Mastering Project Management for Small Business

by Hasham Tauhidi
5 minutes read
March 30, 2021
The creation of software tools for small and medium-sized businesses demands meticulous management and precise planning, with a strong emphasis on adapting to the unique requirements and capabilities of each specific business that requires a custom software solution.

Each project is distinct, featuring varying success criteria, stakeholder involvement levels, budget constraints, changing requirements, and more. Effectively navigating these factors necessitates the skilled application of project management techniques.

There‘s no one-size-fits-all solution for every situation. Nevertheless, as a software development company with 10 plus years of experience in creating software for small and medium-sized enterprises, we have experimented with and learned from multiple approaches in various contexts.

What project management methodologies are employed for software development in SMEs? The software development industry continually seeks to refine development models and project management methods. Over our years of practice in developing corporate software tools for businesses, we‘ve had the opportunity to experiment with several approaches, including:

  1. Hybrid Environment
  2. Waterfall (PMI guidelines)
  3. Kanban
  4. Scrum
  5. Lean
  6. Extreme Development

Each approach has ideal conditions for proper implementation and can significantly impact the product‘s quality. Selecting the most appropriate one can be challenging, but when aligned with the specific needs of the business, it can mitigate potential issues in implementing the solution.

Under what circumstances are certain methodologies impractical to follow?

The process of software development and project management depends on various factors, which can present challenges when selecting specific project management methodologies. To illustrate this, let‘s examine two scenarios from our experience:

Scenario 1

When client stakeholders are time-constrained and unable to allocate sufficient resources for meticulous requirement gathering, modular structure development, tool prototyping, and comprehensive concept testing, it becomes impossible to use a Hybrid model, which combines Waterfall and Agile. In such cases, Agile and Extreme Development (occasionally Lean) must be employed for flexibility.

Scenario 2

If a business operates with a strictly limited budget that‘s clearly inadequate for developing the necessary tool, Agile methodologies cannot be effectively employed. In such cases, a Hybrid model is more cost-effective, starting with a Waterfall phase followed by Agile development principles, which enables accurate budgeting, scheduling, and prioritization based on a well-tested prototype.

What are the associated risks tied to different PM approaches?


The hybrid approach ensures a smooth process, addressing budget concerns and preventing deadline breaches by thoroughly planning the scope of work before development begins. This minimizes the negative impact of insufficient communication with stakeholders and eliminates downtime due to delays in decision-making, as these matters are resolved during the Waterfall phase. Budget limits are managed early to prevent work stoppage.


Developing a corporate tool using the Agile approach often involves turbulence related to budget, scope, and project closure deadlines. These issues are absent when the project is well-planned, and there‘s a sufficient budget for a dedicated team.

In Summary

Effective project management for corporate software development in small businesses necessitates a tailored approach that considers factors like budget, stakeholder involvement, and project specifics. While there‘s no universal solution, insights can be drawn from years of experience.

For resource-constrained scenarios, Agile or Extreme Development can be suitable choices, while strict budget limitations may call for a Hybrid approach combining Waterfall and Agile. Identifying and mitigating risks associated with these methodologies is crucial, and the project‘s success often hinges on the chosen approach and how well it‘s customized to the project‘s unique needs and constraints.

Written By
Hasham Tauhidi

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