MANAGING SOFTWARE PROJECT

PART TWO

This post shows only summaries from Roger S pressman, A Practicioner’s Approachs 5th Ed.

CHAPTER 3 Project Management Concepts

  • Software project management is an umbrella activity within software engineering. It begins before any technical activity is initiated and continues throughout the definition, development, and support of computer software.

    Four P’s have a substantial influence on software project management—people, product, process, and project. People must be organized into effective teams, motivated to do high-quality software work, and coordinated to achieve effective  communication. The product requirements must be communicated from customer to developer, partitioned (decomposed) into their constituent parts, and positioned for work by the software team. The process must be adapted to the people and the problem. A common process framework is selected, an appropriate software engineering paradigm is applied, and a set of work tasks is chosen to get the job done. Finally, the project must be organized in a manner that enables the software team to succeed.

    The pivotal element in all software projects is people. Software engineers can be organized in a number of different team structures that range from traditional control hierarchies to “open paradigm” teams. A variety of coordination and communication techniques can be applied to support the work of the team. In general, formal reviews and informal person-to-person communication have the most value for practitioners.

    The project management activity encompasses measurement and metrics, estimation, risk analysis, schedules, tracking, and control. Each of these topics is considered in the chapters that follow.

CHAPTER 4 Software Process and Project Metrics

  • Measurement enables managers and practitioners to improve the software process; assist in the planning, tracking, and control of a software project; and assess the quality of the product (software) that is produced. Measures of specific attributes of the process, project, and product are used to compute software metrics. These metrics can be analyzed to provide indicators that guide management and technical actions.

    Process metrics enable an organization to take a strategic view by providing insight into the effectiveness of a software process. Project metrics are tactical. They enable a project manager to adapt project work flow and technical approach in a real-time manner.

    Both size- and function-oriented metrics are used throughout the industry. Sizeoriented metrics use the line of code as a normalizing factor for other measures such as person-months or defects. The function point is derived from measures of the information domain and a subjective assessment of problem complexity. S

    oftware quality metrics, like productivity metrics, focus on the process, the project, and the product. By developing and analyzing a metrics baseline for quality, an organization can correct those areas of the software process that are the cause of software defects. Metrics are meaningful only if they have been examined for statistical validity. The control chart is a simple method for accomplishing this and at the same time examining the variation and location of metrics results.

    Measurement results in cultural change. Data collection, metrics computation, and metrics analysis are the three steps that must be implemented to begin a metrics program. In general, a goal-driven approach helps an organization focus on the right metrics for its business. By creating a metrics baseline—a database containing process and product measurements—software engineers and their managers can gain better insight into the work that they do and the product that they produce.

     

CHAPTER 5 Software Project Planning 

  • The software project planner must estimate three things before a project begins: how long it will take, how much effort will be required, and how many people will be involved. In addition, the planner must predict the resources (hardware and software)

    that will be required and the risk involved.

    The statement of scope helps the planner to develop estimates using one or more

    techniques that fall into two broad categories: decomposition and empirical modeling. Decomposition techniques require a delineation of major software functions, followed by estimates of either (1) the number of LOC, (2) selected values within the

    information domain, (3) the number of person-months required to implement each function, or (4) the number of person-months required for each software engineering activity. Empirical techniques use empirically derived expressions for effort and

    time to predict these project quantities. Automated tools can be used to implement a specific empirical model.

    Accurate project estimates generally use at least two of the three techniques just noted. By comparing and reconciling estimates derived using different techniques, the planner is more likely to derive an accurate estimate. Software project estimation

    can never be an exact science, but a combination of good historical data and systematic techniques can improve estimation accuracy.

CHAPTER 6 Risk Analysis and Management 

  • Whenever a lot is riding on a software project, common sense dictates risk analysis. And yet, most software project managers do it informally and superficially, if they do it at all. The time spent identifying, analyzing, and managing risk pays itself back in many ways: less upheaval during the project, a greater ability to track and control a project, and the confidence that comes with planning for problems before they occur.

    part two

     

    Risk analysis can absorb a significant amount of project planning effort. Identification, projection, assessment, management, and monitoring all take time. But the effort is worth it. To quote Sun Tzu, a Chinese general who lived 2500 years ago, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” For the software project manager, the enemy is risk.

CHAPTER 7 Project Scheduling and Tracking 

  • Scheduling is the culmination of a planning activity that is a primary component of software project management. When combined with estimation methods and risk analysis, scheduling establishes a road map for the project manager. Scheduling begins with process decomposition. The characteristics of the project are used to adapt an appropriate task set for the work to be done. A task network depicts each engineering task, its dependency on other tasks, and its projected duration.

    The task network is used to compute the critical path, a timeline chart and a variety of project information. Using the schedule as a guide, the project manager can track and control each step in the software process.

CHAPTER 8 Software Quality Assurance 

  • Software quality assurance is an umbrella activity that is applied at each step in the software process. SQA encompasses procedures for the effective application of methods and tools, formal technical reviews, testing strategies and techniques, poka-yoke devices, procedures for change control, procedures for assuring compliance to standards, and measurement and reporting mechanisms.

    SQA is complicated by the complex nature of software quality—an attribute of computer programs that is defined as “conformance to explicitly and implicitly specified requirements.” But when considered more generally, software quality encompasses many different product and process factors and related metrics.

    Software reviews are one of the most important SQA activities. Reviews serve as filters throughout all software engineering activities, removing errors while they are relatively inexpensive to find and correct. The formal technical review is a stylized meeting that has been shown to be extremely effective in uncovering errors.

    To properly conduct software quality assurance, data about the software engineering process should be collected, evaluated, and disseminated. Statistical SQA helps to improve the quality of the product and the software process itself. Software reliability models extend measurements, enabling collected defect data to be extrapolated into projected failure rates and reliability predictions.

    In summary, we recall the words of Dunn and Ullman [DUN82]: “Software quality assurance is the mapping of the managerial precepts and design disciplines of quality assurance onto the applicable managerial and technological space of software engineering.” The ability to ensure quality is the measure of a mature engineering discipline. When the mapping is successfully accomplished, mature software engineering is the result.

     

CHAPTER 9 Software Configuration Management

  • Software configuration management is an umbrella activity that is applied throughout the software process. SCM identifies, controls, audits, and reports modifications that invariably occur while software is being developed and after it has been released

    to a customer. All information produced as part of software engineering becomes part of a software configuration. The configuration is organized in a manner that enables orderly control of change.

    The software configuration is composed of a set of interrelated objects, also called software configuration items, that are produced as a result of some software engineering activity. In addition to documents, programs, and data, the development environment that is used to create software can also be placed under configuration control.

    Once a configuration object has been developed and reviewed, it becomes a baseline. Changes to a baselined object result in the creation of a new version of that object. The evolution of a program can be tracked by examining the revision history of all configuration objects. Basic and composite objects form an object pool from which variants and versions are created. Version control is the set of procedures and tools for managing the use of these objects.

    Change control is a procedural activity that ensures quality and consistency as changes are made to a configuration object. The change control process begins with a change request, leads to a decision to make or reject the request for change, and culminates with a controlled update of the SCI that is to be changed.

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