Software project management or project management in the sphere of software development and implementation has its specifics that arise from the need to deal also with software programming and software customization, which adds an additional layer of project management within a typical project management system. Software developers and IT consultants take advantage of various software tools in performing their day-to-day activities, including software such as compilers, debuggers, interpreters, and text editors to create and customize software. Those are not project management tools, however, and the IT industry largely relies on specialized software to manage software projects.
It is not unusual to witness software developers using an integrated development environment (IDE) to manage all the functions mentioned above, while taking advantage of an integrated system to track and manage the overall progress of their software projects. Thus, modern-day software project management applications incorporate functionality that can be seen in both specialized and non-specialized business systems like customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
In fact, applications for management of software projects can be considered as sort of management information systems (MIS) intended to provide automation and support functionality to a specific group of business users.
Apart from typical functions of project management software such as estimation, scheduling, resource allocation, and budget management, business applications dealing with software projects should cover such aspects of software development and consultancy activities like software bug-tracking and other industry-specific procedures and processes.
Unsurprisingly, a good number of software vendors develop their software for project management in-house, creating custom-made solutions that fully meet their particular needs and requirements. On the other hand, numerous freeware and open source applications for management of software projects are available although most freeware is aimed at individual users who develop unsophisticated software at home. Open source solutions are popular particularly among software vendors because they allow for relatively easy customization of ready to use software.
The widespread use of new technologies reshaped the world of project management software and systems for management of software projects were among the first to feature advanced collaboration and messaging capabilities. IT industry managers realized that real-time collaboration and instant messaging, in addition to reliable tools for time, cost, and bug tracking, would play a crucial role in a fast-paced corporate environment.
Consequently, project managers within the IT industry today enjoy probably the most advanced software solutions in the field of project management, capable to deal with complex projects while featuring varied functionality. Of course, this is true mainly for large corporations, while small and medium sized enterprises largely rely on licensed ready to use software and slightly customized open source applications.
In the early age of software project management corporate users relied on mainframes, which determined the very nature of older software solutions that, to surprise of many, survived until very recently. Today, the emergence of new technologies, mainly cloud computing, is the driving force behind the introduction of new approaches to software project management, where businesses are allowed to take advantage of different combinations of previously incompatible software and hardware platforms.
By geralt from Pixabay