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Software Engineering - Software Management Issues

Software Management Issues

Software Development is an out-of-box project in more ways than one and hence needs a special treatment unlike many other routine projects.

Let us now have a look at its characteristic features:

1. Highly intellectual work          

As contrasted with other projects, software development is an extremely intellectual mission, where the developers are trying to simulate the mental capabilities of human beings. This naturally calls for intense 'brainy' activities that would hardly be found in any other project. While this is certainly deeply satisfying work, it has got a flip side of committing certain subtle mistakes arising out of inharmonious working that may surface at an advanced stage making things difficult and costly for rectification.

2. Intelligent manpower

Unlike the massive labour force on constructive projects, software development calls for a learned and sharp workforce. On the one hand these smart staffers have to show a good amount of creativity in their work, on the other hand they have to follow a certain framework of disciplined development. This is a truly daunting task. Besides, these intelligent teams have their own biases, faiths, views, preferences, outlooks, emotions, etc. and moreover all such psychological traits are pretty strong in the case of such people.

3. Executable knowledge as deliverable - testing and care

What gets built up at the end of a normal project could be a dumb ad dull piece like a machine or an automobile. However, in systems projects it is software that is created which is best described as executable knowledge by Ed Yourdon, the renowned IT guru. This is an apt phrase signifying the uncommon fact that software is expected to drive some business transactions without first-hand knowledge (or even consent for that matter) of the person running that system. This delegation to the discretion less computer makes it absolutely essential that abundant care is taken to ensure that the resultant product meets the expected needs precisely and is flawless.

4. Abstract nature

It goes without saying that various phrases or milestones encountered during the project dwell on almost completely abstract intermediate work products such as Data file designs Input/output layouts, etc. This abstract nature is further intensified as the components cannot be visualized for the sake of testing unless the requisite module of components cannot be visualized for the sake of testing unless the requisite module certain threshold functionality is fully built up. In other words, it is not possible to test each and every intermediate work product, unless its other counterparts are developed enabling a full-fledged test operation on that module that is comparable to a subassembly.

5. Breadth and depth of requirement specifications

While various other projects have relatively low amount of specifications, case of software development, the user requirements are the real impetus to the whole project. In addition, the level of detailing for such requirements is practically unending with elaborate niceties of reports, processes, codes etc.

6. Versatility across projects, domain wise

A team working on a banking software projects, may be entrusted with the software development for the production plan in a manufacturing scenario tomorrow and an automation project for a super shop the day after. This versatility makes it a bit difficult for the software development team to learn the ropes, as a considerable amount of their time, energy and attention is devoted to the domain under computerization.

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