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What is Solutions Development Methodology?
Solutions development methodology focuses upon the framework of problem solving within software development. Successful solutions development methodology implementation often is cited as one of the challenges a project manager may face. A solutions development methodology often has several features.
First, because "solution" implies that there was first a problem that needed to be solved, solutions development often requires change management skills. For example, a solutions development implementation may require that bugs in a software release are fixed and the software is re-released.
Second, as with any project management methodology, solutions development requires that project managers are able to carefully plan and estimate, design systems, and manage continuous improvement efforts.
Third, successful solutions development implementation often relies upon agile methodologies and sometimes even PRINCE2 management techniques. Because of this, you will want to be sure that before implementing a solutions development methodology into your company that you and your team members are familiar with these other methodologies.
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What's Involved in Solutions Development Methodology?
In order to successfully implement solutions development in your company, you must develop systems for dealing with issues tracking and requirements gathering. When it comes to issues tracking, this includes tracking bugs, delays, and other problems associated with the product or service. When it comes to requirements gathering, to do so successfully, you will want to cultivate a focus on the customers' and users' needs. Through being mindful of the needs of those using your products, you can ensure that future releases will be well received.
Another area where project managers need to develop skills involves the actual creation of the product. For example, if you run software development projects, you will need to be familiar with software architecture, how to run reviews and testing of code, and how to create documentation for that software. While you need not be a programmer, you should know enough about the process of creation to be able to work with programmers to develop soltuions when bugs come up.
One place solutions development comes up a lot is in open source software. If you're working for such a company, you will want to implement solutions development as early as possible into your project management process.
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Steps for Implementing Solutions Development
First, before you do anything, you will want to treat the implementation of solutions development methodologies as a change management project, especially if previously you had no way to track solutions development. You need to show a commitment to implementing solutions development into your project management repertoire.
Second, you will need to implement a method for tracking issues that may come up when products and services are implemented. While there are many programs out there, the most important part of issues tracking is consistency. Make sure to track where the issue is, what happened, the context of the issue, and how frequently it has occurred.This will make it much more easy to develop solutions.
Third, you will need a plan for gathering requirements. By ensuring your requirements gathering method for the product or service in question is consistent, you will lessen chances for a problem to occur.
Fourth, depending upon the size of your company and department, you may want to create a team that is specifically geared towards handling problems when they arrise using solutions development methods. Ensure that every team member is properly trained.
FInally, be sure that when you implement solutions development methodologies into your company that you document the methodologies being implemented. This will ensure that every time solutions development is necessary, you are able to swiftly kick into gear and manage the project appropriately.