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Software Engineering Resources

Software Project Management
Although many of us (in our darker moments) take Dilbert's view of "management," it remains a very necessary activity when computer-based systems and products are built. Software project management involves the planning, monitoring, and control of the people, process, and events that occur as software evolves from preliminary concept to operational implementation. This page considers the following topic categories:

Project Management Resources - General

Software Project Management Concepts

Software Project Management Tutorials/Articles/Papers

People and Project Characteristics

Project Management Tools


Project Management Resources - General

Project Management Resources-I
Voluminous collection of SPM resources.

Project Management Resources - II
A reasonably comprehensive collection of SPM resources.

Project Management Resources-III
Excellent collection of SPM resources. Recommended.

Project Management Resources-IV
SPM links.

Project Management Resources-V
A reasonably comprehensive collection of SPM resources.

Project Management Resources-VI
Although somewhat dates, a reasonably comprehensive collection of SPM resources.

Project Management Resources-VII
Project management related resources, links, news and tools.

Project Management Resources-VIII
CETUS links offers one of the Web's most extensive SPM resources. Recommended.

Project Management Resources-IX
Offered by PMIS in the UK, this site provides brief articles on a variety of project management subjects and useful downloadable templates.

Project Management Resources-X
A wide array of project management and software engineering resources has been developed by TASKey, a developer of work management software.

IT Toolkit.com
Presents many 'mini-articles' that provide step-by-step guidance in alll areas of project management. Membership is free.

The Project Management Institute (PMI)
News, resources and other information on PM

SPM Articles-I
Pointers to a variety of short SPM-related articles.

SPM Articles-II
Pointers to a variety of short SPM-related articles.

Object-Oriented Project Management
Links to SPM resources with an emphasis on OO projects.

Project Management Control Tower
A commercial site that provides a useful project repository and reading room that contains worthwhile papers and other PM resources.

Software Dioxide
A extremely useful site containing a broad array of software engineering information for managers and practitioners. Includes many papers, news briefs and other information.

Method 123 Resources
Project management guidebook, risk management tool, useful articles, and other resources.

Generic Project Management Links

A good collection of project management links are not specific to software projects but still provide useful guidance.

Bright Hub Project Management
Presents useful generic information for project managers with an occasional article is dedicated to software project management issues.

Software Project Management Concepts

Project management
A generic discussion of PM at Wikipedia, much of which is applicable to SPM.

Software Project Management Tutorial
A downloadable tutorial from the SEI.

Open-Source Project Management
A description of open source PM.

Software Projects Blog
Useful articles on a variety of SPM topics.

Project Management Anti-patterns
An a
nti-pattern is either...
A pattern that tells how to go from a problem to a bad solution, or a pattern that tells how to go from a bad solution to a good solution. A useful discussion with many on-line pointers is presented here.

Intuit Project Management Tutorial
A useful tutorial on many aspects of project management including project intitiation, planning and development, production and execution, monitoring and control and closing. Many useful guidelines, templates, etc. Recommended..

The Cathederal and the Bazaar - A Project Management Metaphor
An interesting discussion of project management options characterized as "cathedral-like development (as an analogy with how Middle Age cathedrals were built), and bazaar-like development, which is based on informal communication between the coders."

pdf: Risk Identification Patterns for Software Projects
The paper presents a systematic approach to software risk identification based on risk patterns.

Software Project Management Tutorials/Articles/Papers

Software Project Management HOWTO
An in depth paper designed "for people with experience in programming and some skills in managing a software project but who are new to the world of free software."

Software Project Management Practices: Failure Versus Success
An examination of how successful project differ from those that fail.

Defining Characteristics of a Successful Software Project
Examines critical success factors for successful software projects.

10 characteristics of software companies that will fail
Things for your software company to avoid in a difficult economic climate.

Project Manager Today e-zine
Resources, articles, and news for the project manager.

16 Factors for Improving Software Project Success
A slide presentation.

Seven Characteristics of Dysfunctional Software Projects
An analysis of a 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."

Distributed Software Project Teams Study
A Study of Communication and Cooperation in Distributed Software Project Teams can be downloaded from this site.

Managing Collaborations
Presents a set of guidelines for increasing the probability that a collaborative software project will be successful.

Managing the Software Development Process
A paper that covers the basic element and provides a useful checklist of attributes of successful project managers.

Software Project Management Meets Six Sigma
An article that discusses the "application of Six Sigma methods to Software Project Management."

Do's and Don't's for Project Success
Insight from Steve McConnell. Recommended.

Project Characteristics
Common characteristics of major types of projects.

pdf: The Project Matrix: A Model for Software Engineering Project Management
The Project Matrix is a project management model of a software development project.

pdf: Characteristics for Software Optimization Projects
An examination of projects whose goal is optimize the utilization of computing resources

Video: Software Project Management in 15 Minutes
An entertaining short video on SPM in two parts(7:36)

People and Project Characteristics

Characterizing people as non-linear, first-order components in software development
An in depth article by Alistair Cockburn. Recommended.

pdf: Characteristics of a software architect
The role of the architect is arguably the most challenging within any software development project. The architect is the technical lead on the project and, from a technical perspective, ultimately carries the responsibility for the success or failure of the project

(Successful) IT People Characteristics
Blog commentary

Top Five Characteristics of a Great Project Manager
A short commentary.

Project Team Characteristics
Presents a useful matrix of team types and a worthwhile discussion of team characteristics.

100 Rules for Project Managers
Developed for NASA PMs by applicable to most. Recommended.

Balanced Project Teams
Tips for creating a project team that jells and produces a successful project outcome.

Essential Agile Characteristics (and the people doing the work)
Essential characteristics in an Agile Software Development Process

Video: Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great! (50:40)
A YouTube video that discusses the impact of agile methods on the organization and effectiveness of software teams.

Project Management Tools

List of project management software
A detailed, sub-categorized matrix of PM tools with links at Wikipedia.

Free Project Management Software
Pointer to free PM software.

Project Management Software Directory
A comprehensive list of PM software with pointers.

Project Management Software Tools
A reasonably comprehensive of pointers to tools in a variety of categories.

Project Management Software Product Comparisons
Comparison of 10 major tools with pointers to purchase the tool.

PM Freeware
Pointers to a wide range of PM freeware.

PM Shareware
Pointers to a wide variety of PM shareware.

Open Source Project Management Tools in Java
Pointers to a wide range of SPM tools.

Project Management Tools & Software
Articles and pointers to tools.

Estimation Software
A short set of pointers to estimation tools.

Table: Representative Project Management Tools
An somewhat dated analysis of PM tools by Software Magazine. No doubt tols have changed but the analysis criteria are worth considering.

MS Project Web Site
Useful information and resources for those who use Microsoft's Project software. This is not the Microsoft site.

Project Management Tools Directory
Pointers to a wide array of SPM tools.


Most software project fail not becuase of weak technology, but becuase the process and the way it is managed are weak. Dozens and dozen of books have been written on software project management. Among the best offerings are:

The Mythical Man-Month,
is a classic and provides valuable insight into software project and management issues
Software Project Survival Guide presents excellent pragmatic guidance for those who must manage software projects.
Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior
is an insightful treatment of the human patterns that are encountered in every software project.
Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge covers all important aspects of project management
Fundamentals of Project Management discusses project management core competencies.
How to Manage a Successful Software Project presents a number of case studies that indicate why some projects succeed and others fail.
On Time Within Budget presents useful tips and guidelines for software project managers.
Project Management: Best Practices for IT Professionals teaches basic skills and provides detailed guidance for all phases of an IT project
Project Managers Desk Reference presents a 16-step process for planning, monitoring and controlled any type of project. In the tradition of many of his ealier books
Professional Software Development offers pragmatic advice for achieving "shorter schedules, higher quality products, and more successful projects.
AntiPatterns in Project Management discusses what not to do during the management of a software project.

The following project management titles teach basic skills and provide detailed guidance for all software project management tasks:

Essentials of Software Project Management
Effective Project Management: Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme
Applied Software Project Management
The Art of Project Management (Theory in Practice (O'Reilly))

The following books emphasize quality in conjunction with project management:

Quality Software Management is an excellent four volume series written by Weinberg that introduces basic systems thinking and management concepts, explains how to use measurements effectively, and addresses “congruent action,” the ability to establish “fit” between the manager’s needs, the needs of technical staff, and the needs of the business.
Quality Software Project Management
presents a voluminous treatment of project management.

It can be argued that the most important aspect of software project management is people management.

Agile Software Development
presents one of the best discussions of software people written to date.
Peopleware is a class and the the definitive book on software people and software projects.

In addition, the following books on this subject have been published in recent years and are worth examining:

Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Managing Without Walls
Getting Results from Software Development Teams
Global Software Teams
Peopleware Papers: Notes on the Human Side of Software
Managing Technical People
Handbook of Team Design: A Practitioner's Guide to ... Development
Global Software Development

The Accidental Project Manager provides much useful guidance to those who must survive “the transition from techie to project manager.”
On Becoming a Technical Leader
is a classic and is must reading for every project manager and every team leader. It will give you insight and guidance that will enable you to do your job more effectively.

Even though they do not relate specifically to the software world and sometimes suffer from over-simplification and broad generalization, best-selling “management” books can provide useful insight:

Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness: Miniature Edition
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
Management Challenges for the 21st Century
First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

The Innovator's Dilemma
emphasizes “new rules” defined by a rapidly changing economy

Older titles such as Who Moved My Cheese?, The One-Minute Manager and In Search of Excellence continue to provide valuable insights that can help you to manage people and projects more effectively.

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