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Planning and Management of Software Projects 2011-12 PDF Print E-mail

2011-12 Course Syllabus


9.3.2011 - The Web page of 2012-13 Course is NOW open. This Web page is now closed. The NEW Web page of the 2012-13 Course is available here


The course provides an overview of the roles, responsibilities, and management methods of the technology project manager. The course assumes no prior knowledge in management techniques and is intended to teach students how to develop approaches and styles of management for software projects. The course assumes a basic understanding of analysis techniques.

  1. To provide students with a clear understanding of the unique risks, issues, and critical success factors associated with technology projects
  2. To introduce students to the role and function of project management
  3. To explain the stages and process of the project life cycle
  4. To understand the various techniques for planning and managing a technology project
  5. To examine basic methodologies for software design, development, testing and implementation
  6. To examine various techniques for managing a software development team
  7. To understand the need and techniques for managing users and user expectations
  8. To learn project planning techniques through the use of Microsoft Project


  • 35% Midterm test
  • 35% Final test
  • 30% Homeworks

NOTE for students that cannot take midterm and final exam during the term: these students are expected to take both the tests in any exam session and to submit homeworks one week before the choosen exam session.

Home works

Students are required to work in team (up to 4 people) and to prepare 4 homeworks during the course. To register your project please fill in this form. Please, also write an email to Dario Cerizza (dariocerizza -at- gmail.com) putting [PMSP] in the subject to report him that you have just submitted a new project.  Dario Cerizza will create and share with you a dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/) folder where you will upload the homework assignments. You will receive and email from dropbox as soon as the folder will be available. You should upload your homework assignments in that shared folder.

 What When
7 pointsStatement of Work for your project [doc template]class  5 26.3.2012
 7 points
Initial Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for your project
class  9 16.4.2012
 34 pointsSoftware Factory set-up for your project CANCELLED
class 20 18.6.2012
 415 pointsDevelop a final project plan in MS Project (including durations, resources, links, successors & predecessors) for your projectFinal review 20.6.2012



  1. Rapid Development, McConnell, Steve, Microsoft Press, 1996, ISBN 1-55615-900-5.
  2. Information Technology Project Management, Schwalbe, Kathy, 2nd ed., Course Technology, 2002, ISBN 0-619-03528-5 (this text includes a 120 day evaluation copy of MS-Project 2000).


  • For those students that follow the classes, the slides published on the class web site may be sufficient.
  • During the term readings from online resources will be also assigned. Students will be given the appropriate URLs during class and these will be listed on the class web site.





Optional Reading/Homework

Class 1


Course Overview [PDF]

  • Course Introduction
  • Project Management (PM) Fundamentals
  • The PM field and job market
  • People, Process, Product, Technology


Class 2


Classic Mistakes [PDF]

  • 36 Classic Mistakes [LINK]
  • a case study [LINK/PDF] annotated with classic mistakes [PDF]

Class 3

3 hours!

Understanding Software Project Management [PDF]

  • PMI fundamentals and processes
  • Project selection
  • Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Project charter (Homework-1 Template )

Readings (prior to this session):

  • McConnell: chapters 1-4

Class 4


More on Software  Project Management [PDF]

  • Project and Organizations
  • Project Portfolio Management
  • Procurement Management

Readings (prior to this session):

  • Schwalbe: chapters 1-2, 11 "Project Procurement Management" (336-345)

Class 5

3 hours! 

Planning Phase (part I) [PDF]

  • Project Phases
  • Development lifecycle models


  • McConnell: 7 "Lifecycle Planning"
  • Schwalbe: 3 "Project Integration Management" (62-67), 4, "Project Scope Management"

Homework 1 Due:

  • Project Charter for your project
  • please use this template [doc]

Class 6

 Planning Phase (part II) [PDF]

  • Matching lifecycles to projects
  • Project plans


Class 7

3 hours!

Work Breakdown Structures [PDF]

  • Planning vs. Estimating vs. Scheduling
  • What's a WBS?
  • Types and Formats of WBS
  • Techniques to develop a WBS
  • Guidelines



Class 8

Estimation Techniques [PDF]

  • Estimation
  • Cone of Uncertainty
  • Methodologies
  • Guidelines


  • McConnell: 8 "Estimation"
  • Schwalbe: 6, "Project Cost Management" (157-175)

Class 9


3 hours! 

Scheduling [PDF]

  • Project network diagram fundamentals
  • PERT techniques
  • Gantt charts
  • Critical chain scheduling
  • Mid-term Exam Preview [pdf]


  • McConnell: 9, "Scheduling"
  • Schwalbe: 5, "Project Time Management"

Homework 2 Due:

  • Initial Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for your project
 2/5/2012 Mid-Term Exam 

Class 10

3 hours! 

Room 3.2  

Hands-on MS Project (part I) [PDF]

  • Using MS Project
  • additional material [mpp]


  • Appendix A "Guide to Using Microsoft Project 2000" (447-477)

Class 11


Risk Management [PDF

  • Definitions
  • Types of risks and unkowns
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk control
  • List of Schedule Risks by McConnel [PDF]
  • Examples of Risk Management Plans
    • My Service Finder Project [PDF]
    • McConnel's [PDF]
  • Sample Top 10 Risks List by McConnel [PDF]


  • McConnell: 5 "Risk Management"
  • Schwalbe: 10, "Project Risk Management"

Class 12




People Dimension [PDF]

  • Project Roles
  • Staffing profile
  • Hiring
  • Team models and successful projects
  • The mythical Man-Month
  • Optimal team size
  • Tools: RAM and Skill Matrix


  • McConnell: 11 "Motivation", 13 "Team Structure"
  • Schwalbe, 8, "Project Human Resource Management"

Class 13


More on requirements [PDF]

  • Class 5 review
  • Requirements Gathering Techniques
  • Other Tips

Class 14


Change Management [PDF

  • Featur-set Control
  • Change Control
  • McConnel's example of Change Control Proceedure [PDF]


  • McConnell: 14 "Feature-Set Control"

Class 15


3 hours! 

Room 3.2  


Hands-on MS Project (part II) [PDF]

  • Resource Levelling
  • additional material
    • Schedule refined [mpp]
    • Resource Levelled [mpp]

Class 16


Project Quality Management [PDF]

  • Test specifications
  • Black box and white box testing
  • Test scripts
  • Unit and integration testing
  • Acceptance test specifications
  • Test tools


  • Schwalbe: 7 "Project Quality Management"

Class 17


3 hours!  


Project Control [PDF]

  • Progress Monitoring
  • Status reporting
  • Earned value analysis
    • example 1 [XLS]
    • example 2 [XLS]


  • McConnell: 17-19
  • Schwalbe, 6 "Project Cost Management" (175-184), 9 "Project Communication Management", 15 "Controlling"

Class 18


Final Stages [PDF]

  • Final Steps
    • Example of deployment check list [PDF]
  • Maintenance
  • Project Recovery
  • Post Project Reviews
    •  A template [PDF ]
  • Success
    • statistics [link]
    • Tips
  • Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
  • Final exam pre-view [PDF]




  • McConnell: 16 "Project Recovery"
  • Schwalbe: 16 "Closing"

Class 19


3 hours! 

Room 3.2

 Software Factory (part I)

  • Introduction and homework 3 preliminary description [PDF]
  • Instrumenting code: Logging [PDF]
  • Testing code: Junit [PDF]
  • Code shown during the lesson [ZIP]

Class 20


3 hours! 

Room 3.2 

Software Factory (part II) [PDF]  

  • building code: maven [PDF]
  • Track configurations: SVN [PDF]
  • homework 3 assignement [PDF] CANCELLED

 Homework 3 Due:

Class 21


Room Vs.8

Final Exam

  • Final exam pre-view [PDF]

Homework 4 Due:

  • Develop and submit a copy of the final project plan (include durations, resources, links, successors & predecessors) for your project

Class Projects and Policies

  • Homework Policy: Unless otherwise noted, homework is due in the class following the assignment. Homework should be printed and legible.
  • Team Project Policy: maximum 3 people per team


  • This course is largely based on Prof. John Musser class notes on "Principles of Software Project Management"
  • Original information is available at http://www.projectreference.com/
  • Reuse and republish permission was granted.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 23 March 2014 )
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