The RoleModel Way of Project Management

Each project team at RoleModel consists of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team with business understanding and strong software development skills. The RoleModel Way of Project Management facilitates our focus on Expertise Amplification with our customers. Ultimately, it’s impossible to know exactly how a custom software project will go, but by choosing a shared point on the horizon, a shared goal, we can navigate together with transparency and understanding of tradeoffs to deliver software that meets the business goals.  

Focused on Business Value

Focusing on business value means we want to understand our partner’s business and its value drivers. We look at process first and software second to optimize your business's processes. This will allow us to deliver a software solution that best fits their needs rather than fitting their business to the software. 

We use short feedback loops to get constant feedback from our partners to deliver the best product possible as quickly as possible. Nearly every software company will say that they are agile; our mindset around project management is that we want to be agile, in an agile way, adapting our approach as we need.

Every project has tradeoffs and decisions that need to be made, and there are limits of scope, budget, and time. Within any one of the features, we’ve got to pick which of those is most important. We are focused on the project's measurable business goals, ensuring each of those decisions delivers value to our partners. This allows us to brainstorm solutions and prioritize together to make those tradeoff decisions transparently. 

Start and Steer

The best way to finish a software development project is to get started. That doesn’t have to be scary. We are going to start and steer together in a completely transparent process where our partners know what we are doing and why we are doing it. We focus our process on getting working software into our partner's hands early and often through demos, iteration meetings, and daily standups. But when we start a project, we don’t start it; go away, and work behind the scenes. We partner with our customers; they are part of our team. We work together to make sure that we are steering the project in the right direction through the entire life of the project. And at the end of the day, we end up with a working system that meets your business needs and that we collaborated to create; we didn’t just make it up on our own.

Tight Feedback Loops

Tight feedback loops are foundational in how we manage projects at RoleModel. We’ve standardized our processes to ensure that we have the right meetings to get feedback from our partners and stay on course. These meetings are designed to get feedback quickly rather than waiting a long time to discover that we’ve been moving in the wrong direction. 

We leverage targeted planning cycles so that we are focused on what’s important now for the project and for serving the business. We step back with retrospectives that allow us to focus on what’s working well and what can be improved in our collaboration. The point of all of that is to make sure we are validating that we are creating the software our partners need at every step. So, we want your business needs for value to drive what that software is, and we don’t want to use our imagination to figure out stuff that we think might be right. We look at the working software we’ve developed together, knowing it’s right because we developed it together. 

This proven approach is important because it focuses on mitigating the risks involved in a custom software project, ensures that we have buy-in from our partners/users along the way, and ultimately ensures that the value we deliver is visible, given that software is often an invisible product. 

Proven Approach

RoleModel’s approach to project management is something we’ve honed over decades. The primary focus is driving toward a customer’s Minimum Viable Product (MVP). We break that down into achievable pieces that we manage with them, and even beyond the MVP, the roadmap we’ve created together casts vision beyond the initial release. But the point is, we are managing this together with the customer, collaboratively, to produce software that meets their business needs for value.  

Project management is mainly about building trust and mitigating risk. Our project management approach is designed with one thing in mind—delivering valuable software to the partner. Everything we do as part of that approach is designed to mitigate the risk that comes with custom software projects. By using the proper tools and standardized methods we can deliver excellent projects with consistency.

The RoleModel Way of Project Management is how we guide and direct the uncertainties of a custom software project to ensure consistent delivery. We do this by focusing on business value, starting and steering, and continually adapting through tight feedback loops.