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Software Project Management

Introduction & Fundamentals Next >>>
Software Project Management (CS615)
1. Introduction & Fundamentals
1.1 What is Management?
Basically, the management involves the following activities:
Planning- deciding what is to be done
Organizing- making arrangements
Staffing- selecting the right people for the job
Directing- giving instructions
Monitoring- checking on progress
Controlling- taking action to remedy hold-ups
Innovating- coming up with new solutions
Representing- liaising with users, etc.
1.2 What is Project Management?
Project Management is the art of maximizing the probability that a project
delivers its goals on Time, to Budget and at the required Quality.
The art of planning for the future has always been a human trait. In essence a
project can be captured on paper with a few simple elements: a start date, an end
date, the tasks that have to be carried out and when they should be finished, and
some idea of the resources (people, machines etc) that will be needed during the
course of the project.
Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and
techniques to project activities to meet project requirements. Project management
is accomplished through the use of the processes such as: initiating, planning,
executing, controlling, and closing. It is important to note that many of the
processes within project management are iterative in nature. This is in part due to
the existence of and the necessity for progressive elaboration in a project
throughout the project life cycle; i.e., the more you know about your project, the
better you are able to manage it.
Project management is also defined as a strategic competency that has successfully been
applied in such high profile projects as the construction of silk root, organizing and managing the
Olympics Games, and the construction of Islamabad-Lahore motorway, just to name a few. If
project management can play a major role in these success stories, just imagine what it might be
able to do for your own organization.
The term project management is sometimes used to describe an organizational
approach to the management of ongoing operations. This approach, more properly
called management by projects, treats many aspects of ongoing operations as
projects to apply project management techniques to them.
Software Project Management (CS615)
Almost any human activity that involves carrying out a non- repetitive task
can be a project. So we are all project managers! We all practice project
management (PM). But there is a big difference between carrying out a very
simple project involving one or two people and one involving a complex mix of
people, organizations and tasks.
1.3 What is Software Project Management?
When the plan starts to involve different things happening at different times, some
of which are dependent on each other, plus resources required at different times
and in different quantities and perhaps working at different rates, the paper plan
could start to cover a vast area and be unreadable.
Nevertheless, the idea that complex plans could be analyzed by a computer to
allow someone to control a project is the basis of much of the development in
technology that now allows projects of any size and complexity, not only to be
planned, but also modeled to answer 'what if?' questions.
The original programs and computers tended to produce answers long after an
event had taken place. Now, there are many project planning and scheduling
programs that can provide real time information, as well as linking to risk
analysis, time recording, and costing, estimating and other aspects of project
But computer programs are not project management: they are tools for
project managers to use. Project management is all that mix of components of
control, leadership, teamwork, resource management etc that goes into a
successful project.
Project managers can be found in all industries. Their numbers have grown
rapidly as industry and commerce has realized that much of what it does is project
work. And as project-based organizations have started to emerge, project
management is becoming established as both a professional career path and a way
of controlling business.
So opportunities in project management now exist not only in being a project
manager, but also as part of the support team in a project or program office or as a
team leader for part of a project. There are also qualifications that can be attained
through the professional associations.
Software Project Management (CS615)
What is a Project?
A project is an activity with specific goals which takes place over a finite
period of time.
"A temporary organization that is needed to produce a unique and pre-defined
outcome or result at a pre-specified time using pre-determined resources"
Projects are often implemented as a means of achieving an organization's
strategic plan. Operations and projects differ primarily in that operations are
ongoing and repetitive while projects are temporary and unique. A project can
thus be defined in terms of its distinctive characteristics--a project is a temporary
endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. Temporary means
that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Unique means that
the product or service is different in some distinguishing way from all other
products or services. For many organizations, projects are a means to respond to
those requests that cannot be addressed within the organization's normal
operational limits.
Projects are undertaken at all levels of the organization. They may involve a
single person or many thousands. Their duration ranges from a few weeks to more
than five years. Projects may involve a single unit of one organization or may
cross organizational boundaries, as in joint ventures and partnering.
Examples of projects include:
Developing a new product or service.
Effecting a change in structure, staffing, or style of an organization.
Designing a new transportation vehicle.
Developing or acquiring a new or modified information system.
Constructing a building or facility.
Building a water system for a community in a developing country.
Running a campaign for political office.
Implementing a new business procedure or process.
1. Temporary
Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end.
The end is reached when the project's objectives have been achieved, or it
becomes clear that the project objectives will not or cannot be met, or the need for
the project no longer exists and the project is terminated. Temporary does not
necessarily mean short in duration; many projects last for several years. In every
case, however, the duration of a project is finite; projects are not ongoing efforts.
2. Unique, Product Service or Result
Projects involve creating something that has not been done in exactly the same
way before and which is, therefore, unique and distinct. Projects create:
Software Project Management (CS615)
A product or artifact that is produced, is quantifiable and can be either an
end item in itself or a component item
A capability to perform a service, such as business functions supporting
production or distribution
A result, such as new knowledge. For example, a research and
development project develops knowledge that can be used to determine
whether or not a trend is present or a new process will benefit society.
The presence of repetitive elements does not change the fundamental uniqueness
of the project work. For example:
A project to develop a new commercial airliner may require multiple
A project to bring a new drug to market may require thousands of doses of
the drug to support clinical trials.
A real estate development project may include hundreds of individual
A development project (e.g., water and sanitation) may be implemented in
five geographic areas.
The projects are designed to achieve specific targets defined in terms of aims,
tasks or a purpose. The nature and size of the project depends upon
complexity of the task, realization of the aims and scope of the purpose any
organization wants to achieve. In short project has to be aimed for achieving
certain tasks in a given time frame.
Limited Time Scale
The projects are always designed considering time constraints. Extension to
the project completion dead lines are always discouraged as time overrun,
costs extra and in some cases opportunity cost for not completing a project is
too high.
Progressive, Elaboration
Progressive elaboration is a characteristic of projects that accompanies the
concepts of temporary and unique. "Progressively" means developing thoroughly
in steps, and continuing steadily by increments while elaborated means "worked
out with care and detail; developed thoroughly"
For example, the project scope will be broadly described early in the project, and
made more explicit and detailed as the project team develops a better and more
complete understanding of the objectives and deliverables.
Progressive elaboration of project specifications must be carefully coordinated
with proper project scope definition, particularly if the project is performed under
contract. When properly defined, the scope of the project--the work to be done--
Software Project Management (CS615)
should be controlled as the project and product specifications are progressively
The following examples illustrate progressive elaboration in two different
application areas.
Example 1. Development of a chemical processing plant begins with process
engineering to define the characteristics of the process. These characteristics are
used to design the major processing units. This information becomes the basis for
engineering design, which defines both the detail plant layout and the mechanical
characteristics of the process units and ancillary facilities. All of this results in
design drawings that are elaborated to produce fabrication and construction
drawings. During construction, interpretations and adaptations are made as
needed and subject to proper approval. This further elaboration of the deliverables
is captured in as-built drawings, and final operating adjustments are made during
testing and turnover.
Example 2. The product of an economic development project may initially be
defined as: "Improve the quality of life of the lowest income residents of
community X." As the project proceeds, the products may be described more
specifically as, for example: "Provide access to food and water to 500 low income
residents in community X." The next round of progressive elaboration might
focus exclusively on increasing agriculture production and marketing, with
provision of water deemed to be a secondary priority to be initiated once the
agricultural component is well under way.
Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction & Fundamentals
  2. Goals of Project management
  3. Project Dimensions, Software Development Lifecycle
  4. Cost Management, Project vs. Program Management, Project Success
  5. Project Management’s nine Knowledge Areas
  6. Team leader, Project Organization, Organizational structure
  7. Project Execution Fundamentals Tracking
  8. Organizational Issues and Project Management
  9. Managing Processes: Project Plan, Managing Quality, Project Execution, Project Initiation
  10. Project Execution: Product Implementation, Project Closedown
  11. Problems in Software Projects, Process- related Problems
  12. Product-related Problems, Technology-related problems
  13. Requirements Management, Requirements analysis
  14. Requirements Elicitation for Software
  15. The Software Requirements Specification
  16. Attributes of Software Design, Key Features of Design
  17. Software Configuration Management Vs Software Maintenance
  18. Quality Assurance Management, Quality Factors
  19. Software Quality Assurance Activities
  20. Software Process, PM Process Groups, Links, PM Phase interactions
  21. Initiating Process: Inputs, Outputs, Tools and Techniques
  22. Planning Process Tasks, Executing Process Tasks, Controlling Process Tasks
  23. Project Planning Objectives, Primary Planning Steps
  24. Tools and Techniques for SDP, Outputs from SDP, SDP Execution
  25. PLANNING: Elements of SDP
  26. Life cycle Models: Spiral Model, Statement of Requirement, Data Item Descriptions
  27. Organizational Systems
  28. ORGANIZATIONAL PLANNING, Organizational Management Tools
  29. Estimation - Concepts
  30. Decomposition Techniques, Estimation – Tools
  31. Estimation – Tools
  32. Work Breakdown Structure
  33. WBS- A Mandatory Management Tool
  34. Characteristics of a High-Quality WBS
  35. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  36. WBS- Major Steps, WBS Implementation, high level WBS tasks
  37. Schedule: Scheduling Fundamentals
  38. Scheduling Tools: GANTT CHARTS, PERT, CPM
  39. Risk and Change Management: Risk Management Concepts
  40. Risk & Change Management Concepts
  41. Risk Management Process
  42. Quality Concept, Producing quality software, Quality Control
  43. Managing Tasks in Microsoft Project 2000
  44. Commissioning & Migration