Software Engineering Project Management / Edition 2

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Overview

Newly revised for 2001, this second edition of Richard Thayer's popular, bestselling book presents a top-down, practical view of managing a successful software engineering project. The book builds a framework for project management activities based on the planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling model. Thayer provides information designed to help you understand and successfully perform the unique role of a project manager.

This book is a must for all project managers in the software field. The text focuses on the five functions of general management by first describing each function and then detailing the project management activities that support each function. This second edition shows you how to manage a software development project, discusses current software engineering management methodologies and techniques, and presents general descriptions and project management problems. The book serves as a guide for your future project management activities. The text also offers students sufficient background and instructional material to serve as a main or supplementary text for a course in software engineering project management.

Note: The 2001 revision includes a new Chapter 4 Introduction and a new paper that replaces an older paper.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reprints and five new papers present a "top-down view" of the subject. Covers software engineering and SE project management--planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling a SE project. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780818680007
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Series: Practitioners Series, #40
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 552
  • Product dimensions: 8.43 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard H. Thayer, PhD, is a Professor of Computer Science at California State University, Sacramento, California, United States of America. He travels widely where he consults and lectures on software requirements analysis, software engineering, project management, software engineering standards, and software quality assurance. He is a Visiting Researcher at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. As an expert in software project management and requirements engineering, he is a consultant to many companies and government agencies.
Thayer is a Senior Member of the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Software Engineering Standards Subcommittee. He is Chairperson for the Working Group for a Standard for a Software Project Management Plans. He is a Distinguished Visitor for the IEEE Computer Society.
He is also an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) where he served on the AIAA Technical Committee on Computer Systems, and he is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is also a registered professional engineer.
He has a BSEE and an MS degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana (1962) and a PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara (1979) all in Electrical Engineering.
He has edited and/or co-edited numerous tutorials for the IEEE Computer Society Press: Software Engineering Project Management (1988), System and Software Requirements Engineering (1990), and Software Engineering—A European Prospective (1992). He is the author of over 40 technical papers and reports on software project management, software engineering, and software engineering standards and is an invited speaker at many national and international software engineering conferences and workshops.

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Read an Excerpt

Software Engineering Project Management


John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-8186-8000-8


Chapter One

Introduction to Management

1. Chapter Introduction

Management can be defined as all the activities and tasks undertaken by one or more persons for the purpose of planning and controlling the activities of others in order to achieve an objective or complete an activity that could not be achieved by the others acting independently. Management as defined by well-known authors in the field of management contains the following components:

Planning

Organizing

Staffing

Directing (Leading)

Controlling

For definitions of these terms see Table 1.1.

From Weihrich comes a definition of management:

All managers carry out the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling, although the time spent in each function will differ and the skills required by managers at different organizational levels vary. Still, all managers are engaged in getting things done through people.... The managerial activities, grouped into the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling, are carried out by all managers, but the practices and methods must be adapted to the particular tasks, enterprises, and situation.

This concept is sometimes called the universality of management in which managers perform the same functions regardless of their place in the organizational structure or the type of enterprise in which they are managing.

The statement from Weihrich means that

management performs the same functions regardless of its position in the organization or the enterprise managed, and

management functions and fundamental activities are characteristic duties of managers; management practices, methods, detailed activities, and tasks are particular to the enterprise or job managed.

Therefore, the functions and general activities of management can be universally applied to managing any organization or activity. Recognition of this concept is crucial to the improvement of software engineering project management, for it allows us to apply the wealth of research in management sciences to improving the management of software engineering projects. Additional discussion on the universality of management can be found in.

This chapter and introduction is important to the readers of this tutorial. The basic assumption of this tutorial on software engineering project management is based on a scientific management approach as follows:

1. Management consists of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling.

2. The concepts and activities of management applies to all levels of management, as well as to all types of organizations and activities managed.

Based on these two assumptions, this tutorial

is divided into chapters, based on planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling, and

includes articles from other disciplines that illustrate the concepts of management that can be applied to software engineering project management.

2. Chapter Overview

The two articles contained in this chapter introduce management and show that the management of any endeavor (like a software engineering project) is the same as managing any other activity or organization. The first article, by Heinz Weihrich, sets the stage by defining management and the major functions of management. The second article, by Alec MacKenzie, is a condensed and comprehensive overview of management from the Harvard Business Review.

3. Article Descriptions

The first article in this chapter is extracted from an internationally famous book, Management by Weihrich, 10th edition, and adapted specifically by Weihrich for this tutorial. Earlier editions of this book were written by Harold Koontz and Cyril O'Donnell from the University of California, Los Angeles; Weihrich joined them as a co-author with the 7th edition. Both Koontz and O'Donnell are now deceased, leaving Weihrich to be the author of future editions. In this article, Weihrich

1. defines and describes the nature and purpose of management,

2. states that management applies to all kinds of organizations and to managers at all organizational levels,

3. defines the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading [directing], and controlling,

4. states that managing requires a systems approach and that practice always takes into account situations and contingencies, and

5. recognizes that the aim of all managers is to be productive-that is, to carry out their activities effectively and efficiently and to create a "surplus."

Weihrich introduced the term "leading" to replace the term "directing" used by Koontz and O'Donnell in their earlier books. The articles by Richard Thayer will stay with the older term "directing."

The last article by Alec MacKenzie is also a classic. It is still the most comprehensive yet condensed description of management in existence. MacKenzie presents a top-down description of management starting with the elements of management-ideas, things, and people-and ending with a detailed description of general management activities-all on one foldout page.

Management: Science, Theory, and Practice1

Heinz Weihrich University of San Francisco San Francisco, California

One of the most important human activities is managing. Ever since people began forming groups to accomplish aims they could not achieve as individuals, managing has been essential to ensure the coordination of individual efforts. As society has come to rely increasingly on group effort and as many organized groups have grown larger, the task of managers has been rising in importance. The purpose of this book is to promote excellence of all persons in organizations, but especially managers, aspiring managers, and other professionals.

Definition of Management: Its Nature and Purpose

Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, accomplish efficiently selected aims. This basic definition needs to be expanded:

1. As managers, people carry out the managerial functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling.

2. Management applies to any kind of organization.

3. It applies to managers at all organizational levels.

4. The aim of all managers is the same: to create a surplus.

5. Managing is concerned with productivity; that implies effectiveness and efficiency.

The Functions of Management

Many scholars and managers have found that the analysis of management is facilitated by a useful and clear organization of knowledge. As a first order of knowledge classification, we have used the five functions of managers: planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling. Thus, the concepts, principles, theory, and techniques are organized around these functions and become the basis for discussion.

This framework has been used and tested for many years. Although there are different ways of organizing managerial knowledge, most textbook authors today have adopted this or a similar framework even after experimenting at times with alternative ways of structuring knowledge.

Although the emphasis in this article is on managers' tasks in designing an internal environment for performance, it must never be overlooked that managers must operate in the external environment of an enterprise as well as in the internal environment of an organization's various departments. Clearly, managers cannot perform their tasks well unless they understand, and are responsive to, the many elements of the external environment-economic, technological, social, political, and ethical factors that affect their areas of operations.

Management as an Essential for Any Organization

Managers are charged with the responsibility of taking actions that will make it possible for individuals to make their best contributions to group objectives. Management thus applies to small and large organizations, to profit and not-for-profit enterprises, to manufacturing as well as service industries. The term "enterprise" refers to business, government agencies, hospitals, universities, and other organizations, because almost everything said in this book refers to business as well as nonbusiness organizations. Effective managing is the concern of the corporation president, the hospital administrator, the government first-line supervisor, the Boy Scout leader, the bishop in the church, the baseball manager, and the university president.

Management at Different Organizational Levels

Managers are charged with the responsibility of taking actions that will make it possible for individuals to make their best contributions to group objectives To be sure, a given situation may differ considerably among various levels in an organization or various types of enterprises. Similarly, the scope of authority held may vary and the types of problems dealt with may be considerably different. Furthermore, the person in a managerial role may be directing people in the sales, engineering, or finance department. But the fact remains that, as managers, all obtain results by establishing an environment for effective group endeavor.

All managers carry out managerial functions. However, the time spent for each function may differ. Figure 1 shows an approximation of the relative time spent for each function. Thus, top-level managers spend more time on planning and organizing than lower level managers. Leading, on the other hand, takes a great deal of time for first-line supervisors. The difference in time spent on controlling varies only slightly for managers at various levels.

All Effective Managers Carry Out Essential Functions

All managers carry out the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling, although the time spent in each function will differ and the skills required by managers at different organizational levels vary. Still, all managers are engaged in getting things done through people. Although the managerial concepts, principles, and theories have general validity, their application is an art and depends on the situation. Thus, managing is an art using the underlying sciences. Managerial activities are common to all managers, but the practices and methods must be adapted to the particular tasks, enterprises, and situations.

This concept is sometimes called the universality of management in which managers perform the same functions regardless of their place in the organizational structure or the type of enterprise in which they are managing.

Managerial Skills and the Organizational Hierarchy

Robert L. Katz identified three kinds of skills for administrators. To these may be added a fourth-the ability to design solutions.

1. Technical skill is knowledge of and proficiency in activities involving methods, processes, and procedures. Thus it involves working with tools and specific techniques. For example, mechanics work with tools, and their supervisors should have the ability to teach them how to use these tools. Similarly, accountants apply specific techniques in doing their job.

2. Human skill is the ability to work with people; it is cooperative effort; it is teamwork; it is the creation of an environment in which people feel secure and free to express their opinions.

3. Conceptual skill is the ability to see the "big picture," to recognize significant elements in a situation, and to understand the relationships among the elements.

4. Design skill is the ability to solve problems in ways that will benefit the enterprise. To be effective, particularly at upper organizational levels, managers must be able to do more than see a problem. If managers merely see the problem and become "problem watchers," they will fail. They must have, in addition, the skill of a good design engineer in working out a practical solution to a problem.

The relative importance of these skills may differ at various levels in the organization hierarchy. As shown in Figure 2, technical skills are of greatest importance at the supervisory level. Human skills are also helpful in the frequent interactions with subordinates. Conceptual skills, on the other hand, are usually not critical for lower level supervisors. At the middle-management level, the need for technical skills decreases; human skills are still essential; and the conceptual skills gain in importance. At the top-management level, conceptual and design abilities and human skills are especially valuable, but there is relatively little need for technical abilities. It is assumed, especially in large companies, that chief executives can utilize the technical abilities of their subordinates. In smaller firms, however, technical experience may still be quite important.

The Aim of All Managers

Nonbusiness executives sometimes say that the aim of business managers is simple-to make a profit. But profit is really only a measure of a surplus of sales dollars (or in any other currency) over expense dollars. In a very real sense, in all kinds of organizations, whether commercial and noncommercial, the logical and publicly desirable aim of all managers should be surplus-managers must establish an environment which people can accomplish group goals with the least amount of time, money, materials, and personal dissatisfaction, or where they can achieve as much as possible of a desired goal with available resources. In a nonbusiness enterprise such as a police department, as well as in units of a business (such as an accounting department) that are not responsible for total business profits, managers still have budgetary and organizational goals and should strive to accomplish them with the minimum of resources.

Productivity, Effectiveness, and Efficiency

Another way to view the aim of all managers is to say that they must be productive. After World War II the United States was the world leader in productivity. But in the late 1960s productivity began to decelerate. Today government, private industry, and universities recognize the urgent need for productivity improvement. Until very recently we frequently looked to Japan to find answers to our productivity problem, but this overlooks the importance of effectively performing fundamental managerial and nonmanagerial activities.

Definition of productivity. Successful companies create a surplus through productive operations. Although there is not complete agreement on the true meaning of productivity, we will define it as the output-input ratio within a time period with due consideration for quality. It can be expressed as follows:

Productivity = output/input within a time period, quality considered

Thus, productivity can be improved by increasing outputs with the same inputs, by decreasing inputs but maintaining the same outputs, or by increasing output and decreasing inputs to change the ratio favorably. In the past, productivity improvement programs were mostly aimed at the worker level. Yet, as Peter F. Drucker, one of the most prolific writers in management, observed, "The greatest opportunity for increasing productivity is surely to be found in knowledge, work itself, and especially in management."

Definitions of effectiveness and efficiency. Productivity implies effectiveness and efficiency in individual and organizational performance. Effectiveness is the achievement of objectives. Efficiency is the achievement of the ends with the least amount of resources. To know whether they are productive, managers must know their goals and those of the organization.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Software Engineering Project Management Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contributors of Original Papers.

Foreword.

Preface.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Management.

Chapter 2: Software Engineering Process.

Chapter 3: Software Engineering Project Management.

Chapter 4: Planning a Software Engineering Project.

Chapter 5: Software Cost, Schedule, and Size.

Chapter 6: Organizing a Software Engineering Project.

Chapter 7: Staffing a Software Engineering Project.

Chapter 8: Directing a Software Engineering Project.

Chapter 9: Controlling a Software Engineering Project.

Chapter 10: Software Metrics and Visibility of Progress.

Chapter 11: Epilogue: The Silver Bullets.

Appendix.

Author Biography.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2000

    Where am I?

    I had to read multiple chapters of this book for a Masters class and I never felt quite comfortable, hopping around from article to article, in understanding what each chapter was support to be teaching me.

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