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Software Project Planning and Scope Management

Software project management is actually an art and science of overseeing and planning software projects from inception to delivery. It’s a relatively small sub-field of overall project management where software projects are usually planned, implemented, overseen and controlled. Like all management disciplines, it requires a systematic approach to accomplish goals in an acceptable manner while ensuring minimal risk. Unlike many management roles, software project management can be both technical and managerial in nature. As a matter of fact, this is one of the few job titles that combines the talents of both a technical specialist and a manager.


When it comes to software project management, scope or deliverables are the foundation of any project. This includes every single part of the software from conception to delivery including all steps along the way such as scheduling, cost estimation, and budget estimation. All of these steps are essential for software engineering since scope describes the exact scope of work to be carried out; this includes both technological and business aspects such as what specific programming language and tools will be used. Scope must also be explicitly agreed upon by all parties involved in the project, which requires management to play a balancing act between a cautious management of the scope and providing input into the process in order to ensure sufficient detail is provided in the estimate.

Time required for software development is another important factor in project estimation since this directly impacts the budget. The longer time required for implementation means that more money will need to be spent in the total project cost. As with scope, the time necessary for software development is determined by the actual size and complexity of the project which is determined by both customer requirements and the software’s technical design. Delivering the product on time is crucial since this will have a great impact on the success of the company as a whole. This is especially true if the product needs to be deployed for a variety of platforms.

Software Development

While it is best to develop a software product that has the most appropriate scope and function points, it is equally important to develop software products that are within a certain range of each of these factors. In order to reach a balanced budget and schedule, it is often recommended that a project manager finds a comfortable balance of each key element. This is often done by developing a range of different software products within a given size and scope.

There are times when the best way to approach scope management is to use a combination of traditional scope management techniques and software product design. The traditional scope management technique involves the use of detailed information forms to record customer requirements, vendor specific tasks, and estimated time overruns. This information form is then manually reviewed by all involved parties to ensure that the objectives specified are in line with what has been previously discussed. Once this is done, a discussion regarding the objectives and time overruns can take place in an effort to determine how to best meet these objectives.


When dealing with software products, scope and time overrun are important considerations that must be carefully monitored. Both of these considerations have their own level of importance. In most cases, however, the primary concern is usually to ensure that the software product being produced meets the desired scope or purpose. In this case, it is usually recommended that management consider the advantages and disadvantages of each phase in the process and identify which task should be assigned with a higher priority. Once again, it is advisable to use configuration management to streamline the process of configuring the various tasks involved.

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