Introduction to software Project Management


Software project management includes the tools,  techniques,  and knowledge essential to deal with the growth  of  software products.  In software Project Management,  the end users and developers require to know the cost of the project,  duration and  length.  It is a process of managing,  allocating  and  timing resources to develop  computer  software that meets  necessities.  It consists of eight tasks. 

Problem Identification 

Problem Definition

Project Planning

Project  Organization 

Resources Allocation

Project Scheduling 

Tracking,  Reporting and Controlling 

Project Termination

In problem identification and  definition, the  conclusions  are made  as  approving,  declining or  prioritizing project.  In problem  identification,  project is recognized,  defined  and  justified.  In  problem definition,  the use  of the  project is  clarified.  The  Main product  is project proposal. 

In project planning,  it explains a series of actions on  steps  that are needed  to for  the growth of  work  product.  In project organization,  the functions of the personnel are incorporated.  It is done in corresponding with project planning. 

In resource allocated,  the resources are allocated to a project in order that the goals and objectives are attained.  In project scheduling,  resources are allocated so that project objectives are attained within a sensible time span. 

In tracking,  reporting and controlling,  the process engage whether the project results are in accordance with project plans and performance specification.  In controlling,  suitable action is taken to correct improper deviations.  In project termination,  the concluding report is submitted  or a release order is signed. 

The methods and regulation used to define goals,  plan and monitor tasks and resources,  identify and resolve issues,  and control costs and budgets for a specific project is known as project management.  

1. What is Project

A project is a sequence of unique,  complex,  and connected activities having one goals or purpose and that must be completed by a specific time,  within budget, and according to specification.  This definition tells us quite a bit about a project.  To appreciate just what constitutes a project let’s look at each part of the definition. 

1.1 Sequence of Activities

A project include a number of activities that must be completed in some particular order,  or sequence.  An activity is a defined chunk of work.  The chain of the activities is based on technical requirements,  not on management concern.  To conclude the sequence,  it is helpful  to think in terms of inputs and outputs as follows:

(i) What is needed as input in order to begin working on this activity? 

(ii)  What activities produce these as output? 

Unique Activities

The activities in a project must be unique.  A project has never happened before,  and it will never happen again under the same conditions.  Something is always different each time the activities of a project are repeated.  Usually,  the variations are random in nature –  for example, a part is delayed,  someone is sick,  a power failure occurs.  These are random events that can happen,  but we never are sure of when,  how,  and with what impact on the schedule.  These random variations are the challenge for the project manager. 

Complex Activities

The activities that make up the project are not simple,  repetitive acts,  such as mowing the lawn, painting the house,  washing the car,  or loading the delivery truck.  They are complex.  For example,  designing an intuitive user interface to tan application system is complex activity. 

Connected Activities 

Connectedness implies that there is logical or technical relationship between pairs of activities. There is an order to the sequence in which the activities that make up the project must be completed.  They are consider connected because the output from one activity is the input to another.  For example,  we must design the computer program before we can program it. 

Unconnected  Activities

You could  have list of unconnected activities that must all be complete in order to complete the project.  For example,  consider of developing  a payroll system.  With some exceptions,  the different modules of payroll system like,  data entry module,  updating module,  calculation module,  etc.  Can be developed separately in any order.  But the pat roll system as a whole cannot be completed until all its modules are completely developed,  but the different modules may be developed in any order.  So developing a payroll system with various modules in which the modules can developed in any order is not considered a project according to the definition. 

1.2 One Goal

This division makes for better management control.  This  artificial decomposition of a complex project into subprojects often simplifies the scheduling of resources  and reduces the need for interdepartmental communications while  a specific activity is worked on. The downside is that the projects are now interdependent.  Even though interdependence adds another layer of complexity and communication,  it can be handled. 

1.3 Specified Time

Project have a specified completion date.  This date can be self-imposed by management or externally specified by a customer or government agency.  The deadline is beyond the control if anyone working on the project.  The project is over on the specified completion date whether or not the project work has been completed. 

1.4 Within Budget

Projects also have resource limits,  such as a limited amount of people,  money,  or machines that are dedicated to the project.  While these resources can be adjusted up or down by management,  they are considered fixed resources to the project manager. 

1.5 According to Specification

The customer,  or the recipient of the project’s deliverables expects a certain level of functionality and quality from the project.  These expectations can be self-imposed,  such as the specification of the project completion date,  or customer-specifed,  such as producing the sales report on a weekly basis.  

Although the project manager treats the specification as fixed,  the reality of the situation is the any number of factors can cause the specification to change.  For example,  the customer may not have defined the requirement completely,  or the business situation, as have changed.  It is unrealistic to expect the specification to remain fixed though the life of the project.  Systems specification can and will change,  thereby presenting special challenges to the project, manager.