Software & IT projects

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the PMKI
Location:  PMKI > Industries, General & References > Software & IT projects. 
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This subject looks at the aspects of project controls and management specific to the ICT industries.

Topics included in Software & IT project Management:

- IT Project Management Overview
- Agile Approaches to Development
- Traditional Approaches to Development
- Useful External Web-links & Resources.

Other related sections of the PMKI:



Software & IT Project Management Overview


Planning poker, also called Scrum poker, is a consensus-based, gamified technique for estimating, mostly used to estimate effort or relative size of development goals in software development. In planning poker, members of the group make estimates by playing numbered cards face-down to the table, instead of speaking them aloud. The cards are revealed, and the estimates are then discussed. By hiding the figures in this way, the group can avoid the cognitive bias of anchoring, where the first number spoken aloud sets a precedent for subsequent estimates.



Agile Approaches to Development

Agile is a way of developing software and other ‘soft products’ focused on flexibility and adapting to changing user or customer requirements to maximize value. This topic looks at the practical application of Agile in a business environment. See more on Product Development & Maintenance

DP: Thoughts on Agile.  Agile is a way of developing software and other ‘soft products’ focused on flexibility and adapting to changing user or customer requirements to maximize value. This paper looks at the implication of managing an agile approach to product development.

Art: There’s Agile and there’s Agile, understand the difference!  This article defines three very different business environments where 'Agile' approaches can deliver real benefits and identifies the differences in management approach needed to maximize value for the organization.

Prs: Controlling Agile. A review of the decisions, questions and options for effectively integrating project controls with an 'agile' product delivery methodology.

Art: De-Projectizing IT Maintenance. Not everything in IT needs to be a project – by de-projectizing maintenance work major improvements in delivery are possible.

Art: Processes -v- People. You can get the best of both worlds by embedding organizational agility into your procedures, methodologies and management.

PP: The Paradox of Project Control in a Matrix Organisation. This paper explores the hypothesis that, within complex matrix organizations, the ‘zone’ between the strategic vision set by senior management and the projects created to fulfil it, is a highly complex and dynamic organism that's reaction to stimuli cannot be predicted. Succeeding in this environment needs a different management paradigm from that developed for management in traditional project industries. The characteristics of a complex matrix organization include: multiple/competing lines of authority, virtual and partial/part time teams, divergent objectives, and many competing levels and types of authority. This paper describes the paradigm shift in management thinking needed to succeed in managing projects across this ‘zone’. To succeed, managers need to combine vigilance and agility to identify and capitalize on unexpected gains and deal with unexpected problems. 

Agile Resources

Agile Alliance - the home of the 'Agile Manifesto' -

Best Management Practice products, UK Government (formally OGC, now Axelos) - the umbrella site dedicated to making access to information quick and easy: 
- PRINCE2 Agile - a complete agile project management solution:
- AgileSHIFT an enterprise agility solution:

Agile Business Consortium - A not-for-profit organization, that pioneered Agile and has unrivaled expertise in the field:

Scrum AllianceⓇ - a nonprofit organization that is guiding individuals, leaders, and organizations with agile practices, principles, and values: 

SCRUMstudy - Global Accreditation Body for Scrum and Agile Certifications (owned by VMEdu):



Traditional Approaches to Development


The Waterfall model as developed by Winston W. Royce includes the option for iterative development. The waterfall model, requires the following phases to be followed in order:

  1. System and software requirements captured in a product requirements document
  2. Analysis of the requirements resulting in process models, database schema, and business rules
  3. Design of the software resulting in the software architecture
  4. The development, proving, and integration of software (coding)
  5. Testing, including the systematic discovery and debugging of defects
  6. Transition to operations including installation of the new program, migration of data to the new platform, support, and ongoing maintenance of the new system.

The waterfall model is based on the premise that the project should only move to a new phase when its preceding phase is reviewed and verified. However, waterfall can include slight or major variations on this process, including returning to the previous phase after flaws are found downstream, or returning all the way to the design phase if downstream phases identify major deficiencies.

Waterfall may be used in an 'iterative' development (ie, the phases are applied to each iteration), But the term 'iteration' may mean developing a program in sections, releasing one capability at a time; or it may mean an intention to develop and release a prototype followed by a minimum system followed by progressively more comprehensive systems. Care is needed to ensure everyone understands the project strategy.  Download our White Paper on Project Strategy.



Useful External Web-links & Resources

Australian Computer Society (ACS) - Computer industry professionals:

International Software Benchmarking Standards Group - The mission of the ISBSG is to improve the management of IT projects through the use of public repositories of software engineering knowledge and metrics:


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