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The Project Manager's Guide to Software Engineering's Best Practices

ISBN: 978-0-7695-1199-3
552 pages
May 2002, Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Press
The Project Manager


Since the earliest days of the computer industry, managing a software project has been a complex and demanding activity. While the technical content of software products and the technical methods used to build them have changed over time, the fundamental issues that determine the success or failure of software projects have remain fairly constant. That is, the same fundamental management mistakes continue to be made. To cite a few examples; requirements are unclear at the beginning of projects and are not managed during the project, the product is not tested adequately, schedules are misestimated or not tracked in sufficient detail. The contents of this book, together with the underlying IEEE Standards, are dedicated to helping the reader in their work: The continuing quest to produce quality software products in a predictable manner.

This book, containing all original material, is based on the proposition that the IEEE Software Engineering Standards capture many of the fundamental 'best practices' of software project management. It is written to assist the reader in applying those standards to their projects and company. To meet this goal, the authors discuss and elaborate the standards that bear on the three key management areas of: Software systems engineering, Processes for developing software products, Planning and control of software project activities.

The body of the book is correspondingly organized into three parts. Software Systems Engineering, which argues that software development projects are most successful when developed using a systems level viewpoint. Process Management and Control, which describes the key activities needed to define, support, and manage a project's software development processes. Project Planning and Management completes the book, integrating the elements of cost and schedule estimation and control, risk management, and the role metrics play in performing those tasks.
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Table of Contents





I: Software Systems Engineering.

1. Software Systems Engineering.

2. Concept of Operations.

3. Software Requirements Specification.

4. Software User Documentation.

5. Software Verification and Validation.

6. Software Maintenance.

II: Process Management and Control.

7. Software Life Cycle Process Management.

8. Software Process Improvement.

9. Software Configuration Management.

10. Software Quality Assurance.

11. Software Reviews.

III: Project Planning and Management.

12. Software Cost and Schedule.

13. Software Engineering Project Management.

14. Software Risk Management.

15. Software Metrics.

A. The Work Breakdown Structure.

B. Representing Project Schedules.


About the Authors.
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Author Information

Mark J. Christensen, Ph.D., is an independent consultant based in St. Charles, Illinois, USA. Dr. Christensen serves a national client base, offering process and project evaluation services, and project management training. His customers include industrial, governmental, and academic organizations.
Dr. Christensen is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS). He chairs the Press Operations Committee of the Computer Society. He is co-author with Dr. Richard Thayer of an upcoming book (1st Quarter 2002) describing how to apply the IEEE Software Engineering Standards to the Management of software projects.
He holds a BS degree in physics and mathematics from Wayne State University and an MS in physics from Purdue, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. His doctorate from Wayne State is in probability theory.

Richard H. Thayer, Ph.D., is consultant in the field of software engineering and project management. Prior to this hew was a Professor of Software Engineering at California State University, Sacramento, California, United States of America. Dr. Thayer travels widely where he consults and lectures on software engineering, project management, software engineering standards, software requirements engineering, and software quality assurance. He is a Visiting Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. His technical interests lay in software project management and software engineering standards.
Dr. Thayer is a Fellow of the IEEE, a member of the IEEE Computer Society, and the IEEE Software Engineering Standards Committee. He is a principle author for a Standard for a Concept of Operations (ConOps) document (IEEE std 1362-1998) and a principle author of the Standard for Software project Management Plans (IEEE std 1058-1998).
He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) where he served on the AIAA Technical Committee on Computer Systems, and he is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is also a registered professional engineer.
He holds a BSEE degree and an MS degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana (1962) and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1979) each in Electrical Engineering.
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