Building a large-scale SaaS app
It can be like walking off into a seemingly never-ending wilderness.
Beautiful to look at but once you get into it you know its going to be an unforgettable adventure.
But project management done right can be like a vacation or at least easy to do.
Now I have tried what feels like every project management software, app, service known to the world. They always seem to fall short of what I expect from a good PM system. Over the past couple years I decided that eventually I would need to build one the way I think it should work.
Planning is key to any project
I’m big on planning, todo lists, whiteboards, apps or notes scribbled in a notebook, I use it all. When it comes to planning a big project I usually incorporate all of these tools mostly because writing it over and over seems to help the process.
Once you get to a point of having a map of the project or idea I compile all of the information into one place. This is where I would use a project management app or service which never seemed to satisfy my needs, so I decided to build eProject.me leading to project management for a project management system.
Moving your notes or plan to a project management system usually means you can involve other people for additional planning and feedback. This is a big leap forward for almost any project since fresh eyes and minds usually bring up things you didn’t think about.
Finding missing pieces
Because I was building something I needed this process was quite easy for this project. I simply used the system as I was building it and it didn’t take long for things to pop out at me that needed to be added or changed.
For example I hated having to go to the admin for simple task changes/updates so I ended up adding ajax edits sooner than planned moving it from Milestone 2 to Milestone 1. I also hated having to edit a task changing its status after committing code that fixed or closed the task. So I added git integration sooner than planned also moving it to Milestone 1.
The point is plans change and therefore a good project management system needs to make it easy to change the plan in the system. Also using what you are building helps you realize issues early on.
This also brings me back to the fresh eyes, it’s almost impossible to find every missing piece yourself. Especially in a SaaS app where others will be using it. So input from others is very important!
Goals are not always met but should be set
You should always have goals in anything you do. Project management is all about goals, milestones, due dates, etc… But that does not mean they can’t change!
As I mentioned in the last section plans change because of a lot of reasons, but usually because it becomes realized that something is missing. Project management systems should always make it easy to tweak these goals because of common changes.
As an entrepreneur you need to set personal goals. The biggest reason is because no matter how much you love what you’re doing the very long days, weeks, months and even years can wear on you. Having a personal goal (reach for the stars type) can help keep you motivated. For me its a large wallpaper on my 27″ monitor of my dream house. It’s a goal I have and keeps me driven after a dozen 120 hour weeks in a row. Yeah, look at that math 1,440 hours in 3 months. That’s 3 40 hour work weeks of a normal person in 1 week and then do that for a long stretch. It can require a dream goal sometimes, so you should get one before you start.
Stick around, more posts and updates will be coming soon.