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Software Engineering | Software Project Management Complexities

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 21 Oct, 2021
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Project Management Complexities refer to the various difficulties to manage a software project. It recognizes in many different ways. The main goal of software project management is to enable a group of developers to work effectively towards the successful completion of a project in a given time. But software project management is a very difficult task. Earlier many projects have failed due to faulty project management practices. Management of software projects is much more complex than management of many other types of projects.

Types of Complexity:

  • Time Management Complexity: Complexities to estimate the duration of the project. It also includes the complexities to make the schedule for different activities and timely completion of the project.
  • Cost Management Complexity: Estimating the total cost of the project is a very difficult task and another thing is to keep an eye that the project does not overrun the budget.
  • Quality Management Complexity: The quality of the project must satisfy the customer requirements. It must assure that the requirements of the customer are fulfilled.
  • Risk Management Complexity: Risks are the unanticipated things that may occur during any phases of the project. Various difficulties may occur to identify these risks and make amendment plans to reduce the effects of these risks.
  • Human Resources Management Complexity: It includes all the difficulties regarding organizing, managing and leading the project team.
  • Communication Management Complexity: All the members must interact with all the other members and there must be a good communication with the customer.
  • Procurement Management Complexity: Projects need many services from third party to complete the task. These may increase the complexity of the project to acquire the services.
  • Integration Management Complexity: The difficulties regarding to coordinate processes and develop a proper project plan. Many changes may occur during the project development and it may hamper the project completion, which increases the complexity.
  • Main factors in Software project management complexity:

    • Invisibility: Until the development of a software project is complete, Software remains invisible. Anything that is invisible, is difficult to manage and control. Software project managers cannot view the progress of the project due to the invisibility of the software until it is completely developed. The project manager can monitor the modules of the software that have been completed by the development team and the documents that have been prepared, which are a rough indicator of the progress achieved. Thus the invisibility causes a major problem to the complexity of managing a software project.
    • Changeability: Requirements of a software product are undergone various changes. Most of these change requirements come from the customer during the software development. Sometimes these change requests resulted in redo some work, which may cause various risks and increase the expenses. Thus frequent changes to the requirements play a major role to make software project management complexity.
    • Interaction: Even a moderate-sized software has millions of parts (functions) that interact with each other in many ways such as data coupling, serial and concurrent runs, state transitions, control dependency, file sharing, etc. Due to the inherent complexity of the functioning of a software product in terms of the basic parts making up the software, many types of risks are associated with its development. This makes managing software projects much more difficult as compared to many other kinds of projects.
    • Uniqueness: Every software project is usually associated with many unique features or situations. This makes every software product much different from the other software projects. This is unlike the projects in other domains such as building construction, bridge construction, etc. where the projects are more predictable. Due to this uniqueness of the software projects, during the software development, a project manager faces many unknown problems that are quite dissimilar to other software projects that he had encountered in the past. As a result, a software project manager has to confront many unanticipated issues in almost every project that he manages.
    • Exactness of the Solution: A small error can create a huge problem in a software project. The solution must be exact according to its design. The parameters of a function call in a program are required to be correct with the function definition. This requirement of exact conformity of the parameters of a function introduces additional risks and increases the complexity of managing software projects.
    • Team-oriented and Intelect-intensive work: Software development projects are team-oriented and intellect-intensive work. Software cannot be developed without interaction between developers. In a software development project, the life cycle activities are not only intellect-intensive, but each member has to typically interact, review the work done by other members and interface with several other team members creates various complexity to manage software projects.
    • Huge task regarding Estimation: One of the most important aspects of software project management is Estimation. During project planning, a project manager has to estimate the cost of the project, probable duration to complete the project, and how much effort is needed to complete the project based on size estimation. This estimation is a very complex task, which increases the complexity of software project management.
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