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6/100 - A Guide to Setup a Web3 Project Team and Start Product Development


A guide to set up a web3 project team and Kickoff development
Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

Are you interested in building a web3 product, but unsure of where to start? Setting up a project team and starting product development can be a daunting task, especially if you are doing it first time. In this blog, we will walk you through the steps to set up a web3 project team, conduct a Project Inception meeting and kick off product development, so you can begin building the decentralized applications of the future.


In the preceding article, we examined ‘What is a business case along with an example template.’ In this post, we will look at ‘How to set up a Project team and facilitate Project Inception Meeting?'. This blog will address the following topics:


Steps to start a Software Project Team and begin Product Development


1. Clearly define the project scope and objectives

It is important to clearly define the project scope and objectives at the beginning of the project, so that all team members understand what the project is trying to achieve and what is expected of them. For example, if the project is to build a new mobile app, the scope might include the features and functionality that the app will have, as well as the target audience and any constraints or limitations. The objectives might include specific goals such as increasing user engagement or improving user retention.


2. Assemble a team of skilled and dedicated individuals

Choose team members who have the necessary skills and expertise to complete the project, and who are committed to working collaboratively and effectively. For example, if the project is a mobile app, the team might include developers with expertise in mobile development, as well as designers, quality assurance testers, and project managers.


3. Set up effective communication channels

To ensure that the project runs smoothly, it is important to establish effective communication channels among team members and with stakeholders. This might include using project management software, chat tools, or holding regular team meetings. For example, the team might use a tool like Slack to communicate with each other in real time, or they might have weekly video conference meetings to discuss progress and any issues that have arisen.


4. Create a project schedule and plan

Establishing a timeline for completing the project and breaking it down into smaller tasks and milestones can help the team stay on track and meet deadlines. Assign tasks to team members and set deadlines for when each task should be completed. For example, the project schedule might include a timeline for completing the design of the app, followed by a timeline for development, testing, and deployment.


5. Establish project standards and guidelines

Determine how the team will work together, including coding standards, version control procedures, and testing protocols. For example, the team might adopt a specific coding style guide to ensure that all code is consistent and easy to read, or they might use a version control system like Git to track changes to the codebase. Establishing these standards and guidelines can help ensure that the project is completed efficiently and effectively.


By following above best practices, you can start your software project team off on the right foot and set the stage for a successful and productive development process. Let us now look at the Project Inception Meeting where all the above steps will be implemented.


Project Kick off Meeting picture
Source - Freepik

What is a Project Inception Meeting?


During a project inception meeting, the Web3 PM, scrum master, project team and key stakeholders come together to discuss and define the scope, goals, and objectives of a project. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that everyone is on the same page, understood the product vision and that the project has a clear direction.

The inception meeting is usually the first step in the project lifecycle and is an opportunity for the team to establish a shared understanding of the project and its deliverables.

It is also an opportunity for team members to get to know each other and for the project manager to assign roles and responsibilities.


During the inception meeting, the team will typically review the project charter or a specific deck prepared for the purpose, that outlines the project's scope, objectives, timeline, and resources. The team will also discuss the project's constraints, assumptions, and risks.


The project inception meeting for a web3 software project would generally follow the same structure as a project inception meeting for any other type of project. The duration of the Inception can normally extend from a few days to more than a week depending on the size of the project, maturity of the team, technology understanding etc.


Agenda for the Project Inception Meeting

  • The project's business case and value proposition

  • The stakeholders and their expectations

  • The Product vision, Product Roadmap, high level requirements

  • Technical Approach, NFRs, Personas

  • User journey, the project's deliverables and milestones

  • The project's budget and resources

  • The project's risks and assumptions (RAID)

  • Ways of Working

  • Key Performance Indicators & Success Criteria

  • Team Members

  • Action Items from the Inception

Outcome of the Project Inception Meeting


The outcome of a project inception meeting is an agreed upon high-level project plan, including a timeline and objectives. The stakeholders should have a shared understanding of the project's objectives, the scope, and the work that needs to be done. The stakeholders should also have a clear picture of the potential risks and issues that may impact the project and a plan in place to address them. Additionally, a clear communication plan and the next steps should be established.


As the team starts Product development, how can I ensure that the team is productive and efficient?


To ensure that the team is productive and efficient, it is important to establish clear roles and responsibilities, as well as to set up regular team meetings to track progress and identify any issues that need to be addressed. Additionally, it can be helpful to establish a system for managing and prioritizing tasks, and to provide the team with the resources and tools they need to complete their work.

Issues which can come up when project is not started well
Image by master1305 on Freepik

Failure Modes for Project Kick Off or the Inception


Scope creep

Without clear project objectives and scope, it can be difficult to set boundaries for the project, leading to requests for additional features or functionality that fall outside the original scope of the project.


Missed deadlines

Without a clear timeline and task breakdown, it can be difficult to track progress and meet deadlines. This can result in delays and missed opportunities.


Budget overruns

Without a clear plan and budget, it can be difficult to accurately estimate the cost of the project, leading to unexpected expenses and budget overruns.


Poor quality

Without clear standards and guidelines, the quality of the final product may suffer, leading to defects and issues that need to be addressed after the project is completed.


Team conflict

Without effective communication channels and a collaborative team culture, conflicts can arise among team members, leading to delays and reduced productivity.


Stakeholder dissatisfaction

Without effective communication with stakeholders, it can be difficult to ensure that the project is meeting their needs and expectations, leading to dissatisfaction and possibly even the cancellation of the project.


Lack of team buy-in

Without a clear understanding of the project objectives and how their work fits into the overall plan, team members may not be fully committed to the project, leading to a lack of engagement and motivation.


Misaligned expectations

Without clear communication and a shared understanding of the project goals, team members and stakeholders may have different expectations for the project, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts.


Decreased efficiency

Without clear guidelines and processes in place, the team may waste time and resources trying to figure out how to work together and complete tasks, leading to decreased efficiency and productivity.


Conclusion


In conclusion, setting up a project team to develop web3 product is a big task that requires many steps as discussed in this blog. All key stakeholders should attend the Project Inception Meeting and go through a defined agenda to set expectations, understand customer need and build problem statements. As project managers, it’s also important to identify potential failure modes which can undermine the project Kickoff or even the entire project cycle in severe cases.


To equip yourself best for your upcoming projects, join our ‘100 Days of Learning Campaign’ and become a Web3 Project Manager! Our articles are tailored to give you the practical knowledge and understanding you will need to excel in your PM career path.


Recommended Readings

Coming up in the next blog - 'Program Manager vs. Project Manager vs Product Manager: What's the Difference?'.

Note 1: This blog is part of a 100 Days of Learning Series on Web3 Project Management frameworks and best practices published on Program Strategy HQ. For more details on the 100 days of blogging campaign check out Blog 0.


Note 2: Reach out to info@programstrategyhq for any queries.


Note 3: Program Strategy HQ Disclaimer for Reference.


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