Managing software projects has been rated as one of the most difficult types to projects to manage. This is due to the high failure rate of software development projects.
There have been many theories as to why software projects fail, some of the reasons why are:
- Unrealistic timeframes/schedules
- Not having a proper defined scope from the start
- Not assigning the most appropriate (best) resources to the project
- Lack of/No Requirements Management Processes
- Lack of/No Quality Assurance Processes
- Lack of/No Project Management Processes
In my opinion, many software development businesses (of all sizes) undervalue the benefits of having a proper project management structure in place. Implementing a project management structure/methodology is not going to generate you any additional revenue (apart from charging for the project management resource(s)), however, it will save you money in the long run, by having fewer cost blowouts and project failures due to the reasons above.
Without a proper project management structure in place, you may find it more difficult/close to impossible to land some of the larger, more lucrative jobs in the market. Large businesses have realised that without proper project management in place, there is a good chance that their projects will fail. (This does not take into account businesses that are after a bargain. Software companies that do not have proper project management processes in place are often cheaper however, they normally have more project failures)
Getting Started with a Project Management Methodology for your Software Development Business
There are a number of project management methodologies out there that can scale and be easily adapted to almost any size software development project.
A few of the commonly used Project Management Methodologies in the Software Industry are:
- PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), developed the Project Management Institute (PMI)
- PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments), developed by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), United Kingdom
- MSF (Microsoft Solutions Framework), developed by Microsoft