We start with the term software; today, we see software in almost every domain of life e.g. we do online transactions using internet banking systems; we have different healthcare systems in hospitals; and we enjoy games on mobile devices. We may define software as a computer application or set of instructions to achieve some desired output by executing it. Software product differs from other products (e.g. hardware products). Software is differentiated by other products (particularly hardware products) as it is developed rather than manufactured. Software does not wear out like other products. Although manycommercial software are available but most of the time software are still developed based on customer defined requirements.
IEEE defines Software engineering as “(1) the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software. (2) the study of approaches as in (1).” CHAOS Report Despite of large use of software applications or systems, software industry is still facing problems in software development, software projects’ costs are overrun. These projects often needs more time as compared to the estimated duration. In many cases, customers are not satisfied with the final product and most of projects have no or insufficient documentation. Standish group conducted a study to estimate the success rate of software projects that highlighted very alarming results. The success rate of software/IT projects was 16.2% only whereas 31% projects were cancelled before the completion. It also estimated $140 billion loss in US only. This study emphasized the need of better project management practices and techniques to overcome the mentioned problems. The same group conducted the similar study after about 10 years; the results were relatively better as compared to the previous study. The success rate of projects was 35%and 19% projects were cancelled as compared to 31% projects in 1995. The total loss was $53 billion that was about one third of the loss estimated in 1995. The later study clearly indicates the improvement in software projects as a result of better software engineering and project management practices. Investment in IT Projects Although rate of successful project is still not impressive, there is continuous increase in investmentsin IT projects. In 2008, $2.4 trillion was spent in IT projects globally that was 8% increase from 2007. US spends $2.3 trillion on different types of projects including IT projects every year. Globally $10 trillion are spent on all types of projects. These investments demand systematic approach towards management of projects in general and IT projects in particular. Project and Triple Constraint Project is defined as “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result” [PMBOK® Guide, 2008]. The key attributes of any project are its unique purpose, temporary nature (definitive start and end dates), progressive elaboration, various resources required, primary customer/sponsor, and uncertainty involved in it.
Projects often involve competing goals related to scope, cost, time that are key constraints. These constraints are called triple constraint and project managers often do trade-offs for these goals. Sometimes quality is also considered the fourth main competing goal and these four goals are called quadruple constraint.Project managers strive to meet scope, time, cost, and quality goals. They strive tofacilitate the entire processto meet the needs and expectations of the stakeholders. The key stakeholders of a project are project sponsor, project team, support staff, customers, users, suppliers, and opponents of project. Project Management and PM Framework Project management is “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements” [PMBOK® Guide, 2008].