The practical handbook of software project management-by practitioners, for practitioners! Quality Software Project Management is the practical, start-to-finish project management resource for every software professional-experienced managers and developers moving into leadership roles. Drawing on best practices identified at The University of Texas at Austin Software Quality Institute's successful Software Project Management Certificate Program, it identifies 34 key competencies every project manager can use to minimize cost, risk, and time-to-market. Written by leading practitioners, it addresses all three pillars of any successful software venture: process, project, and people.
Illuminates its techniques with real-world software management case studies
Shows how to tailor best practices to the unique requirements of your projects
Integrates best practices from the fields of quality, software engineering, and project management
Covers the entire project lifecycle: planning, initiation, execution, monitoring/control, and closing
Offers a solid foundation for pursuing advanced certifications such as the Project Management
Institute's Project Management Professional (PMP(r)) and the American Society for Quality's Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE)
Endorsed by the Software Quality Institute (SQI), Quality Software Project Management teaches skills you can use right now to drive maximum business value in any project-large or small. This book contains practical checklists, templates, forms—all downloadable from the book's companion Web Site: stealthis.athensgroup/QSPM
Review By: Beth Anderson 03/23/2009This is a comprehensive, high-level book on project management, with a focus on instilling quality processes. The introductory chapter describes thirty-four competencies employed by successful project managers. These are categorized as Product-, Project-, or People-related. The second chapter introduces a software project case study that is used in exercises throughout the book. The remaining chapters show how to apply the competencies in practical situations. One competency may apply to many different processes or phases in the lifecycle, and each process or phase has many related competencies. Appendixes are included with additional information on specific topics, as well as templates, a glossary, and a full bibliography.
The book describes a multitude of software development processes including lifecycle and team selection, reliability and metrics, creating work breakdown structures and estimation, definitions and processes for major lifecycle phases, and much more.
Chapters are laid out in a consistent order: 1) where the chapter applies within the lifecycle; 2) which of the thirty-four competencies relate to the topic; 3) learning objectives; 4) the body of the chapter, including definitions and examples; 5) a summary; 6) problems for review; 7) a visit to the case study; and 8) citations, references, suggested readings, and recommended Web pages.
A couple of disclaimers are made early on in this book: 1) the waterfall lifecycle phases are used as a practical breakdown of phases and tasks, not to promote use of the waterfall; 2) this is not a comprehensive book—the idea is to provide enough information to get you started and point you to other resources for more detail.
The content is laid out in such a way as to make this a practical reference book, or a textbook for either classroom or self-study. A practitioner can study those chapters most applicable to their specific responsibilities and make use of the related recommended resources. If they are curious about topics outside of their immediate responsibility, the book provides a good surface level introduction.
Multiple approaches are outlined for defined tasks, and various models are introduced throughout the book. Strengths and weaknesses of a given model and what situations it might be used in are provided. The book does tend to tie many processes back to the Capability Maturity Model, which may cause controversy for those who don't appreciate that model. However, this should be viewed similarly to the use of the waterfall lifecycle. It's a recognized model with practical stages to show how these principles tie together in application.
I thought this book provided a practical, readable explanation of sound project management processes. Quality was stressed throughout, not just in the quality assurance and testing chapters. The resources provided include a pool of reputable organizations and individuals.
Could you read this book and be prepared to manage a large software development project? No. But you could gain a solid understanding of all that’s involved in such a project.
Review By: Ronald R. Goodwin, PMP 03/23/2009This book on project management and software quality is fascinating. Even the foreword, written by Ed Yourdon, is interesting to the point of rereading several times. I find his (Yourdan's) statement "Becoming a bona fide project manager is not a quick or easy task ..." interesting as I heard a manager recently say that "...any developer can be a project manager, it ain't [sic] that hard, but I ain't [sic] never heard of a project manager knowing how to write code…" Yeah, sure. My feeling, as I gently stated to that manager was, "...try it, bozo!"
But let me get to this book properly. First, the book is not really a book. It is more like an encyclopedia of how to develop quality software using project management principles. With more than 1600 pages of information all organized into easily searched chapters, this book should be around for a long, long time. While a prospective candidate studying for his PMP might not want to read this book, or would place it lower in their reading list than, say, Berkun's The Art of Project Management (Theory in Practice), or Kerzner's Project Management: A System's Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, that same prospective PMP, after achieving certification would certainly want this book in his library to read, re-read, dog-ear, and highlight.
The authors, with what would appear as a lot of support, start by introducing thirty-four essential competencies that should be employed by project managers who want to become successful project managers. The competencies are grouped in three categories: product, project, and people. I would refer anyone interested to pick this book up and start with the first chapter. Read it, and then read it again. To fully understand the remaining thirty-two chapters, the reader really has to understand the grouping and delineation of the competencies.
The thirty-four competencies work well in both project and program management, but the book is about software project management. I do not necessarily mean that as one term, but rather software, project, and management. This book touches on, and sometimes delves into, software engineering—a rather ambiguous term. To be quite outright, if you don't read any more than the first chapter, you still may gain insights into software quality management that you wouldn't get from volumes of other project management "how-to" books.
From novice to advanced skill levels, Quality Software Project Management offers insights, lessons, advice, and knowledge bites that are valuable. Each chapter opens with a quick few paragraphs describing that chapter, a section on where the chapter fits in the product development life cycle, the relation of that chapter to the thirty-four competencies and learning objectives. The authors do not write in a textbook style, per se; although, if the reader wanted to, they could take the text as it is presented and convert it with ease to a text for teaching project management as it can be applied to creating software with a high level of quality.
Go from product, to project, to people as you read the chapters, and find ways to cross-reference a chapter on product to people. How do you assign resources? Chapter 12 will give you the guidance you need, and you can track the answers provided to size of the project in chapters 7 through 10, or creating the process map for SLC process in chapter 4. Worried about legal issues? Chapter 32 guides you through this dangerous forest without falter. The authors know that many project managers worry about legal issues as they work with their development teams, so they break legal issues into product development techniques, project management skills, and people management skills in this chapter. Multiple charts and graphs help the reader grasp this slippery eel. While you might not be able to sit before the bar after reading the chapter, you can certainly sit across from a CIO and tell him what legal issues are going to jump up and bite the company as the project continues. Advertising, contracts, communications, Internet regulations, privacy, tort, and limiting software liability are topics addressed. (Until I read this chapter, I didn't realize that lawsuits can be filed for software being an embedded control product.) Chapter 32 is tied to chapter 18, "Determining Project Risks," within the text of both chapters. In fact, the chapter on legal issues has one of the best risk breakdown structures I have seen yet in print.