Back2Basics: Software Project Management: Activities and Roles
We introduced you to software project management process in the first part of this series. Let’s look at software project management activities involved and the critical role of a project manager in delivering IT projects.
Time Quality Cost (TQC) Triple Constraints in Software Project Management
Time Quality Cost (TQC) Triple constraint is a well known phenomena even in general project management. But because of changes in technology are so quick in case of software, the importance of TQC triple constraint is much more for these projects.
TQC represents project timeline, project quality and project cost constraints which impact the scope of the project and vice versa. Any change in any one of these elements of the triangle impacts other elements e.g. Change in timeline say cutting down project duration will change project quality, it will also increase/decrease project cost, similarly changing project scope can impact all elements viz. Timeline, cost and quality.
Thus one can easily understand that project management is very much required for software project in order to facilitate, evaluate, accept user requirements, changes in project scope by properly assessing its impact on project budget, project timeline as well as project quality.
IT Project Manager / Software Project Manager
Once it is accepted that software project delivery is a not a simple or risk-free affair and it requires a proper process; then there is need of experienced and skilled professional who can articulate this process for the project and translate team effort, stakeholder communication and other aspects into project delivery. We are talking about IT project manager or software project manager.
Software project manager is responsible for planning of project, project execution, monitoring and closure. PM has to be experienced about all these phases of project management also called as Software Development LifeCycle (SDLC). Project manager prepares software development plan, testing plan, identifies and assigns required resources, track progress, manages project communication among team members as well as other stakeholders. The whole objectives is to deliver project within a given timeline, budget, resources and quality constraints and ultimately deliver a software that meets/exceeds customers’ expectations. As such IT PM may not be doing software programming or software testing but s/he needs to be aware of challenges, technicalities as well as subject matter experts involved in these areas.
What are typical roles and responsibilities a IT project manager plays/performs-
Key Responsibilities of PM While Managing a Project
- Act as a key coordinator and anchor person for project
- Liaison with stakeholders and keep them informed/involved as necessary
- Define and manage project scope
- Create and manage project plan
- Track project progress and monitor timeline, financial performance
- Track and manage issues/incidents
- Analyze risks and devise response strategy
- Manageproject resources and track resources time
What Does Software Project Management Achieve?
If enterprise businesses or critical public utility software applications are to be delivered, software project management is all the more important. In order to create reliable, relevant software product or services, the IT software delivery project group needs to establish & follow a sound project engineering process to improve product quality, reduce cost and sticking to the delivery schedule.
Software Project Management Activities
Like typical project management, IT project management involves number of activities to plan, track, monitor and deliver project. Software project management also involves certain activities about software development and maintenance. Software project management can include following activities:
- IT Project Planning & Tracking
- IT Project Resource Management
- IT Project Budget, Cost and Billing Management
- IT Project Bug/Issues Tracking
- IT Project Risk Management
- IT Project Change Request Management
- IT Project Document Management
- IT Project Communication Management
- IT Project Stakeholder Management
- IT Configuration Management
- IT Integration Management
- IT Procurement Management
We will look at IT project planning in more details, get introduced to software project estimation process, techniques in next post.
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