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Software Project Management and Its Tools in Practice in IT Industry of Pakistan

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This paper analyzes and evaluate the current level of Software Project Management And its tolls in practice in IT Industry of Pakistan. 90% IT project in Pakistan are outsourced and many international companies have built their offshore IT companies in Pakistan due to cheap employment. As mostly projects are from developed countries and are large and complex IT projects so there is high demand of local Software Project Manager to manage these projects. Due to this high demand there are an increase in institutes which start providing Software Project Management courses and certifications and this is how Software Project Management become an integral part of IT industry of Pakistan but in small companies the roll of Project Manager varies. The introduction of this paper describes the importance and essence of Software Project Management and its tools in practice and their characteristics. Our team has collects data to find out success of project implementation, Software Project Management knowledge, reasons for success and failure, trade-off decisions and capability of Software Project Manager and their journey to become project manager.
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2019 International Conference on Computing, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies – iCoMET 2019
978-1-5386-9509-8/19/$31.00 ©2019 IEEE
Software Project Management and Its Tools in
Practice in IT Industry of Pakistan
M
UHAMMAD
S
HAH
J
AHAN
Department of Computer & Software Engineering,
College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
mshah.jan00@gmail.com
M
UHAMMAD
T
ALHA
R
IAZ
Department of Computer & Software Engineering,
College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
talhariaz144@gmail.com
K
HAWAJA
S
ARMAD
A
RIF
Department of Computer & Software Engineering,
College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
samtime11@ymail.com
M
UHAMMAD
A
BBAS
Department of Computer & Software Engineering,
College of Electrical & Mechanical Engineering,
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
abbasamir@hotmail.com
Abstract
This paper analyzes and evaluate the current
level of Software Project Management And its tolls in practice
in IT Industry of Pakistan. 90% IT project in Pakistan are
outsourced and many international companies have built their
off-shore IT companies in Pakistan due to cheap employment.
As mostly projects are from developed countries and are large
and complex IT projects so there is high demand of local
Software Project Manager to manage these projects. Due to
this high demand there are an increase in institutes which start
providing Software Project Management courses and
certifications and this is how Software Project Management
become an integral part of IT industry of Pakistan but in small
companies the roll of Project Manager varies. The introduction
of this paper describes the importance and essence of Software
Project Management and its tools in practice and their
characteristics. Our team has collects data to find out success
of project implementation, Software Project Management
knowledge, reasons for success and failure, trade-off decisions
and capability of Software Project Manager and their journey
to become project manager.
Keywords—Software Project Management, Software Project
Management tools, Software Project Management in Pakistan,
Software Project Manager.
I.
I
NTRODUCTION
You cannot win a match with unmanage team of stars
but you can win it with well managed team of average
players. There are two success factors for producing
software products in desired quality, on time and within
budget and those are good skills and expertise of employees.
Software Project Management is use to get maximum output
from those employees to produce quality products. Software
Project Management is well defined and well-developed
discipline in developed countries like USA, UK but not well
defined and adaptive in developing countries like Islam
Republic of Pakistan. There were very few institutes
offering Software Project Management subject or
certification but the trend is changing. One organization
may have experts in all stages of Software Development
Life Cycle but the project may fail because they have best
skilled employees but there is no one to manage them, there
is no one who can tell them about the goal and help them to
achieve those goals and to achieve this purpose we need a
Software Project Manager who possessed with knowledge
and skills of Software Project Management [1].
In 21st century, most of the IT Projects are developed
worldwide means the teams may be on different locations so
it is very hard to manage those teams, Software Project
Management provide the way to do so. Software Project
Management is one of the hottest research topics but more
work is needed to be done [[2], [3]]. The quality of product
directly depends upon the expertise of person who develop
it. In Pakistan because mostly projects are outsourced so
there is a very high demand of Software Project
Management and of course Software Project Manager to
manage software development and to engage with different
stakeholders.
Today IT projects are very large and complex due to
involvement of hardware, software and network to develop
a project, service or a result. The importance of IT projects
evolves dramatically. To make IT projects successful IT
companies paid special attention to Software Project
Management and its modern techniques [4]. If you want to
remain in the race and want to be competent then you have
to develop skills like project team members and Software
Project Manager otherwise you will become an ordinary
employee.
Software Project Management plays an important role in
IT industry, it makes possible to produce quality software
product on time and within budget and produces results
better than expected. Project Management is the application
of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project
activities to meet the project requirement. It is accomplished
through application and integration of project manage
process of initialing, planning, executing, monitoring,
controlling and closing [5].
The basic success factor of Software Project
Management is its tools in practice. There are basically three
project management organizations (PMI, IPMA, and
Prince2) to standardize the software Project Management
tools. The use of software project management tools is
increasing so as the range of these tools but most of the
intention is given to the tools which help to implement the
basic parameters like project objective scope, time, cost and
risk minimization. Today most important tools are those
which can manage parallel projects [6]. The usage of
Software Project Management tools is different in different
countries. This paper analyzes the current level of Software
Project Management tools practice in Pakistan.
II. LITERATURE
REVIEW
We did a strong and up to date literature review for our
search methodology. We reviewed papers and articles publish
in 2013 till 2018.Mostly reviewed papers were published in
impact factor journal of ACM, IEEE, Science Direct and else
[7]. South Asia is a new hub to develop software products
due to a large number of outsourcing but there are not many
papers published about it especially about the IT industry of
Pakistan. According to Standish report 2015, 29% projects
are completed. It is better result than 2010 or 2005 but more
work to be needed. Completion of project in large and
medium companies is increasing but in small business it may
not be very effective [8]. In 2011 research conducted on the
topic of project management shows that by sharing
knowledge and building skills of employees can lead you to
highest success of project [9].
A.
Software Project Management tools
To develop a successful software product within cost and
time and with top quality and to reduce the risks, Software
Project Management tools are developed. One can learn this
software management tools from literacy source of other
management development like Risk Management, Change
Management and Personnel Management [[10], [11], [12]].
Every year we hear about new management tools in the
market. About 15 years ago the project management was not
very important part of Software Development Life Cycle as
today. Software Manager can use other or basic technique to
complete a project but this happened in small project. In
Large IT project you cannot do all project management by
applying these, you have to use a software tool to do this.
The need of project management tools is increasing so the
variety. Software development processes change so the tools
to give support. It is not possible to provide list of Software
Project Management tools but here we can mention the best
know and mostly used by IT industry of Pakistan [11].
Triple constraint is one of the most basic and most used
software Project Management tools. It is used to decide the
trade-off between 3 constraints which are scope, time and
cost, quality of software product is dependent upon these
factors [12]. Software project manager has to know this tool
because by increasing or decreasing one constraint we are
affecting the other constraint. Experienced project managers
have to make a balance between these constraints [13].
Pre-project study with formalized structure is a Software
Project Management tool used for opportunity study and
feasibility study. Opportunity study deals with the question
and answer related to product purpose and product market
on the other hand. Feasibility study to the technique of
the product like cost estimation time estimation and
resources required. Feasibility study decide whether a
product is feasible to develop or not [14]. It chooses the best
way to implement the product. The other Software Project
Management tool used for same purpose is logical
Framework approach Millennium. It defines the
responsibilities in initial phase to structure the project [15].
Work Breakdown Structure is used for detailed project
planning. Here we divide the project into sub component.
Every Sub component assigned by activity, time, cost and
responsibility [16]. Here on these sub components we use
Gantt chart and program evaluation and review technique
(PERT). Gantt Chart deals task and time PERT display
dependency, optimistic, realistic and Pessimistic time with
probability of each implemented activity [17].
When activities and their time are defined then to assign
the responsibility of the activities, we use Responsibility
Assignment Matrix or we use Linear Responsibility chart to
demonstrate the responsibility of person [18]. Financial
Management is very important part of Software Project
Management. To manage the finance, we use two
approaches. First is state approach like Payback Period and
other is dynamic approaches which are Internal Rate of
Return, Net Present Value, Social Return on Investment
[19]. Lesson learned is a most important Software Project
Management tool which collects data during the project and
use for next projects [20].
B.
Level of use of Software Project Management tools in
Pakistan
As 90% of IT projects are out sourced from USA and
Europe so the pressure of completion of project on time and
within budget is completed. To face the pressure the IT
industry of Pakistan acknowledge the importance and need
of Software Project Management. Project Management is
one of the top trending jobs in Pakistan since 2013. Many
of them are certified Software Project Management
Manager. Software Project Management is very demanding
discipline in private and especially foreign IT organization
working in Pakistan [21]. The situation should be better
now [22].
III. METHODOLO
G
Y
Questionnaire best survey methodology was used to get
sample data from different IT companies in Pakistan.
Google form, hard copy and interview was the technique we
use to get all data. To perform statistical analysis on data we
use Data Descriptive and Inferential Framework.
We send this Questionnaire to 89 organizations but we
get response from 56 organizations by all means. 83
responses from Project managers, program managers or
senior developers of these 56 organizations. 70% of the
responses were on Google form and other 30% were from
interviewing and hard copies from respondents. Many of
these companies was CMMI ranked. The responses from
emerging organization and medium companies is very
encouraging and satisfactory
.
The questionnaire was consisting of 14 questions which
had four parts. First part consists of questions about
respondent’s organization. Second was about the Software
Project Management advantages they feel. Third part was
about Software Project Management tools and software
tools for software Project Management. The last part was
about respondent’s qualification as a Software Project
Manager and their journey to become a Software Project
Manager.
A.
DATA ANALYSIS & SURVEY RESULTS
First part of our research is focused on Software Project
Management in Pakistan and Software Project Managers. We
ask about Software Project Management to all the
organizations.
Fig 1: Software Project Manager
More than 87% organization have designated Software
Project Manager and others 13% does not have a specific
designation. In these organizations the owner or senior
developer do all the work required by a Project Management
but they do not use designated word of Software Project
Manager.
When ask about the background of Software Project
Management we received the reply with 47% belong to the
Project
Fig. 2: Software Project Manager’s background
Management background which is significantly an
increase in the Pakistan IT industry and a cause of high rate
of success in project implementation.
We ask to those Software Project Managers who does not
have Project Management background that how they become
Software project Manager then we receive different answers
like some think they are not Software Project Managers yet
Fig. 3: Journey to become Software Project Manager
or will leave the post or will get training to remain in the
core. Most of the Software Project Managers 62% are the
senior developers who work more than 5 years in
development and then start taking responsibilities and train
themselves by training.13% of Software Project Managers
took Software Project Management training courses or
certification for Project Manager. These numbers are not
very satisfactory but as a hope to increase in near future
because many organizations want a certified Software Project
Manager. At last we have 15% a Software Project Manager
who are the owner and do the whole work of Software
Project Manager. This is the trend we see in small or some
medium organizations.
About the meeting of triple constraints of project e.g.
meeting the target, doing project on time and within budget.
Fig. 4: Triple Constraints
Answers are varying as some think their projects take
more time than expected or calculated some 45% of
response respondent think completed project on time was
difficult and exceeds duration to complete. 33% think that
they could not accurately meet the target of project and 21%
think they exceed the budget. Time is the main problem as it
mostly affects the cost of the project.
The respondents ask about the Software Development
Methodology they used to develop a successful product
Fig. 5: Software Project Management Methodology
Scrum was the clear winner with 58% chose over other
methodologies. It is a new trend in IT industry of Pakistan
especially in medium and small organizations where mostly
the owner of the organization plays the role of Scrum
Master or a senior developer do this job. Waterfall and
Spiral have the same response of 22% and mostly they are
used in government organizations and in big organizations.
RAD was used by 18%. Kan-ban is an agile technique and
competitor of scrum is used by 13%. Some other
methodologies are used by some organization. Many
organizations use more than one methodology or the
mixture of these methodologies.
More than 90% of respondents recognize or have
knowledge about different Software Project Management
tools for example Time Planning using Schedules and
Critical Path, Logical Framework Approach, Risk Analysis.
Most of the Other Software Project Management tools are
recognized by more than 70% of respondents. Basic question
about Software Project Management Tools related to overall
project management. The outcome of questions is as follows’
For Feasibility study most of the respondents used SWOT
analysis and Six Forces model. 66% use SWOT analysis
while
Fig. 6: Feasibility study
Six Forces model is use by 21%. Other Different
techniques were used by a minority of IT organizations.
For Objectives-Oriented project planning and
management
Fig. 7: project planning and management
75% of the respondents say they use Logical Framework
Approach other respondents use other less known approaches
or does not use it at all.
For Project Planning the answer are varying from
WBS
Fig. 8: project planning
to percentage distribution. 48% of the respondents use
WBS, PERT is using by 28%, Wideband Delphi Technique
is used by 34%. UCP method is used by 11%, Percentage
Distribution is ending with 18%. Mostly IT organizations use
more than one technique.
Assign and display different types of responsibilities for
implementation of appropriate activities to respective
program in the project 47% organizations use RACI or use
different
Fig. 9: Responsibility Assignment
advanced forms of RACI like DRASCI, PACSI.
When we ask about the project communication plan
mostly reply positive. Two Third of the respondents create
this plan
Fig. 10: project communication plan
And others not.
Project Financial Management is very important
responsibility of Software Project Manager. When asked
about metrics used for Finance Management, we find Net
Present Value was
Fig. 11: Financial Management
the most used technique 55% followed by Internal Rate
of Return on 44% and then Social Return on Investment
15% some organizations use more than one technique.
Risk Analysis is very important to produce a successful
product. Risk Analysis are done in early phase of SDLC.
Different risk analysis techniques are used by respondents.
Fig. 12: Risk analysis
Brainstorming is the most used technique with 75%
respond used for risk analyses. Others techniques are
Decision Tree Analysis 33%, Possibility Analysis 27%,
sensitivity 16% and some use Delphi Method 13%. But
most of the organizations use more than one technique for
risk analysis.
Ask about Agile development we concluded that nearly
84% of its organizations use Agile development e.g.
SCRUM, XP, KHANBAN.
Fig. 13: Agile development
New trend and one of the biggest advantages of Software
Project Management in IT industry of Pakistan is the high
rate of Lesson Learned Report of 80% of these organizations
use this Lesson Learned to bid for new projects and use
previous knowledge in upcoming projects.
Fig. 14: lesson learned report
B.
Use of Software Tools
Uses of software tools for Software Project Management
Tools are considered very important to manage the
development of successful product. This software tools
provide good user interface while have most of these
Software Project Management Tools in it. There is a wide
range of different software tools provided for project
management, Portfolio Management for small or medium
business to very sophisticated large projects. The use of
software tools for Software Project Management is very
satisfactory as more and more organizations are now using
them. 79% of respondents say that they use software tools for
Software Project Management 21% people belongs to small
business and they do not use it. They have manual way to
implement Software Project Management tool and
techniques. Ask about which software tool they use for
Software Project Management those 79% of respondents then
we witness of stiff competition between MS project and Jira.
MS Project is still the champion as 55% respondents use
Fig. 15: Software tools
MS project due to its use and due to its vendor, who
provides it which is Microsoft. A surprising trend we witness
is the use of Jira which has 38% of users in Pakistan IT
industry. This trend is due to usage of agile methodologies in
IT industry. Some company use other software tools less
known to us.
IV. C
ONCLUSION
This Paper documents the Software Project Management
and its tools in practice in Pakistan on the basis of a survey in
IT industry of Pakistan. In this survey we identify a trend that
most of the organizations hire a Software Project Manager
for their company and hope that this trend will increase due
to foreign investment. More than 90% of respondents were
well aware of Software Project Management tools. Big
companies using these tools but also medium level
companies were serious about using these types of tools. The
use of agile methodology is very encouraging and we feel it
is due to outsource projects. Nearly every organization use a
software tool for Software Project Management like MS
project, Jira. Time management is most difficult to manage in
Pakistan IT industry followed by scope management. Time
management is most of the time directly affects the cost. In
our survey we see a significantly positive trend in IT industry
of Pakistan and hope so this trend will increase and IT
industry of Pakistan will become the hub of outsourced
development in future.
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Quality assurance activities are often still expensive or do not offer the expected quality. A recent trend aimed at overcoming this problem is tighter integration of several quality assurance techniques such as analysis and testing in order to exploit synergy effects and thus reduce costs or improve the coverage of quality assurance activities. However, one main challenge in exploiting such benefits is that knowledge about the relationships between many different factors is needed, such as the quality assurance techniques considered, the number of defects, the remaining defect-proneness, or product and budget data. Such knowledge is often not available. Based on a combined analysis and testing methodology called In QA, we developed an iterative rule-based procedure that considers several factors in order to gather knowledge and allows deriving different strategies to guide the quality assurance activities. We derived several specific and reasonable strategies to demonstrate the approach.
Article
People often ask what sort of tools a project manager needs to manage projects effectively and with a minimum of interruptions. Often linked to this question may be another; what skills, other than the basic PM skills covered in the PMBOK, should a PM have to be more effective. Basic tools, such as the Project Charter, Work Breakdown Structure, schedule, plans for risk, quality, communications, people, scope, time and cost management are becoming familiar tools for PMs. What else might be useful? This, to a certain extent, is project or project domain specific. But there are some tools that have a fairly broad applicability.