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Reference Library
Software Project Management

This page provides access to a variety of downloadable papers that address project management concepts and issues. The following topics are considered:

Best Practices


A COTS Acquisition Process: Definition and Application Experience [PDF]
Michael Ochs, Dietmar Pfahl, Gunther Chrobok-Diening and Beate Nothhelfer-Kolb

This report introduces and describes COTS acquisition process (CAP). This report discusses experience of using a tailored version of CAP in a Siemens Business unit. The process definition is given, a brief description of the activities is presented, and a description of the heuristics for effectiveness and efficiency integrated with the process is made.

COTS Software Acquisition Meta - Model [PDF]
Marc Mosko, Hong Jiang, Arindam Samanta and Linda Werner

This paper presents a software acquisition meta-model, called SAMM, for Commercial-O.-The-Shelf (COTS) software acquisition. This model is a meta-model in that it includes sections that use other, detailed, models for specific tasks. SAMM is a complete life-cycle model that begins with an end-user need and ends with software maintenance. The authors have adapted several other models in to SAMM and added several novel features appropriate for the acquisition of commercial software.

Modeling and Simulating Software Acquisition Process Architectures [PDF]
James Choi and Walt Scacchi

This paper, describes the authors efforts to support the modeling and simulation of processes associated with software system acquisition activities. Software acquisition is generally a multi-organization endeavor concerned with the funding, management, engineering, system integration, deployment and long-term support of large software systems. They first describe a language for modeling software acquisition processes at the architectural level. They then describe their approach supporting the simulation of software acquisition processes within a process architecture. In addition, they also introduce the design and prototyping of a Web-based environment which supports the modeling and simulation of acquisition process architectures.

Software Measurement Concepts for Acquisition Program Managers [PDF]
James A. Rozum

This report presents basic concepts for program managers to use to incorporate measurement into the managing software development process. Contents include: software measurement process concepts, common program issues, constraints and limitations, data definition and collection (deciding which measures are required, collecting the measurement data, understanding the data, using the data), software measures for common software development issues (software size, effort, staff, milestone performance, development progress, software defects, computer resource utilization), and other sample analysis techniques (trend analysis, multiple metric relationship analysis, modeling input data analysis, thresholds and warning limits).

The Road to Successful ITS Software Acquisition
Volume I: Overview and Themes [PDF]

Mitretek Systems

This document assembles best practices and presents practical advice on how to acquire the software components of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The document presents a series of "themes" that serve as guiding principles for building a successful acquisition. Included are people themes of collaboration, team building, open communications, and active customer involvement, which have been likened to partnering; management themes of flexibility, "no silver bullets", and up-front planning; and system themes of "Don't build if you can buy" and "Take bite-size pieces".

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Agile Software Maintenance [HTML] *FEE*
Jim Highsmith

This article on M&E activities discusses two agile practices: short-cycle iterative planning and delivery, and refactoring.

Adaptive Software Management - Strategies During an Economic Downturn [HTML]
Michael Mah

This article focuses on software managers adapting to cost reduction and using commercial software estimation tools to help guide them.

Agile Development and the Planning Spectrum [HTML] *FEE*
Jim Highsmith

This article is about Barry Boehm's article "Get Ready for Agile Methods, with Care". Barry Boehm first placed development methods along a planning spectrum. He then looks at he risks involved in too little or too much planning. He makes conclusions about agile verses plan-driven methods.

Agile Product Management in Action - Part 1 [HTML] *FEE*
Rob Thomsett

This article discusses APM (extreme or radical product management). First a definition is given, then the author compares APM to traditional project management (TPM), then APM's two distinct but related elements are discussed.

Agile Project Management in Action - Part 2
Shaping the Context [HTML]
Rob Thomsett

This article further discusses APM. The author discusses the first step in using APM, key players of APM, three levels of importance of the key players, rapid planning (RAP) process as the key tool in APM that involves these players.

Agile Project Management in Action - Part 3
Getting the First Steps Right [HTML]
Rob Thomsett

This article looks at the first RAP (rapid planning process) step in detail.

Agile Project Management in Action - Part 4
Scope, Objectives, and Added Value Analysis [HTML]
Rob Thomsett

This article discusses what scope is, objectives are examined, and other objective issues are looked at.

Agile Product Management in Action - Part 5
Scope, Objectives, and Added Value Analysis[HTML]
Rob Thomsett

This article discusses the biggest cause of failure in projects, stakeholders and related projects. This article discusses what a stakeholder is, what related projects could include, three very useful stakeholder analysis tools, and the special case of the sponsor.

Agile Project Management in Action - Part 6
Added Value Analysis [HTML]
Rob Thomsett

This article discusses the measurement and realization of project benefits. The benefits chain is used to understand the benefits of a project. The Polaroid test is used to identify the value chain.

Agile Requirements [HTML] *FEE*
Jim Highsmith

This article is about the IEEE Joint International Requirements Engineering Conference and the call for papers about how RE can be considered as beneficial as opposed to interfering with getting the project done on time. The author divides the issue between agile and traditional requirements engineering into three areas and summarizes them.

Planning Agile Projects [PDF]
Martin Fowler

This slide presentation covers the following topics: agile methodologies, agile and planning, planning principles, four variables (cost, quality, time and scope), release planning, and iteration planning.

Software Project Planning Light
Applying Project Planning Techniques on Small Software Projects [PDF]

Lena Johansson and Malin Lundgren

This report is concerned about whether large-scale project planning methods and techniques can be applied on small-scale software project. The trend is that projects are getting smaller and smaller and the authors aim was to investigate if there are any project management and planning methods for small-scale projects. They have done this study at University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, England. They have also looked at the profession of the different authors since the correctness of the literature is essential in our results. As a result of their investigation they also suggest a project planning working guideline to be used as a checklist for small-scale projects of any kind. They have named it "Project Planning Light".

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Best Practices

Critical Success Factors in Software Projects [PDF] *FEE*
John S. Reel

This article focuses on managing software development. Five critical factors in software projects are discussed. They are managing complexity, start on the right foot, maintain the momentum, track progress, make smart decisions, and post-mortem analysis.

Implementing Project Management Best Practices on Your Projects [PDF]
John Bridenstine

This paper discusses ideas to implement project management best practices.

Microsoft's Best Practices for IT Solutions Success [PPT]
Kyle Korzenowski

This PowerPoint slide presentation on Microsoft Solutions Framework outlines the following topics: IT challenges and opportunities, MSF overview (team model, process model, risk management), and MSF resources.

Nine Best Practices
The Software Management Framework [PDF]

Niwot Ridge Consulting

This paper discusses nine key practices that will guide the development of a software project. These practices are taken from Norm Brown's work. These nine practices include: formal risk management, agreement on interfaces, formal inspections, metrics based scheduling and management, binary quality gates at the inch-pebble level, project-wide visibility of progress to plan, defect tracking against quality targets, configuration management, and people-aware management accountability.

Project Management Best Practices: Key Processes and Common Sense [PDF]
Margo Visitacion

This paper on product management best practices covers: recommendations, we don't have the time to do it right but we have the time to do it over, product management best practices, alternative view, and findings.

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Lecture 3: Project Management [PDF]
Steve Easterbrook

This slide presentation on project management covers the following topics: project management (planning tools, PERT charts, Gantt Charts, meetings), risk management (risk assessment, risk control), and measurement (choosing software metrics, some example metrics).

Project Management Tiers
How "Wow, I'm on a Project" Changes to "Mention doing Another Project and I'll Rip out Your Liver"[PDF]

Dick Billows

This paper discusses five tiers of product management: alpha, beta, omega, theta, and delta organizations.

Seven Characteristics of Dysfunctional Software Projects [HTML]
Michael W. Evans, Alex M. Abela and Thomas Beltz

Taking advantage of its many years of experience in identifying and evaluating project risks in large-scale software systems acquisition and development programs, Integrated Computer Engineering has developed a risk database. Their analysis of this risk database has identified seven predominant characteristics that provide insight into the causes of dysfunctional software projects. This article identifies these characteristics and the typical real-world risks that accompany each.

Software Engineering - Part 6 - Project Planning and Management [PDF]
Stefan Leue

This slide presentation covers the following topics: introduction and history (history, life cycle, software process qualities), requirements and early life-cycle engineering (requirements elicitation, operational specification, descriptive specification, object-oriented analysis, unified modeling language), and software design (classical software design, object-oriented design, unified modeling language).

Software Project Management [PDF]
James E. Tomayko and Harvey K. Hallman

This paper discusses what software project managers need to developed a plan for software development that focuses on effective estimation of size and effort and attention to productivity and quality. Also discussed are: risk management, alternative life-cycle models, development team organization, and management of technical people.

Lecture 5: Software Project Management [PDF]
Mike Wooldridge

This slide presentation on software project management covers the following topics: introduction, activities in software project management, software development plan, work breakdown, critical paths, Gantt Charts and Activity Networks, risks, and quality assurance.

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Agile Processes and Self - Organization [PDF]

This paper discusses the use of self-organizing teams in agile processes. Scrum is used as the model agile process during this paper.

Agile Software Development: The People Factor [PDF]
Alistair Cockburn and Jim Highsmith

This article discusses the effects of working in an agile style. Topics include: agile is for people, individual competence, team competence, agile organizations, agile ecosystems, agile effectiveness, and agile domains.

Analyzing Software Teams using Belbin's Innovative Plant Role [PDF]
K. Todd Stevens and Sallie M. Henry

This paper presents a controlled experiment demonstrating the utility of forming teams based on Belbin's team roles. The overall research focuses on the utility of Belbin's roles in improving team performance. This experiment explores Belbin's Plants, who add innovation and new ideas to teams. The results of this experiment show that Plants improve team performance. The specific conclusion is that the mean time-to-completion to solve programming problems is smaller for teams consisting of only Plant members. This empirical evidence is useful in both formation and evaluation of teams, which can be useful to managers of programmers as well as educators.

An Earned Value Tracking System for Self - Directed Software Teams [PDF]
Steven H. Lett

Essential to any management system is the need to plan and, as work progresses, to know accurately the budget and schedule status as compared to the plan. An earned value tracking system is an excellent way many software organizations document their detailed plans and measure work progress. On the AEGIS Combat System Interface Simulator (ACSIS) project at Lockheed Martin Government Electronic Systems (GES) in Moorestown, New Jersey, a system of earned value tracking has evolved that has proven to be successful in enhancing a SDWT environment. At the core of the systems success, is a process by which each project team and each individual is involved in the establishment of an earned value plan, in providing status updates, and in reviewing earned value reports.

Investigating Cultural Differences in Virtual Software Teams [PDF]
Georgios Dafoulas and Linda Macaulay

This paper focuses on virtual software development teams and how cultural differences between them or their members may affect activities in different stages of the development cycle. It briefly reviews the existing perspectives on virtual teams and their organization and management. It also discusses the main characteristics that such teams have and clarifies the differences between various definitions available for the "virtual team".

Project Leadership [HTML] *FEE*
Jim Highsmith

This article focuses on John Kotters article "What Leaders Really Do". The difference between project management and project leadership is discussed.

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Enhanced Management Framework
Project Tracking & Oversight Process [RTF]

Enhanced Management Framework

This paper discusses the process for a project manager to follow to track a project. Processes include: entry criteria, process map, inputs, activities, outputs, verification and validation, exit criteria, metrics, records control table, and controlled documents table.

Project Execution - PM Elements
Tracking and Monitoring Project Performance [PDF]

Author Unknown

This paper discusses using the project plan as a baseline, how and what is being tracked, when tracking should be done, activity and schedule tracking, monitoring, planned verses actual costs, cost determination, review the cost estimates, estimate at completion (EAC), resource loading updates, executive status reports, project status reports, independent reviews, and periodic updates.

Project Scheduling and Tracking [PPT]
Bruce R. Maxim

This PowerPoint presentation covers: scheduling principles, steps, defining a task set, software project types, software process degree of rigor, concept development tasks, activity graph, critical path method (CPM), Gantt Chart, milestone chart, line graph, error tracking.

Project Scheduling and Tracking [PDF]
Author Unknown

This slide presentation on project scheduling and tracking outlines the following areas: scheduling principles, task set, defining task sets, define a task network, scheduling methods: strengths and weaknesses, activities performed, tracking: elementary metrics, project tracking-manpower and effort, project tracking-lines of code and defects.

Project Tracking Checklist [DOC]
Author Unknown

This checklist is intended to provide system owners, project managers, and other information system development and maintenance professionals with guidance in identifying and planning software project tracking activities. The checklist reflects recognized project tracking activities to be performed throughout the information system (IS) life cycle.

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