4 Tips and Tricks for Backend Project Management

Most of your projects will include the backend part if you work as a PM in the IT sector. Moreover, some of them may be purely backend-related. They require a lot more technical knowledge of software architecture and its peculiarities than frontend-focused projects. It’s natural, as you will focus on building business logic that hugely impacts the final result. 

The first reason is that the backend serves as the backbone of any software, be it an application or a website. The second one is complexity-related: if something is wrong with the frontend, critical bugs may postpone the release for several sprints, and non-critical ones can be fixed on production afterward. If there are issues with the backend, they may require a complete do-over.

Adhering to the software development cycle and its key stages such as planning, testing, design, and maintenance is necessary. But some less apparent tips may be helpful when managing the backend projects: 

Automate

The sooner you think about automation, the better. It will help you to save time for discovering and fixing issues. Another positive effect is minimizing human effort, so your team can focus on more critical tasks. Things that require automation:

  • Log management. It can be achieved by adopting a tool to keep track of your log monitoring and alert you if a system doesn’t work as expected.
  • QA testing. Auxiliary tools and pre-written scripts to check the code for issues will come in handy during regression or load testing. 
  • Project management. Keeping templates for creating tasks and reporting, task cloning, and automatic dependencies highlights will make your life easier. There will be no need to input repetitive information manually, and at the same, you will not miss anything. Thus, you will not forget to include artifacts like docs or backgrounds for the tasks. 

Keep documentation

Keeping concise technical documentation is the key to integrating new tools into the existing environment, team changes, or troubleshooting. Pay special attention to API documentation, as it’s the core of any backend. System Requirement Specification is also important to check if the functionality under development matches the business requirements. And for sure, a changelog. It will enable all the stakeholders to track bug fixes, releases,  or any other change to the code base. 

Communicate with stakeholders

Provide your stakeholders with timely updates such as release notes, summaries of the work done, presentations, etc. Regular demo calls to show the implemented functionality and quick catchup meetings are also of great help. This approach will help you better to understand the needs of your customer and their objectives. As a result, you will be able to come up with the best possible solution. Also, it’s a great chance to spot that you are moving in the wrong direction before it gets critical and adjust the plans according to stakeholders’ expectations.

Develop with CI/CD in mind

Keeping a copy of your back-end assets is critical for the CI/CD environment to make the releases faster and smoother. This approach will help your team quickly spot the failed build, arrange a quick roll-back, and focus on fixing before integrating other changes on production.

Back-end-oriented project management may be challenging at times; however, you can rest assured that nothing is missed with the tips above. Your team has all the assets to accomplish their part and prepare everything for the end-user’s front-end enhancements and software delivery.

4 Tips and Tricks for Backend Project Management was last updated August 30th, 2021 by Claire Ward