What Is Software Project Management?
Software Project Management (SPM) is the proper way to plan and lead software projects. It is the part of project management where software projects are planned, executed, monitored, and controlled. Software project management is critical because software is an intangible product, software development is a new field in business and there is little experience in building software products. Most software products are developed to meet customer needs.
More importantly, the underlying technology is changing, moving fast, and changing frequently, so experience with one product may not apply to another. Therefore, these factors increase the environmental and business constraints on software development risks, so software project management is very important. It is important for an organization to deliver high-quality products, keep costs within the client’s budget, and deliver the project on schedule. Software project management is therefore essential to align user requirements with budget and time constraints.
Need of Software Project Management
Software is said to be an intangible product. Software development is a relatively new field in the business world, and there is not much experience in building software products. Software products are often designed around customer needs. More importantly, the underlying technology changes and evolves rapidly and frequently, which means that the experience of developing one product may not be applicable to another. All these commercial and environmental constraints increase the risks associated with software development, so it is important to manage software projects efficiently.
Software Project Management Prerequisites
Three requirements for software project management are
It is imperative in a software organization to deliver a high-quality product, keep costs within the client’s budget, and deliver the project on schedule. Various factors, whether external or internal, can influence this triple factor. Any of these three factors can strongly influence the other two.
Software Project Manager
The software project manager is the person responsible for implementing the software project. The software project manager knows exactly all stages of the software development life cycle that the software will go through. Although the manager may not be directly involved in the production of the final product, he controls and manages the activities involved in production.
The project manager closely monitors the development process, prepares and implements various plans, organizes necessary and sufficient resources, and maintains communication among all team members in order to address issues of cost, budget, resources, time, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Different types of Software Project Management
- Conflict Management: It is the process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict and increasing its positive aspects.
- Risk Management: Risk Management is the analysis and identification of risks.
- Requirements Management: Requirements Management is the process of analyzing, arranging, tracking, and documenting requirements, monitoring changes, and communicating with relevant stakeholders.
- Change Management: Change Management is a systematic approach to dealing with the shift or shifts in the goals, processes, and technologies of the organization.
- Software Configuration Management: Software Configuration Management is the process of monitoring and tracking changes to software, and is part of the comprehensive, multidisciplinary field of configuration management.
- Release Management: Release Management is the process of planning, controlling, and scheduling the releases involved in building and deploying releases.
Role and Responsibilities of a Software Project Manager
Software project managers may have to perform any of the following tasks:
- Planning: The software project manager creates a detailed plan for the entire project.
- Leadership: The software project manager assembles and leads a project team that consists of developers, analysts, testers, graphic designers, and technical writers.
- Execution: The person who manages software projects oversees the successful implementation of each phase of the project.
- Time Management: Staying on schedule is crucial to the successful completion of any project. This can be particularly challenging in managing software projects because changes to the original plan are almost guaranteed as the project evolves.
- Budget: As with traditional project managers, software project management professionals are tasked with creating and sticking to a project budget as closely as possible, minimizing spending, and redistributing funds when necessary.
- Maintenance: Project management in software encourages continuous product testing to catch errors early, fine-tune the final product according to client needs, and keep the project on track.
How to manage a software project successfully?
Here are eight best practices for effectively managing software projects.
- Take non-development work from your team and focus them on the product
- Motivate your team by sharing other’s success stories
- Avoid any changes in assigned tasks once assigned
- stick to the plan (until it needs to change it)
- Encourage organization by being organized yourself
- Improve productivity through effective delegation
- Get to know your team and build rapport
- Divide the plan into specific daily tasks