dynamic Prioritization of Features
Spend some time for R in R&D to answer these questions – how new technologies can be used/enhanced in our product?
• Defines specific milestones
planned using available
resources, SoW, budget
• Can be planned by month /
quarter / year
• Allows aligning the team
on the upcoming plans and
ease the next initiative
scoping
• Prioritizing based on client
needs, product plans, and
criticality
• Defines strategic plans for
several years ahead
• Increases motivation and
shapes both backlog and
roadmap
ROADMAP PRIORITIZED BACKLOG VISION
Dynamic Prioritization of Features
 All of these tools are useful here, too
 Structured documentation
Some Tools That Help With That
Know Client’s
Problems Before
They Know It
LOG SYSTEM ARTIFACTS
 Backend logging
 Frontend logging
 Promote logging to the team
 Teach BAs and Support to read technical logs
Know Client’s Problems Before They Know It
 How your servers are doing
 How your software and tools are doing
 How your endpoints are doing
 How your clients are doing
MONITORING
 Ability to reproduce, record, and receive
technical data from user's browser
 Monitoring tools
Some Tools That Help With That
Technical Measures
for a Healthy Product
Technical Measures for a Healthy Product
 Use automated deployment
 Store your infrastructure as code
CI/CD
 Track the debt
 Use online code checkers to find issues early
 Plan for it on your roadmap
TECHNICAL DEBT
 Document and support your test cases
 Automate your test cases
 Build out testing protocols for different events
QUALITY ASSURANCE
 Automate tests
 Tests documentation and support
 Code repository and CI/CD
 Code checkers
Some Tools That Help With That
Use Data for
Decision-Making
Each project is unique. Yet, here are some examples
of how you can leverage data.
 Set actionable goals based on data:
• We need X users to cover Y costs
• The feature should be delivered by M to win
client N
• We need to add K FTUs to the team L from the
team O to deliver the project P by T
 Track task types to understand commodity tasks
SoW
 Build regular reports with work type / initiative
time spent breakdown to adjust the vector of
the workforce
 Build instruments for your employees to track
their time and effort
Use Data for Decision-Making
Use Data for Decision-Making
 Jira projects store product module related tasks
 Epics within projects – initiatives and features
 Components are used to group support and
operational tickets
 Such approach allows you to get the stats per
module per initiative weekly, track support
efforts, etc., and adjust accordingly depending
on the situation
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE
Training and
Development
 Encourage initiative and responsibility
 Allocate working hours for education, learning by
doing
 Make sure each member of the team knows
business and tech domain basics
 Encourage sharing and preserving knowledge
 Learn lessons based on the practice
 Elaborate on the protocols for engagement with
external teams
Training and Development
Training and Development
 Move DM communication to group chats, and
better to emails, and better to ticketing
platform, and better to the knowledge base
 Ask team to write detailed worklogs in KB if the
work is not reported anywhere else
 Allow developers to participate in business
analysis and prototyping
 Create onboarding materials and online guides
for both clients and team members
 Run retrospective meetings and demos
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES
Integration and
Customization
Openness
 Open APIs
• Allow others to build upon your
technology
 Offer paid customizations
• Allow receiving additional
investments as well as extend the
feature set of the product
 Adopt Low-Code
• Ease the customizations and
integrations by implementing low-code
capabilities
 Build up community, bring new ideas, and
invite customers
Integration and Customization Openness
Subscribe to Our Newsletter on LinkedIn
DON’T MISS THE
NEXT EDITION!
Thank You!
+1 (847) 559-0864
sales@velvetech.com
www.velvetech.com

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Software Project Health Check: Best Practices and Techniques for Your Product [Webinar]

  • 1. Software Project Health Check: Best Practices and Techniques for Your Product Prepared by Artemiy Firsov
  • 2.  MANAGING EXPECTATIONS VS. REALITY  DYNAMIC PRIORITIZATION OF FEATURES  KNOW CLIENT’S PROBLEMS BEFORE THEY KNOW IT  TECHNICAL MEASURES FOR A HEALTHY PRODUCT  USE DATA FOR DECISION-MAKING  TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT  INTEGRATION AND CUSTOMIZATION OPENNESS  Q&A Today’s Agenda
  • 4. CLEAR USE CASES AND SOW MILESTONES WITH ETAs KNOW WHO WORKS FOR YOU  Managing Expectations vs. Reality 1 2 3 BUDGET 4
  • 5.  Define budget  Define objectives  Define acceptance testing cases  Set ground truth for every stakeholder  Do that for each initiative in your product Managing Expectations vs. Reality 1. CLEAR USE CASES AND SOW
  • 6.  In software development, usually hours = $  Keep in mind deployment, acceptance testing, contingency, documentation, auto- testing, etc.  Track your operating costs like subscriptions, cloud hosting, provider fees, etc. Managing Expectations vs. Reality 2. BUDGET
  • 7.  Allow for planning a budget burn rate  Set expectations for everybody, but more importantly for the team  Increase motivation Managing Expectations vs. Reality 3. MILESTONES WITH ETAs
  • 8.  WHO works on WHAT project for how much FTU during what PERIOD  Define teams  Personal approach – aligning employee expectations with the reality of the product Managing Expectations vs. Reality 4. KNOW WHO WORKS FOR YOU 
  • 9.  Great mockup and scoping tool  Automation, formulas, timeline tracking, more flexible than JIRA and requires less onboarding  Issue tracking system for tasks and epics as well as initiatives tracking with timelines  Great tool for tracking data that does not fit anywhere else, allows quick prototyping of metrics  Allows granular tracking of different project variables but requires deep knowledge of how to use it Some Tools That Help With That
  • 11. ONGOING MARKET REVIEW  What is offered?  How is it offer?  How that corresponds with global trends? LISTEN TO EXISTING CLIENTS  Offer feature requests along with support  Develop a protocol to prioritize client requested features, keeping them in the loop  Offer paid customizations based on urgency EMBRACE THE TEAM  Perform brainstorming session  Allow every member of the team to define the product Dynamic Prioritization of Features Spend some time for R in R&D to answer these questions – how new technologies can be used/enhanced in our product?
  • 12. • Defines specific milestones planned using available resources, SoW, budget • Can be planned by month / quarter / year • Allows aligning the team on the upcoming plans and ease the next initiative scoping • Prioritizing based on client needs, product plans, and criticality • Defines strategic plans for several years ahead • Increases motivation and shapes both backlog and roadmap ROADMAP PRIORITIZED BACKLOG VISION Dynamic Prioritization of Features
  • 13.  All of these tools are useful here, too  Structured documentation Some Tools That Help With That
  • 15. LOG SYSTEM ARTIFACTS  Backend logging  Frontend logging  Promote logging to the team  Teach BAs and Support to read technical logs Know Client’s Problems Before They Know It  How your servers are doing  How your software and tools are doing  How your endpoints are doing  How your clients are doing MONITORING
  • 16.  Ability to reproduce, record, and receive technical data from user's browser  Monitoring tools Some Tools That Help With That
  • 17. Technical Measures for a Healthy Product
  • 18. Technical Measures for a Healthy Product  Use automated deployment  Store your infrastructure as code CI/CD  Track the debt  Use online code checkers to find issues early  Plan for it on your roadmap TECHNICAL DEBT  Document and support your test cases  Automate your test cases  Build out testing protocols for different events QUALITY ASSURANCE
  • 19.  Automate tests  Tests documentation and support  Code repository and CI/CD  Code checkers Some Tools That Help With That
  • 21. Each project is unique. Yet, here are some examples of how you can leverage data.  Set actionable goals based on data: • We need X users to cover Y costs • The feature should be delivered by M to win client N • We need to add K FTUs to the team L from the team O to deliver the project P by T  Track task types to understand commodity tasks SoW  Build regular reports with work type / initiative time spent breakdown to adjust the vector of the workforce  Build instruments for your employees to track their time and effort Use Data for Decision-Making
  • 22. Use Data for Decision-Making  Jira projects store product module related tasks  Epics within projects – initiatives and features  Components are used to group support and operational tickets  Such approach allows you to get the stats per module per initiative weekly, track support efforts, etc., and adjust accordingly depending on the situation REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE
  • 24.  Encourage initiative and responsibility  Allocate working hours for education, learning by doing  Make sure each member of the team knows business and tech domain basics  Encourage sharing and preserving knowledge  Learn lessons based on the practice  Elaborate on the protocols for engagement with external teams Training and Development
  • 25. Training and Development  Move DM communication to group chats, and better to emails, and better to ticketing platform, and better to the knowledge base  Ask team to write detailed worklogs in KB if the work is not reported anywhere else  Allow developers to participate in business analysis and prototyping  Create onboarding materials and online guides for both clients and team members  Run retrospective meetings and demos REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES
  • 27.  Open APIs • Allow others to build upon your technology  Offer paid customizations • Allow receiving additional investments as well as extend the feature set of the product  Adopt Low-Code • Ease the customizations and integrations by implementing low-code capabilities  Build up community, bring new ideas, and invite customers Integration and Customization Openness
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  • 29. Thank You! +1 (847) 559-0864 sales@velvetech.com www.velvetech.com