Software project management is the art and science of planning and leading software projects. It is a sub-discipline of project managementin which software projects are planned, implemented, monitored and controlled.

To manage new development efforts, companies applied the established project management methods, but project schedules slipped during test runs, especially when confusion occurred in the gray zone between the user specifications and the delivered software. To be able to avoid these problems, software project management methods focused on matching user requirements to delivered products, in a method known now as thewaterfall model.

As the industry has matured, analysis of software project management success has shown that the following are the most common causes:-

  1. Realistic or Articulated project goals

  2. Accurate estimates of needed resources

  3. Accurately defined system requirements

  4. Timely reporting of the project's status

  5. Calculated risks

  6. Greater communication among customers, developers, and users

  7. Use of mature technology

  8. Ability to handle the project's complexity

  9. Fine tuned development practices

  10. Efficient project management

  11. Commercial pressures

The first three items in the list above show the difficulties articulating the needs of the client in such a way that proper resources can deliver the proper project goals. Specific software project managementtools are useful and often necessary, but the true art in software project management is applying the correct method and then using tools to support the method. Without a method, tools are worthless. Today software project management methods are still evolving, but the current trend leads away from the waterfall model to a more cyclic project delivery model.

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