How to effectively organize hardware development with Mepigu? • Mepigu

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How to effectively organize hardware development with Mepigu?

If you’ve been into any kind of development, either hardware or software, you probably know that the main part of the job is actually planning. It takes time to create a fully functional development workflow, but once you do so it will be much easier. But do you have to update your workflow or ditch it completely?

Updating workflow

Hardware development can be a real struggle because, in comparison with software development, you have various suppliers and outsourced manufacturing in most cases. Once you decide to change your supplier, your workflow will change and you will have to adapt. Changing a well-known workflow can really ruin your business if it’s not defined properly. There are tools that are capable of tracking your workflow, but you will still need to define what you want to do, and that can be critical if you do not have enough time or (human) resources. 
Mepigu helps you with that. Mepigu will track your workflow and create a simple pattern for you, so when the change happens, all other processes will adapt automatically.

New product development

New hardware development can be really expensive, especially if there is a glitch on your electronic board, you can’t only fix the bug and recompile your code, you have to manufacture the whole board from scratch. Bigger suppliers are usually reliable, but sometimes ‘things’ can happen, and that can really ruin your planned workflow.
For new product development, we are using Mepigu to help us manage our project.

The good thing is that we can connect project Workspace with our Google Drive because we are using G Suite, and all our project related stuff will be in one place. As we are a small team, most of our guys are mingling around and to stay on track we connected our project with our main Slack channel, just in case somebody missed something.
Almost all suppliers main currency is USD and that’s why our main currency in the project is USD.

Managing tasks and deadlines

A good practice is to define real deadlines, based on past experiences. With Mepigu we do not have to even think about calculating and measuring time, because Mepigu will do it by itself. Based on past experiences, missing deadlines, or completing tasks before deadline, Mepigu will suggest real finishing date during new task creation.

Good stuff to do on Monday is to check what assignments we must do this week, in order to push things and make priorities.

Task types and progress

Everything is about progress. We have to set some goals in order to push us forward, privately and in business. Not all goals are equal, that’s why we need to categorize them. Categorization helps us to stay focused on things that matter to us, and with colors, it’s much easier. But if I’m focused only on my goals and categories, do I have to ignore others? No! A common mistake in smaller businesses and teams is focusing too hard on your task that is a part of a bigger system (project) and completely depends on other smaller parts.

Tracking the progress of the other tasks and teams can help us to easily determine do we have to push some things harder in order to be on track with others (other features, members) or relaxing and spending time on improvements.

Subtasks

If you define one task, and if this task is a huge bite, you will probably lose your focus or miss something. Even big corporates are trying to avoid huge tasks by breaking them into smaller pieces called chunks or subtasks. Even subtasks can have some smaller pieces like comments and discussions.

Important tasks have to be on top, this will help people to detect priority tasks and catch the deadline. Mepigu will automatically prioritize tasks based on comments, access rate, time spent on task and similar. In the past, we had to do all these things manually using stickers and whiteboard, because this was the most effective way to keep on track with important things. It’s important that any project member is able to check what’s happening with any task, but he won’t be notified about deadlines in order to help him to stay focused on his tasks.

Time management and reporting

When it comes to reporting and well known daily meetings (stand-ups) — meetings that are usually scheduled in the morning and least not more than 5–10min, where every member has to update others about their progress. Daily meetings can help teams to get overall information about project progress, help project managers to define future workflows and tasks. Developers do not like daily meetings! If somebody is focused on a task, a daily meeting will probably be a distraction. Mepigu connects managers and developers and team members with Daily reports. We are using daily reports to measure time spent on a task and to predict budget needed in the future (every team member has defined the price per hour). A daily report is meant to be filled by the end of the day, and it contains approximate hours spent on a task and short report.

With this approach, everybody will be able to catch up what other team members are doing at the time, on a common task, or on their own task. Project managers will also be able to see what’s happening with the task, detect possible problems and define future steps. But most important for PM’s, they are able to check how much time is spent, and how much money they need per specific task. Not all tasks are the same, maybe the bug in the code will be the most expensive because more people will spend more time on fixing it, or feature where more people will spend a lot of time to design bugless feature.

A lot of teams need to invest more time in workflow planning, but usually, they don’t. Mepigu is here to help with automatization of project workflow and project management, especially in HW development projects. More about expenses management, workflow automatization resources and project insights you will be able to read in the next article.

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