Software Project Management

Information and Business Organization Engineering Undergraduate Degree
University of Trento

Introduction (2014-09-16)

Description: Introduction to the course. Modalities for exam. What is project management; how it complements software development and software engineering.

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Getting Started (2014-09-17)

Description: Why software projects are difficult (some characteristics of software).
A motivating example: building a static website with Jekyll. An example of software artifacts (what is a modern static website made of.) Some of the concerns you need to take care of: organizing and coordinating work, managing your project assets, managing your tools.
What is a project, types of projects; projects and operational work.

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Software Development Projects and Software Development Activities (2014-09-23)

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An Example of Software Development Process and the Feasibility Study (2014-09-24)

Description: An example of a simple system and the outputs of the software development process.
Not all projects are worth the effort. The feasibility helps you understand whether it make sense to start a project.
You can use quantitative and qualitative techniques, such as payback, ROI, NPV, score matrices, and SWOT. The stakeholder map helps you understand how to manage stakeholders.

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Moving from the Goals to the Estimation of Work (2014-10-01)

Description: Once we decide or get the approval to move on, we need to start working on the project goals, the basis for contractual agreements and for deciding the work to do.
The transformation from goals to work passes through the WBS, a simple and powerful mean to organize and monitor work.
The WBS is the basis for estimating and scheduling

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Estimating (2014-10-07)

Description: Moving from a WBS to a schedule. Three characterizing properties of a task: D, E, M. Uncertainty in planning (the implicit “random” nature of estimations).
Approaches to estimation: top-down (size the system, allocate to activities); bottom-up (size activities; sum efforts to get the total effort).
Some techniques to estimation: Expert Judgment, PERT (three-points estimation), Algorithmic Techniques.

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  • Estimating all (with the exception of uncertainty management practices)

Function Point & COCOMO (2014-10-08)

Description: Function-based algorithmic techniques: Function Points.
Size-based estimation techniques. The COCOMO family of models.
Some hints about the overall estimation process: UFP, Size, COCOMO; FP, Effort.
(Some hints about what we will not do: Object Points, Web Objects.)

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Scheduling (2014-10-14)

Description: Making WBS + Estimations into a plan.
Constraints between tasks; lead and lag time. The Gantt chart. Resource Allocation and resource leveling.
Organizing software development activities into a coherent process. The waterfall, a simple and still very popular process.
Remark: slides about Critical Path have not been presented (they will be presented in a future lesson).

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Exercises (2014-10-15)

Description: Exercises on WBS, estimation (with PERT and FP), scheduling (with LibreProject)

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There is no material (yet).

Critical Path Computation (2014-10-21)

Description: Critical path computation with exercise

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Optimizing the Plan and budgeting your project (2014-10-22)

Description: Optimizing the plan: fast tracking, project crashing, critical chain management
Budgeting your project: CES, main cost items of a software development project.

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Exercise on budgeting and schedule compression (2014-10-28)

Description: Exercise on budgeting and schedule compression with LibreProject.

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There is no material (yet).

Earned Value Analysis (2014-11-04)

Description: Implementing your plan.
Monitoring progress: monitoring schedule and technical progress; monitoring costs.
The mother of all the project assessments: Earned Value Analysis.

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Exercise on Earned Value Analysis (2014-11-05)

Description: Analysis of the project status using Earned Value. Material distributed in class: available on demand and soon on spmbook.com

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Project Closing (2014-11-18)

Description: Continuation of the exercise on EVA (calculation of Earned Value).
Project closing and the post implementation audit process.

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Project and Product Pricing (2014-11-19)

Description: Project pricing and contractual agreements Determining the project financial needs: the cash flow.
Product pricing: some considerations about how to determine the price of a software product.

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Risk Management (2014-11-25)

Description: Risk management in projects. Menaces and Opportunities. Identifying and assessing risks (probability and impact). The impact matrix and how to deal with risks.
Some considerations about how good we are at perceiving risks.

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Quantitative Risk Assessment (2014-11-26)

Description: What is quantitative risk assessment and how it differs from its qualitative counterpart (in spite of both providing “numbers”).
Main techniques for quantitative risk assessment, including an example of Montecarlo Simulation.

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Change Management and Configuration Management (2014-12-02)

Description: Changes are inevitable and any project requires good change management practices.
Managing configuration.

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Managing People and Ethical Aspects of Project Management (2014-12-03)

Description: A description of the main theories describing what motivates people, management styles and how to match management styles and personality types.
Ethical aspects of Project Management. As project managers you will be aske to take decisions with ethical implications. Adopting a reference framework might be of help when this time comes.

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Agile Software Development (2014-12-09)

Description: Cut the paperwork and focus on value. This is the mantra of Agile methodologies.
The slides will present the concepts of agile software development and some of the most popular agile development processes (DSDM, XP, Scrum)

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Agile Earned Value Analysis (2014-12-10)

Description: Agile Earned Value Analysis

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