Software Project Management: Why It’s Different


Every project is different, of course, but the differences when managing software development projects are especially so, due to its distinct life-cycle processes. In this video, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, outlines steps to help manage these projects.

In Review: Software Project Management — Why It’s Different

Jennifer outlined four areas to focus on when thinking of software project management, that is running web or software development projects. These are points in your planning that should receive extra attention as they’ll inevitably vary from the normal course you’re used to working with. They are as follows:

  • Process methodology
  • Resources
  • Constraints and risk
  • Quality of metrics

When managing a software project, if you give extra-special attention to these areas it’s less likely that you’ll find yourself unprepared when changes happen, and changes always happen. That’s the fun of being a project manager!

Pro-Tip: Creating software, just as in any project, means managing a variety of teams. However, the tech teams and engineers may not communicate the same way you and your other teams do. That is because they think differently and it’s up to you to understand how they work and speak clearly to integrate them into the larger project. In a way, you must be multi-lingual, not in the traditional sense, but a more business-practical way. Don’t get frustrated, just as you shouldn’t when dealing with someone from a different culture, find the common ground and connect for better collaboration.

Take it further: Software developer and writer for Tech Republic, Justin James, provides further insight with his article 10 classic mistakes that plague software development projects.

Thanks for watching!


Hello. I’m Jennifer Bridges, Director of Project Welcome to our white board session today on why Software Project Management is different. No matter what industry you talk with, the Project Managers think in their industry software or any kind of Project Management is different. Well, there are some idiosycrasies depending upon what industry. But today we want to focus on the software Project Management. And there are four key areas that we want to look at today.

But I want to give a reminder that for any project, their project deliverables where they’re still business deliverables still a product or service deliverable in this case software and also project management deliverables. So keeping that in mind, these are the key four areas related to the product or the software deliverables.

So number one the Process Methodology. So still we have the project management life cycle or process management groups in project life cycle like the initiating, planning, the monitoring and controlling and indicating and the closing and here is the bottom part where the process methodology could be different. Because it depends upon the type of software development that’s ocurring. Some depending upon the software development or software being generated there’s the traditional waterfall method, there is rapid application development method as well as an iterative web development and there are many more. But in this area depending upon what software is being generated, depends upon what process methodology is used. So this is where the change occurs. So it’s the software development life cycle, the project management process groups and life cycle is still the same because remember, we are producing the project management deliverables here and the product are the software deliverables here.

The second area are the resources. In this case, the human resources, specifically the software developers. Depending upon what type of software is being created, there are the creative types, the right brain people and the analytical, the more left brain. Because depending upon what type of software could be more of an engineering type or it could be graphic design but regardless we have the right brain and left brain resources on our project so we manage them differently because the creatives have to have a creative outlet. They like creating. They have their own process and definitely the analyticals have a different one. So recognizing the type of resources that you have on your project so you can managethem differently.

Number three are the constraints and the risk. There are, and usually on software development projects there are different types of software that are occurring at the same time. There are operating systems that the applications are built on, there’s firmware, there’s application software itself and these contingent are critical software components constantly have new releases, new versions of the software or any kind of bugs or bug fixes that you constantly have to monitor and track because you don’t want to build your application software on like an old operating system. And many times when this is occurring, the team and the project manager have to watch for the different types of software to make sure that they’re staying in line with the current version or release.

And the fourth area has to do with quality or metrics, measuring defects. So software projects are hard to measure sometimes because some organizations do not have a mechanism in place to track their defects so they don’t know how to measure the success or the quality of the project. So the defects need a systematic way to measure and track the defects ocurring on the project so they can get those back in line.

These are four key areas that we believe that software project management is different.

So if you need a tool to help you manage your software project, then sign up for our software at

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