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The goal of software project management is to understand, plan, measure and control the project such that it is delivered on time and on budget. Software project management requires trained and experienced Software Engineers in order to increase the likelihood of project success because software development for large projects is extremely complex and following strict engineering principles will help reduce the risks associated with the project.
Software development is highly unpredictable: [as of 2007?] only about 10% of projects are delivered within initial budget and on schedule.
Management has a greater effect on the success or failure of a project than technology advances. According to the 10th edition of the annual CHAOS report from The Standish Group, only 34% of projects are completed successfully.
Standish Chairman Jim Johnson says, a€?The primary reason is the projects have gotten a lot smaller.
If the risk of failure and loss of money is not enough to convince you of the importance of proper software management, consider that some software will also put the lives of people at risk. THE PILOT’S ACTIONS JUST BEFORE a plane crashes are always of great interest to investigators. Bad decisions by project managers are probably the single greatest cause of software failures today. Project management decisions are often tricky precisely because they involve tradeoffs based on fuzzy or incomplete knowledge.
Another problem which distinguishes software engineering from other engineering fields is the fact that software is not concrete. A common misconception is that developing software means writing code, which is definitely not the case. The main goal of software project management is to try and reduce the risks involved with a project such that the project can then finish on budget and on time with all of the features desired by the clients.. Estimate the budget needed to complete the project before it starts and to monitor the progress so that at any given time we know how much a project has cost and how much more it will cost.
Estimate the time needed to complete at project before it starts and to monitor the progress so that at any given time we know how much time is left before completion.
Monitors the project progress and so we know which features have been completed and which ones will be completed before the end of the project. Software delivered must provide all the features specified in the requirements (feature complete). Since project management is so important, we need to be able to rank organizations in terms of their software capability and maturity. At maturity level 1, processes are usually ad hoc, and the organization usually does not provide a stable environment. Maturity level 1 organizations are characterized by a tendency to over commit, abandon processes in the time of crisis, and not be able to repeat their past successes again.Level 1 software project success depends on having high quality people.
Process discipline helps ensure that existing practices are retained during times of stress. Project status and the delivery of services are visible to management at defined points (for example, at major milestones and at the completion of major tasks). Basic project management processes are established to track cost, schedule, and functionality. The organizationa€™s set of standard processes, which are the basis for level 3, are established and improved over time.

The organizationa€™s management establishes process objectives based on the organizationa€™s set of standard processes and ensures that these objectives are appropriately addressed. A critical distinction between level 2 and level 3 is the scope of standards, process descriptions, and procedures. Effective project management system is implemented with the help of good project management software.
Using precise measurements, management can effectively control the software development effort. Maturity level 5 focuses on continually improving process performance through both incremental and innovative technological improvements. Process improvements to address common causes of process variation and measurably improve the organizationa€™s processes are identified, evaluated, and deployed. Optimizing processes that are nimble, adaptable and innovative depends on the participation of an empowered workforce aligned with the business values and objectives of the organization. A critical distinction between maturity level 4 and maturity level 5 is the type of process variation addressed. This involves gathering requirements, managing risk, monitoring and controlling progress, and following a software development process. Doing projects with iterative processing as opposed to the waterfall method, which called for all project requirements to be defined up front, is a major step forward. When a project fails, not only is a product not delivered, but all the money invested in the product is also lost.
IT projects wasted $140 billiona€”$80 billion of that from failed projectsa€”out of a total of $250 billion in project spending. That’s because the pilot is the ultimate decision-maker, responsible for the safe operation of the craft. Poor technical management, by contrast, can lead to technical errors, but those can generally be isolated and fixed. Estimating how much an IT project will cost and how long it will take is as much art as science. There is a common misconception that software can be easily changed to do anything no matter which stage the project is currently at.
Project management therefore helps project managers re-negotiate features and requirements.
It is taken for granted without much complaint that software has bugs, crashes from time to time, doesn’t work occasionally and is too complicated to install and use. Success in these organizations depends on the competence and heroics of the people in the organization, and not on the use of proven processes.
When these practices are in place, projects are performed and managed according to their documented plans. The minimum process discipline is in place to repeat earlier successes on projects with similar applications and scope. At level 2, the standards, process descriptions, and procedures may be quite different in each specific instance of the process (for example, on a particular project). In particular, management can identify ways to adjust and adapt the process to particular projects without measurable losses of quality or deviations from specifications. Quantitative process-improvement objectives for the organization are established, continually revised to reflect changing business objectives, and used as criteria in managing process improvement.

The organizationa€™s ability to rapidly respond to changes and opportunities is enhanced by finding ways to accelerate and share learning. At maturity level 4, processes are concerned with addressing special causes of process variation and providing statistical predictability of the results.
Without proper software management, even completed projects will be delivered late and over budget. When a commercial plane crashes, investigators look at many factors, such as the weather, maintenance records, the pilot’s disposition and training, and cultural factors within the airline.
Similarly, project managers play a crucial role in software projects and can be a major source of errors that lead to failure. However, a bad project management decisiona€”such as hiring too few programmers or picking the wrong type of contracta€”can wreak havoc. If construction on a building or bridge is nearly complete, people understand that it is too late to make significant changes to the architecture or design. There are many other important steps such as requirements, configuration, deployment and maintenance. Projects establish their defined processes by the organizationa€™s set of standard processes according to tailoring guidelines. At level 3, the standards, process descriptions, and procedures for a project are tailored from the organizationa€™s set of standard processes to suit a particular project or organizational unit.
Organizations at this level set quantitative quality goals for both software process and software maintenance. The effects of deployed process improvements are measured and evaluated against the quantitative process-improvement objectives.
Though processes may produce predictable results, the results may be insufficient to achieve the established objectives. Similarly, we need to look at the business environment, technical management, project management, and organizational culture to get to the roots of software failures. It’s a running joke in the industry that IT project estimates are at best within 25 percent of their true value 75 percent of the time. However with software, clients tend to have the impression that making changes are always easy even though the end result could be the equivalent to tearing down a nearly completed building! Both the defined processes and the organizationa€™s set of standard processes are targets of measurable improvement activities.
These selected subprocesses are controlled using statistical and other quantitative techniques. A critical distinction between maturity level 3 and maturity level 4 is the predictability of process performance. At maturity level 4, the performance of processes is controlled using statistical and other quantitative techniques, and is quantitatively predictable.

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