Back2Basics: Software Project Management Process : Introduction
Until 1980’s software was used exclusively by techie people. Rest of the world was curious about computer, software systems but still software had not entered into people’s live. Today as we see, software has become inseparable part of human life. Almost everything we can look around is managed, controlled by software be it our internet, smart phone, cellular network, electric supplies, television, transportation system, retail food chains, education & learning centers, health care centers, weather, agriculture and so on. Almost every aspect of our life is associated with some or other software. And going forward, it is just going to be more smarter and much more integral part of our life.
Though this is, in a way revolution, such change has been result of having ‘great minds at work’ doing what is called as ‘software project management’. Building a software or software creation is a process and a properly defined process of creating software is called software project management.
What is Project?
A general definition of project is: “It is an temporary endeavor with set of well-defined activities that leads achievement of a specific goal(s)”. A Project has following characteristics:
- Project has specific goal(s)
- It has a definite start date and end date
- It is not group of routine tasks or daily activities rather involves planned activities
- Unlike routine activities, project comes to end when its goal(s) is achieved
- Every project requires enough resources in terms of time, skilled workforce, budget, material and other support
What is Software Project?
A Software Project can be considered as a subset of general Project. It involves the process managing software life-cycle right from software requirement gathering, designing, to testing and maintenance, carried out according to a given project management methodologies, in a stipulated time frame to achieve intended software product/service delivery.
What is Software Project Management
Going by the Wikipedia’s definition: “Software Project Management is the art and science of planning and leading software projects. It is a sub-discipline of project management in which software projects are planned, implemented, monitored and controlled.”
Why Is Software Project Management Required?
Unlike machines or buildings, software does not have a physical form or it is not a tangible product. Today organizations are using software to drive business processes. One can imagine the complexity involved in mapping business process to a software. Also business process for one organization can not be same for other, it means requirement of a software for one organization will be different from other. Given the rapid changes in the technology platform as well as globalized but integrated economies induce element of risks in the software already developed or under development. Hence to reduce the risk factor and ensure project delivery will meet stakeholder’s expectations, there is a need to follow structured, process based approach; which is nothing but software project management.
In the next post of this series we will look at software project management activities, triple constraints impacting project scope, and role of project manager in case of software project.
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