Friday, December 14, 2007

Managing Software Projects (1)

As a .NET developer, it is generally better for you to know what a project manager is responsible for and what problems they need to solve, so that you can work more collaboratively and efficiently with them.

We often hear about software projects that are late, over budget, or unable to satisfy customer needs. Why do so many software projects fail?

  • unclear objectives
  • bad planning
  • new technology
  • a lack of a project management methodology
  • insufficient staff

Various aspects of project management, including

  • effort estimation
  • risk management
  • project monitoring
  • configuration management
  • Although each proposed technique solves the problem it is designed to solve, it is not clear how to combine these techniques into a practical and workable process.
  • For effective project management, the need of the hour is a practical, what is needed is a balanced process that covers the management of the entire project from inception to completion.

What is a project management process?

  • A process encapsulates what the engineers and project managers have learned about successfully executing projects. Through the processes, the benefits of experience are conferred to everyone, including newcomers in the organization. These processes help managers and engineers emulate past successes and avoid the pitfalls that lead to failures.
  • The project management processes specify how to:
  • set milestones
  • organize personnel
  • manage risks
  • monitor progress
  • Project managers actually want to use processes but only if they're reasonable and will help them execute their projects better.

Benefits of having processes in place:

  • Processes lower your anxiety level. The checklists inevitably cover 80 percent of what needs to be done. Hence, your task reduces to working out the remaining 20 percent.
  • A process may have some extra steps, but you will not always know beforehand which ones are not needed, and hence you will increase your risks by taking shortcuts.

Software Project Management in Practice

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