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Software Project Management

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Software Project Management (CS615)
2. Software Development Fundamentals
Management Fundamentals
Managing Processes
Managing the Project Plan
Preparing it project plan for a software project helps you ensure that the specified
requirements and objectives are met successfully. It is a collation of all planning
activities that have happened for a software project. This includes activities such
as design and analysis, activity definition, risk planning, and cost estimation. To
create the plan, you assess all planning activities, organizational policies
regarding the creation of the project plan and assumption and constraints for the
project. To implement the software project plan, you require management skills,
such as leadership, communication, and problem solving, along with the basic
knowledge about the software. You also need to ensure that the senior
management bf the company has authorized work on the software project.
Knowledge management techniques help you to make informed decision
regarding the project plan.
After the project plan is executed, you manage the changes to it in such a way that
the performance measurement baselines are not impacted, To manage the project
plan effectively you monitor the project plan, periodic performance status reports,
and requests for change. The primary tool that you can use to control the changes
in the project plan is the change control mechanism: This is a set of formal
procedures for changing the project plan.
Managing Quality
The quality of software development depends largely on the understanding of
`quality' and quality management within the software development team. In
software projects where each member has a different understanding of quality and
his or her role in implementing it, the software product is usually not of the
required quality.
Implementing software quality is often associated with the software developer.
However, the role of the project manager is crucial in implementing quality
awareness and a quality-producing work environment. When a software project
starts missing deadlines and is in danger of exceeding the budget, project
managers often lose the focus on quality and lay stress on meeting deadlines.
However, the focus should be the other way round. A focus on delivering a
Software Project Management (CS615)
quality product, even at the cost of missing a deadline or two ensures that your
customer comes back for repeat orders. On the other hand, the price of non-
conformance (PONC) on quality standards simply translates into the loss of
goodwill and loss of business.
Modern quality management techniques compliment project management and the
role of the project manager. Quality management techniques ensure that a
software product conforms to the customer requirements. Quality management
further ensures that errors are prevented in the first round itself. Checks for errors
and effort for removing the errors consume much more time, effort, and cost than
it takes to prevent the errors in the first place. Therefore, maintaining quality in a
software project is the domain of all team members.
However, as the project manager you have a critical role in maintaining quality.
You provide the resources required to complete the activities of the software
project and ensure that quality levels are constantly monitored.
You first identify the areas that must be monitored for ensuring quality and the
quality measures to implement. Then, consider the quality policy of the
organization, the scope of the project, the applicable standards, and the software
product description. Next, use tools, such as a cost-benefit analysis and a
flowchart, to identify the areas where you need to monitor quality and the
subsequent actions for control. The output of this exercise is the quality plan for
the software project. In addition, this exercise allows you to create checklists to
help monitor quality.
As a software project manager, you also need to use a quality control mechanism
so that the quality of the software product does not suffer. The aim of the quality
control mechanism is to ensure compliance with quality standards.
Project Execution
You already learned in the beginning of the chapter that a software project is
divided into different phases. This division is done on the basis of the activities
performed in each phase. Similarly, project management activities are also
arranged in phases. As a project manager, you perform the activities that map to
each of these phases. The project management phases can be broadly categorized
as follows;
Project initiation
Project closedown
Project planning, control, and tracking
Product implementation
Project Initiation
Software Project Management (CS615)
The tasks performed for project initiation are mentioned below:
Requirement gathering: The first task is to gather the customer requirements.
Customer requirements may be spoken or unspoken. Therefore, the challenge for
the project manager is to elicit the requirements in such a way that both the
spoken and unspoken customer needs and wants are gathered. After collecting the
required information, you need to translate the customer requirements into
technical specifications for the software project.
Scope determination: The scope of a software project can be defined as the
combination of the software product arid services to be delivered to the customer.
You carry out the scope determination exercise to define the scope of the software
project. The scope determination exercise enables you to refine and understand
the customer requirements. You can refine the scope definition further by
breaking down each deliverable into smaller and more manageable activities. The
scope determination exercise also helps you identify the technology for creating
the software product.
Resource allocation: During project initiation, you identify the resources required
and allocate them to the software project. The resources identified may be people,
reusable software components, and hardware or software tools. You allocate the
resource to the software project on the basis of the activities defined in the scope
determination exercise. While allocating appropriate resources for a software
project, you also need to calculate the cost of each resource. The cost of a
resource is calculated according to the duration of the resource in the software
project. Estimating the cost of resources also helps you prepare a budget for the
software project.
Scope determination and resource allocation are discussed in more detail in later
Initial project plan: Another exercise that you carry out during project initiation
is the creation of a rough project plan. This plan is a draft version and carries only
the primitive project plan features. This project plan carries the initial risk
analysis of the software project, the initial start and end dates, the duration of the
activities in the project, and the sequencing of these activities.
Project Planning, Controlling, and Tracking
This activity of the project manager involves detailed tasks. These tasks are
mentioned below:
Detailed project plan: After the scope for the software project is determined and
the product design is ready, you prepare a detailed project plan. To create a
detailed project plan, you define a detailed list of all the elements that make up the
Software Project Management (CS615)
project deliverables. Next, the deliverables are further broken up to help In the
calculation of durations, start dates and end dates for each activity mentioned in
the plan. Roles and responsibilities are assigned to people with the appropriate
skills to complete each activity within specified time.
Control mechanism: These are set up to control the impact of changes on the
software project. The control mechanism includes a detailed risk management and
mitigation plan, a detailed quality plan, and quality assurance activities. You also
implement a review and audit system for periodic assessment and measurement of
the software project activities. The review and audit system enables you to
evaluate the progress of the software project. It ensures that all necessary data is
collected, deviation from the planned baselines is checked, and corrective action
is taken at all checkpoints. In this way, the review and audit system ensures
compliance with the organizational processes for software development.
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