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Managing a Business/Software project management


Q 1   What is a project? Why is software project management important?

Q 2    List the products created by the step wise planning process.

Q 3   What products must exist before the activity test program can take place? What products does    this    activity create?

Q 4   Explain why discounted cash flow techniques provide better criteria for project selection than net    profit or return on investment?

Q 5   Where are estimates done? What are the problems with over and under estimates?

Q 6   Explain about forward pass and backward pass.


I  will send  the balance  asap.

Q 1 What is a project? Why is software project management important?

What is a project?
A project is a temporary endeavor designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value.

Definition of a Project
o   Sequence of tasks
   Planned from beginning to end
   Bounded by time, resources, & required results

o   Defined outcome and "deliverables"

o   Deadline

o   Budget
   limits number of people, supplies, and capital


Tasks vs Projects
o   Responding to email

o   Making coffee

o   Writing a letter to a prospect

o   Hooking up a printer

o   Producing a customer newsletter

o   Catering a party

o   Writing a book

o   Implementing a computer network


Five Features of a Project
o   Defined beginning, end, schedule, and approach

o   Use resources specifically allocated to the work

o   End results have specific goals (time, cost, performance/quality)

o   Follows planned, organized approach

o   Usually involves a team of people


Resources (and Constraints)
o   Time

o   People

o   Money

o   Equipment

o   Facilities


What Makes a Project Successful
o   Organized, well planned approach

o   Project Team Commitment

o   Balance among

o   Time

o   Resources

o   Results

o   Customer Satisfaction


o   A recurring project

o   Happens predictably

o   New plan

o   New end result

o   New set of resources


Review of Project Elements
o   Well defined goal

o   Expectation of time commitment

o   Underlying costs to achieve

o   Described plan of achievement

o   Listing of goal’s major sub-elements

o   Description of risks or unknown factors

o   Success measurement techniques


Additional Elements in Defining the Project
o   Funding sources and expectations

o   Problem background information

o   Critical reference document

o   Project methodologies - management and operation

o   Required capital equipment

o   Necessary computer hardware & software


Critical Project Factors
o   Computer system as major technology component

o   New characteristic - requires research

o   Narrow domain to fit imposed semester deadline

o   Commercial competition

o   Acceptable risk factors


Phases of a Project
o   Conceptualization

o   Feasibility

o   Preliminary planning

o   Detailed planning

o   Execution

o   Testing

o   Termination


Phase 1: Initiating
o   Recognize the project should be done

o   Determine what the project should accomplish

o   Define the overall project goal

o   Define general expectations of customers, management,
or other stakeholders as appropriate

o   Define the general project scope

o   Select initial members of the project team


Phase 2: Planning
o   Refining the project scope

o   Listing tasks and activities

o   Optimally Sequencing activities

o   Developing a working schedule and budget for assigning resources

o   Getting the plan approved by stakeholders


Phase 3 - Executing
o   Leading the team

o   Meeting with team members

o   Communicating with stakeholders

o   Fire-fighting to resolve problems

o   Securing necessary resources to complete the project plan


Phase 4 - Controlling
o   Monitoring deviation from the plan

o   Taking corrective action to match actual progress with the plan

o   Receiving and evaluating project changes requested

o   Rescheduling the project as necessary

o   Adapting resource levels as necessary

o   Changing the project scope

o   Returning to the planning stage


Phase 5 - Closing
o   Acknowledging achievement and results

o   Shutting down the operations and disbanding the team

o   Learning from the project experience

o   Reviewing the project process and outcomes

o   Writing a final project report


Why is software project management important?

it  is  important  because  it  helps
1.Risk management is the process of measuring or assessing risk and then developing strategies to manage the risk. In general, the strategies employed include transferring the risk to another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect of the risk, and accepting some or all of the consequences of a particular risk. Risk management in software project management begins with the business case for starting the project, which includes a cost-benefit analysis as well as a list of fallback options for project failure, called a contingency plan.
2.A subset of risk management that is gaining more and more attention is Opportunity Management, which means the same thing, except that the potential risk outcome will have a positive, rather than a negative impact. Though theoretically handled in the same way, using the term "opportunity" rather than the somewhat negative term "risk" helps to keep a team focused on possible positive outcomes of any given risk register in their projects, such as spin-off projects, windfalls, and free extra resources.
3.Requirements management is the process of identifying, eliciting, documenting, analyzing, tracing, prioritizing and agreeing on requirements and then controlling change and communicating to relevant stakeholders. New or altered computer system[1] Requirements management, which includes Requirements analysis, is an important part of the software engineering process; whereby business analysts or software developers identify the needs or requirements of a client; having identified these requirements they are then in a position to design a solution.
4.Change management is the process of identifying, documenting, analyzing, prioritizing and agreeing on changes to scope (project management) and then controlling changes and communicating to relevant stakeholders. Change impact analysis of new or altered scope, which includes Requirements analysis at the change level, is an important part of the software engineering process; whereby business analysts or software developers identify the altered needs or requirements of a client; having identified these requirements they are then in a position to re-design or modify a solution. Theoretically, each change can impact the timeline and budget of a software project, and therefore by definition must include risk-benefit analysis before approval.
5.Software configuration management is the process of identifying, and documenting the scope itself, which is the software product underway, including all sub-products and changes and enabling communication of these to relevant stakeholders. In general, the processes employed include version control, naming convention (programming), and software archival agreements.
6. is the process of identifying, documenting, prioritizing and agreeing on releases of software and then controlling the release schedule and communicating to relevant stakeholders. Most software projects have access to three software environments to which software can be released; Development, Test, and Production. In very large projects, where distributed teams need to integrate their work before releasing to users, there will often be more environments for testing, called unit testing, system testing, or integration testing, before release to User acceptance testing (UAT).
7.A subset of release management that is gaining more and more attention is Data Management, as obviously the users can only test based on data that they know, and "real" data is only in the software environment called "production". In order to test their work, programmers must therefore also often create "dummy data" or "data stubs". Traditionally, older versions of a production system were once used for this purpose, but as companies rely more and more on outside contributors for software development, company data may not be released to development teams. In complex environments, datasets may be created that are then migrated across test environments according to a test release schedule, much like the overall software release schedule.

Q 2 List the products created by the step wise planning process.

Step wise : an overview of project planning

Planning is the most difficult process in project management This  describes a framework of basic steps in project planning. Many different techniques can be used but this overview of the steps and activities in each step of project planning .
A major step in project planning is to plan in outline first and then in more detail.

Following are the major steps in project planning

Steps in Project Planning

Step 0 : Select  project
Step 1 : Identify project scope and objectives
Step 2 : Identify project infrastructure
Step 3 : Analyze project characteristics
Step 4 : Identify project products and activities
Step 5:  Estimate effort for each activity.
Step 6 : Identify activity risks.
Step 7 : Allocate resources
Step 8 Review / Publicize pl\an
Step 9 & 10 : Execute plan / lower level of planning

Each step of project planning has different activities to perform. Following the description of each step with its activities

Step 0 : Select project
This is called step 0 because in a way of project planning , it is out side the main project planning process. Feasibility study suggests us that the project is worthwhile or not.

Step 1 : Identify project scope and objectives

The activities in this step ensure that all parties to the project agree on the   objectives and are committed to the success of the project.

Step 1.1 : Identify objectives and practical measures of the effectiveness in meeting those   objectives
Step 1.2  : Establish project authority
Step 1.3 : Stakeholders analysis – Identify all stakeholders in the project and their interest.
Step 1.4 : Modify objectives in the light of stakeholder anaylsis.
Step 1.5 :  Establish method of communication  

Step 2 : Identify project infrastructure
Projects are rarely  carried out in a vacuum. There is usually some kind of infrastructure into which the project must fit. Where the project manager are new to the organization , they must find out the precise nature of this infrastructure.

Step 2.1: Identify relationship between the project and strategic planning
Step 2.2 : Identify installation standards and procedures.
Step 2.3 : Identify project team organization.

Step 3 : Analyze project characteristics.
  The general purpose of this part of planning operation is to ensure that the appropriate methods are used for the project.

Step 3.1 :  Distinguish the project as either objective- product driven
Step 3.2 :  Analyze other project characteristics ( including quality –based ones)
Step 3.3 :  Identify high level project risks
Step 3.3 :  Take into account user requirement concerning implementation.
Step 3.4 :  Select development methodology and life cycle approach.
Step 3.5 :   Review overall resources estimates

Step 4 : Identify project products and activities
  The more detailed planning of the individual activities now takes place. The longer term planning is broad and in outline, while  the more immediate tasks are planned in some detail.

Step 4.1: Identify and describes project products ( or deliverables )
Step 4.2 : Document generic product flows
Step 4.3 : Record product instance
Step 4.4 : produce ideal activity network
Step 4.5 : Modify the ideal to take into account need for stages and checkpoints.

Step 5:  Estimate effort for each activity.
Step 5.1: Carry out bottom-up estimates
Step 5.2: Revise plan to create controllable activities.  

Step 6 : Identify activity risks.
Step 6.1 : Identify and quantify activity based risks
Step 6.2 : Plan risk reduction and contingency measures where appropriate
Step 6.3 : Adjust overall plans and estimates to take account of the risks
Step 7 : Allocate resources
Step 7.1 : Identify and allocate resources
Step 7.2 : Revise plans and estimates to take into account resource constraints

Step 8 : Review / Publicize plan
Step 8.1 : Review quality aspects of the project plan.
Step 8.2 : Document plans and obtain agreement.

Step 9 & 10 : Execute plan / lower level of planning
  Once the project is underway, plans will need to be drawn up in greater detail for each activity as it becomes due. Detailed and lower level of planning of the the later stages will need to be delayed because more information will be available nearer the start of the stage.

Project planning is an iterative process. As the time approaches for the particular activities to be carried out they should be re-planned in more detail.


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Leo Lingham


In Managing a business, I can cover all aspects of running a business--business planning, business development, business auditing, business communication, operation management, human resources management , training, etc.


18 years of working management experience covering such areas
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24 years of management consulting which includes business planning, strategic planning, marketing, product management, training, business coaching etc.




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