Project management
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PROJECT MANAGEMENT. Meuthia Rachmaniah. Project management. Organizing, planning, and scheduling software projects. Objectives. To introduce software project management and to describe its distinctive characteristics To discuss project planning and the planning process

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Project management


Meuthia Rachmaniah

Project management1

Project management

  • Organizing, planning, and scheduling software projects



  • To introduce software project management and to describe its distinctive characteristics

  • To discuss project planning and the planning process

  • To show how graphical schedule representations are used by project management

  • To discuss the notion of risks and the risk management process

Topics covered

Topics covered

  • Management activities

  • Project planning

  • Project scheduling

  • Risk management

Software project management

Software project management

  • Concerned with activities involved in ensuring that software is delivered on time and on schedule and in accordance with the requirements of the organisations developing and procuring the software

  • Project management is needed because software development is always subject to budget and schedule constraints that are set by the organisation developing the software

Software management distinctions

Software management distinctions

  • The product is intangible

  • The product is uniquely flexible

  • Software engineering is not recognized as an engineering discipline with the same status as mechanical, electrical engineering, etc.

  • The software development process is not standardised

  • Many software projects are 'one-off' projects

Management activities

Management activities

  • Proposal writing

  • Project planning and scheduling

  • Project costing

  • Project monitoring and reviews

  • Personnel selection and evaluation

  • Report writing and presentations

Management commonalities

Management commonalities

  • These activities are not peculiar to software management

  • Many techniques of engineering project management are equally applicable to software project management

  • Technically complex engineering systems tend to suffer from the same problems as software systems

Project staffing

Project staffing

  • May not be possible to appoint the ideal people to work on a project

    • Project budget may not allow for the use of highly-paid staff

    • Staff with the appropriate experience may not be available

    • An organisation may wish to develop employee skills on a software project

  • Managers have to work within these constraints especially when (as is currently the case) there is an international shortage of skilled IT staff

Project planning

Project planning

  • Probably the most time-consuming project management activity

  • Continuous activity from initial concept through to system delivery. Plans must be regularly revised as new information becomes available

  • Various different types of plan may be developed to support the main software project plan that is concerned with schedule and budget

Types of project plan

Types of project plan

Project planning process

Project planning process

Project plan structure

Project plan structure

  • Introduction

  • Project organisation

  • Risk analysis

  • Hardware and software resource requirements

  • Work breakdown

  • Project schedule

  • Monitoring and reporting mechanisms

Activity organization

Activity organization

  • Activities in a project should be organised to produce tangible outputs for management to judge progress

  • Milestones are the end-point of a process activity

  • Deliverables are project results delivered to customers

  • The waterfall process allows for the straightforward definition of progress milestones

Milestones in the re process

Milestones in the RE process

Project scheduling

Project scheduling

  • Split project into tasks and estimate time and resources required to complete each task

  • Organize tasks concurrently to make optimal use of workforce

  • Minimize task dependencies to avoid delays caused by one task waiting for another to complete

  • Dependent on project managers intuition and experience

The project scheduling process

The project scheduling process

Scheduling problems

Scheduling problems

  • Estimating the difficulty of problems and hence the cost of developing a solution is hard

  • Productivity is not proportional to the number of people working on a task

  • Adding people to a late project makes it later because of communication overheads

  • The unexpected always happens. Always allow contingency in planning

Bar charts and activity networks

Bar charts and activity networks

  • Graphical notations used to illustrate the project schedule

  • Show project breakdown into tasks. Tasks should not be too small. They should take about a week or two

  • Activity charts show task dependencies and the the critical path

  • Bar charts show schedule against calendar time

Task durations and dependencies

Task durations and dependencies

Activity network

Activity network

Activity timeline

Activity timeline

Staff allocation

Staff allocation

Risk management

Risk management

  • Risk management is concerned with identifying risks and drawing up plans to minimise their effect on a project.

  • A risk is a probability that some adverse circumstance will occur.

    • Project risks affect schedule or resources

    • Product risks affect the quality or performance of the software being developed

    • Business risks affect the organisation developing or procuring the software

Software risks

Software risks

The risk management process

The risk management process

  • Risk identification

    • Identify project, product & business risks

  • Risk analysis

    • Assess the likelihood and consequences of these risks

  • Risk planning

    • Draw up plans to avoid or minimise the effects of the risk

  • Risk monitoring

    • Monitor the risks throughout the project

The risk management process1

The risk management process

Risk identification

Risk identification

  • Technology risks

  • People risks

  • Organisational risks

  • Requirements risks

  • Estimation risks

Risks and risk types

Risks and risk types

Risk analysis

Risk analysis

  • Assess probability and seriousness of each risk

  • Probability may be very low, low, moderate, high or very high

  • Risk effects might be catastrophic, serious, tolerable or insignificant

Risk analysis1

Risk analysis

Risk planning

Risk planning

  • Consider each risk and develop a strategy to manage that risk

  • Avoidance strategies

    • The probability that the risk will arise is reduced

  • Minimisation strategies

    • The impact of the risk on the project or product will be reduced

  • Contingency plans

    • If the risk arises, contingency plans are plans to deal with that risk

Risk management strategies

Risk management strategies

Risk monitoring

Risk monitoring

  • Assess each identified risks regularly to decide whether or not it is becoming less or more probable

  • Also assess whether the effects of the risk have changed

  • Each key risk should be discussed at management progress meetings

Risk factors

Risk factors

Key points

Key points

  • Good project management is essential for project success

  • The intangible nature of software causes problems for management

  • Managers have diverse roles but their most significant activities are planning, estimating, and scheduling

  • Planning and estimating are iterative processes which continue throughout the course of a project

Key points1

Key points

  • A project milestone is a predictable state where some formal report of progress is presented to management.

  • Risks may be project risks, product risks or business risks

  • Risk management is concerned with identifying risks which may affect the project and planning to ensure that these risks do not develop into major threats

Improving the software process


Improving the software process1

Improving the Software Process

  • U.S. Department of Defense initiative

  • Software Engineering Institute (SEI)

  • The fundamental problem with software

    • The software process is badly managed

Improving the software process contd

Software process improvement initiatives

Capability maturity model (CMM)

ISO 9000-series

ISO/IEC 15504

Improving the Software Process (contd)

Capability maturity model

Capability Maturity Model

  • Not a life-cycle model

  • Set of strategies for improving the software process

    • SW–CMM for software

    • P–CMM for human resources (“people”)

    • SE–CMM for systems engineering

    • IPD–CMM for integrated product development

    • SA–for software acquisition

  • These strategies are being unified into CMMI (capability maturity model integration)

Sw cmm


  • A strategy for improving the software process

    • Put forward in 1986 by the SEI

    • Fundamental idea:

    • Improving the software process leads to

      • Improved software quality

      • Delivery on time, within budget

    • Improved management leads to

      • Improved techniques

  • Five levels of “maturity” are defined

    • Organization advances stepwise from level to level

Level 1 initial level

Level 1. Initial Level

  • Ad hoc approach

    • Entire process is unpredictable

    • Management consists of responses to crises

  • Most organizations world-wide are at level 1

Level 2 repeatable level

Level 2. Repeatable Level

  • Basic software management

    • Management decisions should be made on the basis of previous experience with similar products

    • Measurements (“metrics”) are made

    • These can be used for making cost and duration predictions in the next project

    • Problems are identified, immediate corrective action is taken

Level 3 defined level

Level 3. Defined Level

  • The software process is fully documented

    • Managerial and technical aspects are clearly defined

    • Continual efforts are made to improve quality, productivity

    • Reviews are performed to improve software quality

    • CASE tools are applicable now (and not at levels 1 or 2)

Level 4 managed level

Level 4. Managed Level

  • Quality and productivity goals are set for each project

    • Quality, productivity are continually monitored

    • Statistical quality controls are in place

Level 5 optimizing level

Level 5. Optimizing Level

  • Continuous process improvement

    • Statistical quality and process controls

    • Feedback of knowledge from each project to the next



Key process areas

Key Process Areas

  • There are key process areas (KPAs) for each level

  • Level 2 KPAs include:

    • Requirements management

    • Project planning

    • Project tracking

    • Configuration management

    • Quality assurance

Key process areas1

Key Process Areas

  • Level 3

    • Organizational Process Focus,

    • Organization Process Definition,

    • Training Program,

    • Integrated Software Management,

    • Software Product Engineering,

    • Intergroup Coordination,

    • Peer Reviews.

Key process areas2

Key Process Areas

  • Level 4

    • Process Measurement and Analysis,

    • Quality Management,

    • Defect Prevention.

  • Level 5

    • Technology Innovation,

    • Process Change Management.



  • It takes:

    • 3 to 5 years to get from level 1 to level 2

    • 1.5 to 3 years from level 2 to level 3

    • SEI questionnaires highlight shortcomings, suggest ways to improve the process

  • Original idea: Defense contracts would be awarded only to capable firms

Experience contd

Experience (contd)

  • Profitability

    • Hughes Aircraft (Fullerton, CA) spent $500K (1987–90)

      • Savings: $2M per year, moving from level 2 to level 3

    • Raytheon moved from level 1 in 1988 to level 3 in 1993

      • Productivity doubled

      • Return of $7.70 per dollar invested in process improvement

Other spi initiatives

Other SPI Initiatives

  • Other software process improvement (SPI) initiatives:

    • ISO 9000-series

    • ISO/IEC 15504

Process improvement data

Process Improvement Data

  • SEI report on 13 organizations in the original study

  • They used a variety of process improvement techniques, not just SW–CMM

Project management

Project Performance Expectations

Level 5

Level 4

Level 3

Level 2

  • Performance

  • Cost

  • Schedule

  • Quality

Expected Trend

Level 1

Successive Projects

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