The AMA Handbook of Project Management

By Paul C. Dinsmore; Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 35
Project Management for
Software Engineering

?LOIS ZELLS, LOIS ZELLS & ASSOCIATES, INC.

Software engineering is the term applied to all aspects of information processing systems development and maintenance. The term engineering is used to indicate that the procedures used in software projects are comparable to the scientific method rather than to artistic endeavors.

The study of software engineering management is broken into people issues and process issues. Although the people issues are very important, they are not within the domain of this chapter. On the other hand, the process issues will be covered in depth. The procedural side of software engineering management is further divided into work that is done to build the system, and work that is done to manage the project. When practitioners do work to build the system, their efforts result in software specifications-and subsequently: code. When they do work to manage the project, their efforts result in estimates and plans. Even in a construction project, these two separate types of work occur, usually simultaneously. For example, the cement subcontractors may be pouring the foundation (building work), while the project manager is planning the tasks for construction of the walls (project management work).

Furthermore, the best project management skills alone do little to overcome deficiencies in the software engineering management process-without an equivalent level of mastery in building the system. If the project is on time and within budget and it solves the wrong problem, it is not likely to be of much use to anyone. Furthermore, until planners understand

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