Applied Software Project Management Book Review

It’s no longer regularly that a software mission control ebook comes along that is sensible, easy to examine, and stacked completely with equipped to apply process scripts. Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene have finished simply that with the recent book Applied Software Project Management.


There are too many books about software project management or software program engineering, which might be dry, overly complex, and boring, but this ebook is not considered one. It was a pleasure to study because their writing style is obvious without being simplistic, and the authors describe things in just the proper amount of detail. It appears they recognize their target market and set out to write in an exceptionally beneficial and sensible manner. They have genuinely done this.

Part one of the e-book covers tools and techniques that can be carried out on initiatives. Project making plans, estimation, scheduling, critiques, necessities, design and programming, and checking out each has their own bankruptcy. The part is ready to use project control efficiently and has chapters on knowledge alternate, control, and management, managing an outsourcing assignment, and process improvement.

A clean thread at some stage in the ebook is a description of the everyday troubles software venture groups face – insufficient requirements, managing adjustments, lack of fine assurance at every degree in an undertaking, endless testing and computer virus-fixing cycles, tensions, and misunderstandings between the software engineers and enterprise users. None of these issues are technical in nature. However, they are organizational and managerial. Stellman & Greene provide a practical recommendation to solve those problems based totally upon their relevance on comparable tasks.

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Stellman & Greene genuinely appear to recognize plenty approximately problems that face software program teams. As early because the introduction, they describe the need to triumph over persistent troubles, and this theme is sustained throughout the ebook. For every trouble, there is continual as a minimum one proposed solution. For instance, they describe a not unusual state of affairs whereby senior managers do now not believe the technical team’s estimates, come what may believe that the technical team is intentionally over-estimating to provide themselves some slack time. Their proposed solution is to involve these managers in the estimation system to see the estimates being made in an obvious and systematic fashion. They then cross on to explain in element a way to run a Wideband Delphi estimation session and provide examples of templates and files that may be used in the course of such sessions. They also offer a valuable method script for teams to follow.

Subsequent chapters cover planning, scheduling, reviews, requirements, layout, and testing. Whilst most of those chapters cowl each topic in reasonable detail, the section on the layout is missing an element and affords no description about what kind of design deliverables might be produced nor any specified description of what those design deliverables would possibly include. This is an assessment of the necessities chapter, which includes procedure scripts for necessities elicitation and analysis and a detailed description of use cases and software program necessities specs documents.


Another satisfactory aspect of the ebook is the checklists that appear after coping with one of the essential venture control or software program engineering topics. Checklists are vital nice warranty strategies that the authors rightly point out the need to be used all through software program tasks to catch errors early. For instance, if a tick list implemented to the software requirements specifications catches the fact that a vital requirement is missing or ambiguous, then the mistake can be corrected in the evaluation degree. The authors explain that through catching and solving errors early, the value is small compared with the fee of solving errors found later in an undertaking. Their emphasis on great guarantee techniques being carried out for the task’s duration with examples of checklists to apply is consequently efficient and useful.

The authors may want to reconsider a number of the examples they use. They describe the refactoring code technique for you to make it extra maintainable and use an instance of a few Java code, which they gradually refactor over numerous iterations. At the top of this technique, they say why refactoring would be applicable in conditions wherein code is spaghetti-like. This is nice; besides, they use an instance of very un-spaghetti-like Java code to refactor. Doing this seems to me that they fall into a not unusual programmer trap of code beautification wherein programmers spend time from the schedule iteratively improving code that works simply satisfactorily a good way to write the ‘best’ code, class, or item. I’ve visible this appear on projects where there truly wasn’t the time in the timetable to permit this. It honestly failed to convey any additional commercial enterprise advantages to the stakeholders. However, this is a minor gripe.

I could have liked to have visible more pages devoted to anger control. Time and again, no longer managing dangers is noted as a purpose why projects fail. The authors do describe chance management in a cursory way. Yet, the ebook could advantage from a better description of the way and why threat management should be done at some point of the assignment, now not simply within the early levels of challenge planning.

One component I notion the book lacked turned into an in-depth observe iterative methods. The implicit assumption is that the software assignment must follow the waterfall method. I might disagree. There have been some essential options to the waterfall method that have been advanced during the last 20 years, most significantly those primarily based on iterative approaches. The waterfall approach’s important downfall is its assumption that everything approximately necessities is understood at the beginning of a mission.

However, Iterative strategies anticipate that requirements will exchange for the duration of the task either because users benefit from higher expertise of what they want or because of adjustments to the business surroundings. Based on this assumption, iterative techniques are designed to manage these changing surroundings higher. With waterfall techniques, adjustments in requirements often require the assignment to revisit in advance stages with a corresponding increase in expenses and effort. The authors spend a page slightly on the Rational Unified Process (RUP), and the authors must look more carefully into how their sensible advice and approaches are probably used on alternative iterative tactics to the waterfall method.

Finally, I suppose the ebook tried to be too large by appealing to three extraordinary corporations of human beings. Firstly, element one is geared toward the ones concerned in a software program crew (mission managers, analysts, programmers, and testers). Part two is aimed at consultants hired to enhance task management practices and undertaking managers who want to manage software outsourcing tasks. The e-book could have been higher had it focused entirely on the ones involved in the software group.

The penultimate bankruptcy coping with dealing with an outsourcing challenge is dealt with in a cursory way, almost as if the authors felt they needed to say it because outsourcing is one of these enterprise priorities nowadays. The very last bankruptcy dealing with procedure improvement is also too quick to deal successfully with this type of big subject matter. Separate books dealing completely with those problems could have been extra suitable.


Notwithstanding these factors, this ebook is a first-rate manual for those humans concerned in software initiatives, each project manager and technical team contributor alike. They will discover plenty they can apply immediately to their own initiatives.

I would suggest this ebook to all people who work on a software program improvement crew because it has so much practical advice to help humans improve their functionality to deliver exceptional software. Come to think of it, and I might also suggest it to senior managers of corporations who have a poor view of their personal software development teams. Perhaps then senior managers would possibly recognize why committing assets to process development is one of the excellent investments they could make.

Jeffery D. Silvers
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