Project Management
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Project Management (mainly based on Chapter 21-23 in Software Engineering by Ian Summerville (9 th edition). Outline. Career background The main tasks undertaken by project managers Managing people Risks and the risk management process Project planning and quality management process (*)

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Project Management(mainly based on Chapter 21-23 in Software Engineering by Ian Summerville (9th edition)


  • Career background

  • The main tasks undertaken by project managers

  • Managing people

  • Risks and the risk management process

  • Project planning and quality management process (*)

  • Software tools for project management

Pay off

  • Average PM salary $81,000

  • Contract rates for PM’s can match techies

  • PMI certification adds avg. 14% to salary

  • PMI certs, 1993: 1,000; 2002: 40,000

Project Management Skills

  • Leadership

  • Communications

  • Problem Solving

  • Negotiating

  • Influencing the Organization

  • Mentoring

  • Process and technical expertise

PMI’s 9 Knowledge Areas

  • Project integration management

  • Scope

  • Time

  • Cost

  • Quality

  • Human resource

  • Communications

  • Risk

  • Procurement

PM Resources

  • Professional Organizations

    • Project Management Institute (PMI) (

    • Software Engineering Institute (SEI)

    • IEEE Software Engineering Group

  • Certifications

    • PMI PMP

Software project management

  • Activities to ensure that software is delivered on time and within budget and in accordance with the requirements.

  • Is needed because software development is always subject to budget and schedule constraints.

Success criteria

  • Deliver the software to the customer at the agreed time.

  • Keep overall costs within budget.

  • Deliver software that meets the customer’s expectations.

  • Maintain a happy and well-functioning development team.

Software management distinctions

  • The product is intangible.

    • Software cannot be seen or touched. Software project managers cannot see progress by simply looking at the artefact that is being constructed.

  • Many software projects are 'one-off' projects.

    • Large software projects are usually different in some ways from previous projects. Even managers who have lots of previous experience may find it difficult to anticipate problems.

  • Software processes are variable and organization specific.

    • We still cannot reliably predict when a particular software process is likely to lead to development problems.

Who do PM interact with?

  • Project Stakeholders

    • Project sponsor

    • Executives

    • Team

    • Customers

    • Contractors

    • Functional managers

Management activities

  • Project planning

    • Project managers are responsible for planning, estimating and scheduling project development and assigning people to tasks.

  • Reporting

    • Project managers are responsible for reporting on the progress of a project to customers and to the higher level managers and executives.

Management activities

  • People management

    • Choose people for their team and establish ways of working that leads to effective team performance

  • Proposal writing

    • The first stage in a software project may involve writing a proposal to win a contract to carry out an item of work.

    • The proposal describes the objectives of the project and how it will be carried out.

Management activities

  • Risk management

    • Assess the risks that may affect a project, monitor these risks and take action when problems arise.

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.

Managing people

  • People are an organisation’s most important assets.

  • The tasks of a manager are essentially people-oriented.

  • Poor people management is an important contributor to project failure.

People management factors

  • Consistency

    • Team members should all be treated in a comparable way without favourites or discrimination.

  • Respect

    • Different team members have different skills and these differences should be respected.

  • Inclusion

    • Involve all team members and make sure that people’s views are considered.

  • Honesty

    • You should always be honest about what is going well and what is going badly in a project.

Motivating people

  • Organizing the work and the working environment to encourage people to work effectively.

    • If people are not motivated, they will

      • not be interested in what they are doing

      • work slowly

      • be more likely to make mistakes

      • not contribute to the broader goals of the team or the organization

Motivating people

  • Different types of motivation based on:

    • Basic needs (e.g. food, sleep, etc.);

    • Personal needs (e.g. respect, self-esteem);

    • Social needs (e.g. to be accepted as part of a group).

Need satisfaction

  • In software development groups, basic physiological and safety needs are not an issue.

  • Social

    • Provide communal facilities;

    • Allow informal communications e.g. via social networking

Need satisfaction

  • Esteem

    • Recognition of achievements;

    • Appropriate rewards.

  • Self-realization

    • Training - people want to learn more;

    • Responsibility.

Personality types

  • In practice, the needs hierarchy is an over-simplification.

  • Motivation should also take into account different personality types:

    • Task-oriented;

    • Self-oriented;

    • Interaction-oriented.

Personality types

  • Task-oriented.

    • The motivation for doing the work is the work itself;

  • Self-oriented.

    • The work is a means to achieve individual goals - e.g. to get rich, to play tennis, to travel etc.;

  • Interaction-oriented

    • The principal motivation is the presence and actions of co-workers. People go to work because they like to go to work.

Motivation balance

  • Individual motivations are made up of elements of each class.

  • The balance can change depending on personal circumstances and external events.

  • People are also motivated by being part of a group and culture.

  • People go to work because they are motivated by the people that they work with.


  • Most software engineering is a group activity

  • A good group is:

    • Cohesive (the success of the group + individual goals)

    • Has a team spirit (deliver high quality results and fix problems)

    • Knowledge is shared

The effectiveness of a team

  • Flexibility in group composition is limited

  • A mixed personalities/skills of people

  • A group should be organized so that individuals can contribute to the best of their abilities

  • Good communications is essential.

Group organization

  • Some key questions include:

    • Who will be involved in making critical technical decisions, and how will these be made?

    • How will interactions with external stakeholders and senior company management be handled?

    • How can knowledge be shared across the group?

Group organization

  • Small groups are usually organised informally

  • For large projects, there may be a hierarchical structure where different groups are responsible for different sub-projects.

  • Agile development is always based around an informal group on the principle that formal structure inhibits information exchange

Group communications

  • Good communications are essential for effective group working.

  • Information must be exchanged on the status of work, design decisions and changes to previous decisions.

  • Good communications also strengthens group cohesion as it promotes understanding.

Factors affect group communications

  • Group size

    • The larger the group, the harder it is for people to communicate.

  • Group structure

    • Communication is better in informally structured groups than in hierarchically structured groups.

  • Group composition

    • Communication is better when there are different personality types in a group and when groups are mixed rather than single sex.

  • The physical work environment

    • Good workplace organisation can help encourage communications.

Risk management process

  • Risk identification

    • Identify project, product and 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;

Risk management process

Risk management

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

  • Identify risks and draw up plans to minimise their effect.

  • Various risks may affect

    • schedule or resources

    • affect the quality or performance

    • affect the organisation

Risk indicators

Risk identification

  • A team activities or based on project manager’s experience

  • A checklist of common risks may be used to identify risks

    • Technology risks.

    • People risks.

    • Organisational risks.

    • Requirements risks.

    • Estimation risks.

Examples of different risk types

Risk analysis

  • Assess probability and seriousness of each risk.

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

  • Risk consequences might be catastrophic, serious, tolerable or insignificant.

Risk types and examples

Risk types and examples

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;

Strategies to help manage risk

Strategies to help manage risk

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.


  • The developer must systematically and continually enumerate all the possible risks related to technical capability and making the schedule.

  • The manager must lead the team to follow the risk management process to proactively manage the project risks. •

  • The customer must participate in the continual identification of risks.

PM Tools: Software

  • .dotProj

  • MS Project

  • Primavera Project Manager

Tools: Gantt Chart

Key Points

  • The main tasks undertaken by project managers

  • Strategies to managing people

  • Risk management process

  • Be able to perform risk assessment and develop risk control strategies for a given scenario

Risk Management Concepts and Metrics

  • Risk – the possibility of loss or injury

  • Risk exposure (RE) or risk impact (RI)

    • RE = Prob(UO) * Loss(UO)

    • Prob(UO) is the probability of an unsatisfactory outcome

    • Loss(UO) is the loss to the parties affected if the unsatisfactory outcome occurs.

Risk Management Concepts

Decision tree risk analysis& expected monetary value


  • The software will be developed by the experiment team.

  • The experiment team understands the experiment but is inexperienced in and somewhat casual about software development.

  • The manager has obtained an estimate that there is a probability of 0.4 that the software will have a critical error (CE).

  • This CE will wipe out the entire experiment and cause an associated loss of $20M.

Two options for reducing risk

  • Convincing and helping the experiment team to apply better development methods.

    • This will incur no additional cost

    • This will reduce the CE probability to 0.1

  • Hiring a contractor to independently verify and validate the software.

    • This incurs a cost of $0.5M

    • This will reduce the CE probability to 0.04

Prob(UO) = 0.4

Loss(UO) = $20M

RE = $8M


Loss(UO) = $0M

Do nothing

Prob(UO) = 0.1

Loss(UO) = $20M

RE = $2M



Loss(UO) = $0M


Prob(UO) = 0.04

Loss(UO) = $20.5M

RE = $(0.82+0.48)M

= $1.3 M


Loss(UO) = $0.5M

Risk Management Case Study

A Server stores some data on it. The probability of losing the data is 20%. The cost of losing such data is measured in terms of the cost of rebuilding it. This is estimated at $20,000.

Probability of loss                         0.2               BEFORE Resolution

Loss                                          $20,000

Exposure to data loss                   0.2 x $20,000 = $4,000

Now we provide a method of reducing the possibility of data loss. This reduces the risk to 5%. The impact on losing the data is the same since we still need to rebuild the data. However, the cost of introducing the loss reduction is $2000.

Probability of loss                         0.05             AFTER Resolution

Loss                                          $20,000 (Same loss in this example)

Exposure                                    0.05 x $20,000 = $1000

Cost of Risk Reduction                 $2000

So using the above formula, the Risk Reduction Leverage is:

Leverage                                    ($4000 - $1000) / $2000 = 1.5 

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