Category Archives: Project Management

Development Project Management

Tips to Outsourcing your Product development

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Most of the startups / founders choose to outsource their product development due to shortage of development talent, business domain experts or to skip the hassle of recruiting quality talent and instead start building their product asap and ship it.

At Cybrilla, we get the opportunity to chat with many such founders / companies who have gone with the outsourcing model but have had a really bad experience. Most have had a terrible time managing product development, meeting launch dates, managing different development teams, project delays etc.

Unfortunately most of them have unrealistic expectations w.r.t budget and time about building their product.

If you are one of them, here is a list of things that we recommend to reduce the overall project cost and time.

1> Wireframe your idea :

As a founder / product owner, wireframe your products user flow before you speak to a development shop. It’s one of the most important steps when presenting your idea to someone.

Most of us have an idea that exists only in our head. Wireframes helps to get that idea out of the head and onto a piece of paper. Once your idea is on a piece of paper, you can easily visualize how it works rather than just thinking about how it will work.

It also helps you to jot down different ways a user can flow through the application. Wireframes act as the blueprint for product development.

More importantly it helps the development shop to break down the requirement into user stories.

User stories represent the different features of your product. They serve as guidelines to product development. Exhaustive wireframes will help the development shop to break down the requirements into user stories.

At Cybrilla, we write the user stories and put them into a project management tool like Redmine or Pivotal Tracker. We assign a priority to each story and estimate them individually.

This helps the client to breakdown the budget and assign it amongst the must-have and good-to-have features.

2> Active participation during product development :

You need to be a good project manager, since good project management is the major difference between finishing a project within the estimated time and spending more money on additional features.

At Cybrilla, we follow continuous delivery process and encourage our clients to test each and every build and provide constant feedback. This helps us validate the original requirements and/or make quick changes or tweaks in some of the features. Since we deliver continuously, its important that we have constant feedback

Right from product requirement to delivery participate in each and every step. You can help chart out the test cases which the developers need to validate post development. As a client it is necessary to stay actively involved in each and every step.

3> Having an open mind towards new tools and processes :

At Cybrilla we make use of many tools and follow agile development process. Take time to adopt these tools so that you remain an active participant. These tools help you to keep track of the development progress. Make sure that you are part of weekly sprint meetings where in your prioritize the weekly user stories which will be picked up by the devs.
So, the next time you are planning on outsourcing your product development, follow these steps and be amazed to see how far your budget will go. Take initiative to extensively wireframe your product, scope your product and actively participate in the development process.

Project Management

Useful Redmine Plugins

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At Cybrilla, we use Redmine project management tool for almost all of our projects. Redmine is  an open source project management tool which provides great out of the box features such as issue tracking, time tracking, role based access control, multiple projects support etc.

We have found redmine to be a solid product which fullfills most of our project management needs. Once of the great features is that redmine supports a lot of plugins which will aide you incase you opt for redmine.

1. redmine issue sla plugin : this plugin allows to assign SLA by issue priority to a project . All you need to do is set a SLA for each of your issue priorities ( number of hrs ) and it`ll automatically tell the response time when the issue should expire as per the set SLA

set_sla sla



2. redmine contracts with time tracking : Another great plugin, it helps manage time and money being spent on a particular contract. This solves on of the major issues involved in project management that of managing project cost. This plugin tells you exactly where the money is being burned, under which issue/ category etc.

One needs to create a new contract using the plugin and enter the start and end dates and the hourly rate. The plugin takes care of the rest and all you need to do is monitor the costs.

edit_contract multiple_contracts single_contract


3. redmine monitoring and controlling : this is a chart tool to monitor your project in redmine. It provides very informative charts and graphs for task management, time management and resource management. One downside is that it does not provide filters for  generating the charts. ( am in the process of adding one 😉 )


Some useful links :

Redmine githhub repo

Redmine guide

Redmine plugins