Checklist of Software Project Management Problems and Possible Solutions
This checklist gives you an overview about typical project management problems and some hints how to solve them.
Software project management problems
Some hints how to solve these problems
- Planning for software engineering projects is generally poor.
- Procedures and techniques for the selection of project managers are
- The accountability of many software engineering projects is poor,
leaving some questions as to who is responsible for various project
- The ability to accurately estimate the resources required to
accomplish a software development project is poor.
- Success criteria for software development projects are frequently
inappropriate. This results in software products that are unreliable,
difficult to use, and difficult to maintain.
- Decision rules to aid in selecting the proper organizational structure
are not available.
- Decision rules in selecting the correct management techniques for
software engineering projects are not available.
- Procedures, methods, and techniques for designing a project control
system that will enable project managers to successfully control their
projects are not readily available.
- Standards and techniques for measuring the quality of performance and
the quantity of production expected from programmers and data
processing analysts are not available.
- Do some preliminary research to get internal and external statistics on
software development. These data can be used to justify the following
steps for senior management.
- Educate and train top managers, and software developers.
- Enforce the use of standards, review procedures, recommended techniques
- Analyze data from prior software projects to determine effective
- Define objectives in terms of quality desired.
- Define quality in terms of deliverables.
- Establish success priority criteria.
- Allow for contingencies.
- Establish a method for collection of software productivity data.
Collection methods must be simple and require relatively little staff
- Develop truthful, accurate cost and schedule estimates that are
accepted by management and customer, and manage to them.
- Select project managers based on ability to manage software projects
rather than on technical ability or availability.
- Make specific work assignments to software developers and apply job
- Demand technical and management reviews; track progress carefully.
- Encourage critiques of methods and/or documentation format from
development staff. All critiques should be accompanied by suggestion
- At project completion, evaluate all information collected.
Fairley, R.E.: Software Engineering Concepts. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York 1985.