Applied Software Project Management 1 Introduction Dr. Mengxia Zhu Computer Science Department Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
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Applied Software Project Management 1 Introduction Dr. Mengxia Zhu Computer Science Department Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Applied Software Project Management What is software project management? The Art and science of planning and leading software project, and requires knowledge of the entire development lifecycle: Defining the vision Planning the tasks Gathering people who will do the work Estimating the efforts Creating the schedule Overseeing the work Gathering the requirements Designing and programming the software Testing end products 2
Applied Software Project Management A practical book The specific tools, techniques, and practices that need to be put in place to run a software project. Who should take this course? A project manager responsible for a software development project and a team A programmer, designer, business analyst, architect, tester, or other method of a software team looking to improve the product he/she is working on. and more…such as quality assurance manager and consultant 3
Applied Software Project Management 4 Why do software projects fail? People begin programming before they understand the problem Everyone likes to feel that they’re making progress When the team starts to code as soon as the project begins, they see immediate gains When problems become more complex (as they always do!), the work gets bogged down In the best case, a team that begins programming too soon will end up writing good software that solves the wrong problem
Applied Software Project Management 5 Why do software projects fail? The team has an unrealistic idea about how much work is involved. From far away, most complex problems seem simple to solve Teams can commit to impossible deadlines by being overly optimistic and not thinking through the work Few people realize the deadline is optimistic until it’s blown
Applied Software Project Management 6 Why do software projects fail? Defects are injected early but discovered late. Projects can address the wrong needs Requirements can specify incorrect behavior Design, architecture and code can be technically flawed Test plans can miss functionality The later these problems are found, the more likely they are to cause the project to fail
Applied Software Project Management 7 Why do software projects fail? Programmers have poor habits – and they don’t feel accountable for their work. Programmers don’t have good control of their source code Code written by one person is often difficult for another person to understand Programmers don’t test their code, which makes diagnosing and fixing bugs more expensive The team does not have a good sense of the overall health of the project.
Applied Software Project Management 8 Why do software projects fail? Managers try to test quality into the software. Everyone assumes that the testers will catch all of the defects that were injected throughout the project. When testers look for defects, managers tell them they are wasting time. When testers find defects, programmers are antagonized because they feel that they are being personally criticized. When testers miss defects, everyone blames them for not being perfect.
Applied Software Project Management 9 How can we make sure that our projects succeed? Make sure all decisions are based on openly shared information It’s important to create a culture of transparency, where everyone who needs information knows where to find it and is comfortable looking at it. All project documents, schedules, estimates, plans and other work products should be shared with the entire team, managers, stakeholders, users and anyone else in the organization who wants them. Major decisions that are made about the project should be well- supported and explained. Everyone agrees on what needs to be built, how long it will take and what steps will be taken, how to know it has been done properly.
Applied Software Project Management 10 How can we make sure that our projects succeed? Don’t second-guess your team members’ expertise Managers need to trust team members and make them productive. Just because a manager has responsibility for a project’s success, it doesn’t mean that he’s more qualified to make decisions than the team members. Rely on the expertise of the members. No way a single person can fill all the roles. They make recommendation, you make the informed decisions. If you don’t have a good reason to veto an idea, don’t. Support them, listen to them. However, do not blindly trust your team. Evaluate their ideas in relation to solid engineering principles.
Applied Software Project Management 11 How can we make sure that our projects succeed? Introduce software quality from the very beginning of the project Review everything, test everything. Review is not just force people to sign and make commitment. Use reviews to find defects – but don’t expect the review to be perfect. Catch enough defects to more than pay for the time to hold it. Faster to fix something on paper than build it first and fix it. A few minutes review can save hours, days or weeks in fixing code. Use reviews to gain a real commitment from the team. Foster respect among team members for everyone’s contribution. Testing (unit testing, functional testing, performance testing) is just as cost-effective as reviews. Testing must be planned from the beginning and then supported throughout the entire project. Look for defects at every stage, in every document, and in the software.
Applied Software Project Management 12 How can we make sure that our projects succeed? Don’t impose an artificial hierarchy on the project team All software engineers were created equal. A manager should not assume that programming is more difficult or technical than design, testing or requirements engineering. Managers should definitely not assume that the programmer is always right, or the tester is always raising false alarms. Everyone on the team feels respected and valued and gain a true commitment from each person to make the software the best it can be.
Applied Software Project Management 13 How can we make sure that our projects succeed? Remember that the fastest way through the project is to use good engineering practices Managers and teams often want to cut important tasks – especially estimation, reviews, requirements gathering and testing. Do not like adopting practices unless they believe they will see a net gain. If it were faster to build the software without these practices, we would never use them. Every one of these practices is about saving time and increasing quality by planning well and finding defects early. Cutting them out will cost time and reduce quality.
Applied Software Project Management Part I: Tools and Techniques Software Project Planning Vision and scope document Software project plan Estimation Wideband Delphi estimation process Project Schedule Project schedules Earned value metrics Scheduling software (such as Microsoft Project and Open Workbench) 14
Applied Software Project Management Tools and Techniques Review Inspections, Deskchecks, Walkthroughs code reviews and pair programming Requirements Use cases Functional and nonfunctional requirements Software requirements specifications Change control 15
Applied Software Project Management Tools and Techniques Design and Programming Configuration management Subversion Refactoring Unit tests Project automation software Software testing Test plans, Test cases and Test automation Defect tracking system Postmortem meetings Metrics 16
Applied Software Project Management Part II: Using Project Management Effectively It is not enough for a project manager to understand practices that are used by all of the team members. A good project manager also needs to know how to lead the team. Focused on learning how to use the five basic principles in order to work with people, teams, and organizations. Understanding Changes Management and Leadership Managing an Outsourced Project Process Improvement 17