Software Project Management Profession

software project

According to Wikipedia, software project management is defined as “the art and science of planning and leading software projects. It is a sub-discipline of project management in which software projects are planned, implemented, monitored, and controlled.” The software project management profession is more specialized than general project management, with its own set of task specific principles, and therefore project managers need specialized training to be able to take on software project management.

Sometimes, people confuse Information Technology project management and Software Project Management. The term Information Technology project management is more comprehensive than Software Project Management. IT project management includes many types of projects, including; network upgrades, cloud computing rollouts, virtualization rollouts, business analytics and data management, hardware installations, and also overseeing projects for software development.

A few more things to consider about this profession are;

1/ I came across some recent research on IT/software project management, which I think will provide a good picture of an issue with the profession. According to research by McKinsey & Company in collaboration with the University of Oxford, the research suggests that half of all large IT projects massively blow their budgets. On average, large IT projects run 45 percent over budget and 7 percent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted. More specifically, for the “software project type”, 66% of projects were over budget, 33% of projects were in a schedule overrun, and 17% delivered less value than predicted. Now this is a terrible situation to be in, assigned with the responsibility of leading something were the odds are stacked against you. Because software projects run the highest risk of cost and schedule overruns, knowing the software project management process inside and out can help prepare and protect the project manager.

2/ Regardless of the challenges with ensuring a successful software project, companies still engage in them because of the potential for a high return on investment. The software projects do take a lot of resources and time, and as such, there will need to be a return on investment for this effort.

3/ Some people believe that simply knowing project management is enough to lead a software project. However, even though many project processes are similar, the engineering principles of building an application is different than the principles behind constructing a bridge. The project manager will need familiarity with industry specific principles.

4/ Sometimes, at work, individuals are placed into positions that they are not yet ready or trained for. This is very problematic. For example, a person with a technical background can be suddenly thrust into a position of management in their IT department. Now, the promoted individual is expected to know a lot of things about a lot of different topics, and often, they are not prepared or given any training.


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