Software development is a non-physical new stream in business management and most of the products are customized as per client’s requirements. In today’s ever-changing, rapidly evolving Information technology market the prime importance is given to management skills of the Software manager as the techniques and development experience of one product can be absolutely opposite or irrelevant to one another.
In other words, we can say the findings of one product may not be useful to others at all and to survive the cut-throat competition in this ever-evolving software scenario, constant upgradations of skill-set, updating to the latest technology, modules are the only way out. It creates a constrained business environment for software developers and managers as the risk factor is higher in software development and they need to be very efficient, innovative and risk-taker with their planning and executions.
Organizations have become very selective in hiring the best talent pool for Software management of their organizations in order to deliver a quality product at a restrained budget, with profits, and on-time delivery. A Software engineering manager closely monitors the development process, and executes various plans, arranges necessary and adequate resources, maintains communication amongst all team members in order to address issues of cost, budget, resources, time, and quality and customer satisfaction.
Software project management is an art and discipline of planning and supervising software projects. Time, cost and quality are considered the basic parameters in Software management. A successful Software engineering manager is always tested on these three parameters of time, cost and quality delivered which get affected due to several internal and external factors.
Today in this post, I would like to discuss a “how-to” on giving some tips/ guidance to organizations in selecting Software management interview questions for future hiring:
1. Ask Them About Project Estimation Techniques:
Project estimation comprises of an effective management estimation of various measures if a project is estimated accurately by an efficient Software manager he can be a great asset to any organization. Hence Software management interview questions must be asked all aspects related to Project estimation like Software estimation, Effort estimation, and Time estimation accurately and efficiently.
Software size may be estimated either in terms of KLOC (Kilo Line of Code) or by calculating a number of function points in the software. For effort estimation software size should be known which is estimated by managers’ experience, or software size can be converted into efforts by using some standard formulae. After this, the time required to produce the software can be estimated. Efforts required is divided into subcategories as per the requirement specifications and interdependency of various components of the software.
2. Check Their Knowledge About Project Scheduling
Software engineering managers are anchors for taking the projects to their final destination. Since each project has a distinct goal, their role has a greater impact on the success of the entire team. If you’re eyeing this position in Project management, you’ll need to be able to know complete details on Project scheduling. Project Scheduling in a project refers to the roadmap of all activities to be done with specified order and within time slot allotted to each activity. These activities are calculating the total time required for the project from start to finish, breaking down the project tasks into smaller, manageable form and assigning an adequate number of work-units for each task, etc.
3. Cost Estimation:
This question most definitely decides the success rate of a Successful Software manager that he meets up with clients’ expectations for a budget for each project he is assigned. Every Project needs adequate resources in terms of time, manpower, finance, material and knowledge-bank and good knowledge on reviewing the requirements and allocating of funds gives you a good candidate. An ideal candidate will complete tasks within the budget restraints and avoid overspending.
4. Communication/ Conflict Management:
Effective communication plays a vital role in the success of any project. A good Software manager is the one who is able to communicate well with his team, whether senior or junior in the team and is able to derive the optimum level from them. Also, they need to be good communicators among the team members as well as other stakeholders.
Active, frequent and honest communication is the most important factor in project success. The development team should seek end-user involvement and encourage user input in the development process. Software developers, users, project managers, customers, and Software managers need to communicate regularly and frequently. Hence, Communication/ Conflict management questions most definitely are asked to prospective Software managers to avoid negative situations during the execution of the project. The ideal candidate is one who is focusing on deriving results with a group effort and team learning.
5. Risk Management
Risk management involves all activities pertaining to identification, analyzing and making provision for predictable and non-predictable risks in the project. Risk may include the following:-
- Identification – Make note of all possible risks, which may occur in the project.
- Categorize – Categorize known risks into high, medium and low-risk intensity as per their possible impact on the project.
- Manage – Analyze the probability of occurrence of risks at various phases. Make a plan to avoid or face risks. Attempt to minimize their side-effects.
- Monitor – Closely monitor the potential risks and their early symptoms. Also, monitor the effects of steps taken to mitigate or avoid them.
6. Plans About New Training Programs For The Employees
No interview with an engineering manager is completed without asking the potential candidates about the knowledge of training modules and systems as they always need to introduce new and updated training modules to train the present and future employees/ team members.
7. Hiring of New Talent for the completion of the Project
During the hiring of Software management, the IT managers need to be asked about how they choose/ select their teams for a specific project. It would ensure his knowledge to plan out projects and identify the skill sets required for each project and select the team accordingly. A potential Software manager must be comfortable with the hiring processes for his team and be able to do a screening of the candidates with intensive scrutiny to lead his project to the successful end result.
8. What Are The Successful Projects Handled In The Past?
The engineering manager interview question must ask the candidates about his past successful projects, it will clear up on all aspects of the project planning, scheduling, and estimations. It will demonstrate his role as a Project leader, successful handling of human resources, cost estimations, liaison with stakeholders and setting up reporting hierarchy.
9. Update About IT Policies To Comply With New IT Standard
Any Software management interview question/ hiring process is not completed without testing the Software manager’s knowledge of IT policies which are ever-changing because of the advancement in the applications. A successful Project manager must keep himself abreast of the latest business software and understand the need for up-gradation and training programs for the success of the company and the project. Software managers have to work with a team to create new software and systems for a new training schedule for the staff to teach them about new technology. Also, he must be equipped with handling IT systems and services and must stay updated with new IT laws and standards.
Software Project Management consists of several different types of management and Engineering Manager/ Software manager interview questions must touch upon these topics to get a competitive candidate for their organization as well when and if required during the course of the interview:
- Resource Management
- Requirement Management:
- Change Management:
- Software Configuration Management
With these pointers for software manager interview questions for engineering manager candidates, you should be able to analyze and select a suitable candidate for your organization. These are all crucial high-level questions they must be able to answer during Software engineering manager interviews which will throw light on their overall exposure in Project management and various all other co-ordination touchpoints with developers, Project managers, Program managers etc.
I hope you find this article useful in selecting the best candidate for your organization.