what is software project management(SPM in Software Engineering):Click Here

software engineering notes(SPM)

Software Project Management

The goal of Software Project Management is to ensure that a software product that meets the quality specifications of the requirement definition is produced on schedule and an economically justifiable cost within the planned resource(e.g. personal, equipment, tools, etc.) (Royce 1998; Conte 1986).

In other words, project management is a series of activities embodied in a process of getting things done on a project by work with members of the project team and with other peoples in order to reach the project schedule, cost, and technical performance objectives.

Activities in Project Management

The primary tasks of project management are planning, organisation and technical and economic control of project execution. 
Some of the major activities in project management
  • Proposal Writing
  • Project Planning
  • Project Scheduling
  • Project Tracking
  • Personal Selection and Evaluation
  • Project Report Writing
Proposal Writing: It is a skill that is acquired by experience(Aron 1993). It is an critical task as the existence of the many software organisations depends on having enough proposals accepted and contracts awarded. There can be no set guidelines for this week.

Project Planning: It is concerned with identifying the activities, milestones and deliverable produced by the project. A plan must be drawn up to guide the development towards the project goals.

Project Scheduling: It is one of the most difficult tasks of project management. It involves separating the total work involves in the project into separate tasks and accessing when these will be completed. Usually, some of these tasks are carried out in parallel. Project schedulers must coordinate these parallel tasks and organize the work so that the workforce is usually optimally.

Project Tracking: It is an continuing project activity. This activity is also known as Project Monitoring. The managers must keep track of the progress of the project and compare actual and planned progress and costs also. Most organisations employ formal mechanisms for monitoring whereas an skilled manager can often monitor the project activities by informal discussion with the project staff.

Personal Selection and Evaluation: is a very challenging task. Project managers usually have to select people to work on their project. Ideally, Skilled staff with appropriate experience will be available to work on the project. In most of the cases, managers have to settle for a less than ideal project team. 

Project Report Writing: The project manager is usually responsible for Project Report Writing to both the client and contractor organisations. Project Managers must write concise, coherent documentations that abstract information from the detailed project reports.

Software Project Management difficulties

Project management is very difficult and challenging task. There are some following major difficulties in software project management.

Software System's Uniqueness

  • software systems are developed only once.
  • Data is too scarce to allow for reliable cost estimates.
  • Cost estimates are usually based on the scope of the software system to be developed as estimated by an experienced software engineer(s).
  • Generally this provides an unreliable basis for calculations.
Possibility of Multiple Solution

  • There are practically an unlimited number of possibilities for solving a given problem.
  • The development of software products is not subjects to the strict constraints that apply for other technical products.
  • For software products, the limit stem for complexity and thus are difficult to determine in advance.
Individuality of Programmers

  • Software developers are individualists with large difference in capability; this makes it particularly difficult to estimated personal costs.
  • In addition, individualists usually resist being forced into an organisational corset.
Speed of Technological Advancements

  • The speed of technological development in hardware and software hinders both planning and organisation of software projects.
  • Sometimes during the development of the large software system, new, more powerful components appear on the market that render the conception of the system obsolete after its design and force redesign. This can completely overturn existing planning.
  • The project might also employ new software tools whose benefits are difficult to assess in advance.
Invisibility of Software Products

  • The invisibility of software products impedes their control.
  • It is difficult to assess how much a software product is actually finished, and the programmer has many possibilities for disguising the actual state of development.
  • Control task are more difficult to carry out than with other technical projects.

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