Software Project Management For Dummies
eBook - ePub

Software Project Management For Dummies

Teresa Luckey, Joseph Phillips

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eBook - ePub

Software Project Management For Dummies

Teresa Luckey, Joseph Phillips

Detalles del libro
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Información del libro

  • The increase in project outsourcing has forced traditional programmers to take on the role of project managers and quickly learn how to manage software projects
  • The author discusses all of the essentials in widely accepted project management methodology, from managing programmers to assessing and eliminating risk
  • The book covers the iterative development model, using Microsoft Project 2003, as well as a variety of methodologies including eXtreme, open source, SQA testing, software life cycle management, and more
  • The companion Web site contains tools, case studies and other resources to help even novices get up and running

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For Dummies
Computer Science
Part I

Starting Your Software Project

In this part . . .
Part I provides an overview of software project management and introduces you to some of the jargon used in this field. Don’t miss these chapters — they form the foundation for all remaining chapters in the book.
Chapter 1

Examining the Big Picture of Project Management

In This Chapter

Defining what a software project is
Examining project management attributes
Starting and finishing a software project
Dealing with software project nuances
Leading and managing project teams
Here’s a tough decision for you: Manage a project to create a new piece of software that can make or break your entire organization, or jump from an airplane with a parachute that may — or may not — function. For some project managers the decision is the same either way.
But not for you. At least you’re on the right track to capture, improve, and successfully lead your projects to completion.
The adrenaline rush in skydiving (and in project management) may not be at the same level, but the butterflies in your stomach definitely are. There’s really one secret to skydiving and it’s the same secret to successful project management. (No, it’s not “don’t do it.”) The key to successful software project management and skydiving is preparation.
Many projects fail at the beginning rather than the end. After you do the prep work, you must execute your plan, take control of your project, and ultimately bring it to its natural (and successful) conclusion.

Defining Software Projects

Software project management is a type of project management that focuses specifically on creating or updating software. Just as there are billions of ice cream flavors, there are billions of types of software. Project managers, effective ones, can lick them both.
A project, technically, is a temporary endeavor to create a unique product or service. For some people, everything is a project; for others, projects are special, lofty activities that occur infrequently. A project is a unique entity. In other words, the creation of a new application is unique, whereas the maintenance and day-to-day support of an existing application is not so unique. Projects can have many attributes:
They change or improve environments in organizations.
They get things done.
They are unique from other work.
They have a defined start and end date.
They require resources and time.
They solve problems.
They seize opportunities.
They are sometimes challenging.

Defining Software Project Management

For some people, project management is just a stack of work doled out to a group of people by a goober called the project manager. For other folks, project management is a foggy, scary science directed by a different goober with a slide ruler. And for others still, a project manager is a goober that touts formulas, certifications, and facts without ever really getting things done.
But in effective project management there ain’t no room for goobers. Effective project management centers on the serious business of getting work done on time and within budget while meeting customer expectations. Effective project management is about accomplishment, leadership, and owning the project scope. It’s an incredible feeling to sign off on the project and know that you and your project team contributed to the project’s success.
Management is concerned with one thing: results.
Project management involves coordinating people, vendors, and resources. Project management requires excellent communication skills, a strong will to protect the project scope, and leadership skills to enforce quality throughout the project work.
According to the Project Management Institute ( ), the defining resource on all things related to project management, project management is centered on nine knowledge areas. Events in each knowledge area affect what happens in the other eight knowledge areas. Table 1-1 gives you the lowdown.
Table 1-1 The Nine Project Management Knowledge Areas