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Organizational culture and behavior, and functional enterprise management in terms of procurement, supply chain management, marketing, sales, and distribution, all have an influence, albeit indirectly, on an organization’s software engineering process.

The Software Engineering Management consists of both the software project management process, in its first five subareas, and software engineering measurement in the last subarea. While these two subjects are often regarded as being separate, and indeed they do possess many unique aspects, their close relationship has led to their combined treatment in software engineering. Unfortunately, a common perception of the software industry is that it delivers products late, over budget, and of poor quality and uncertain functionality. Measurement-informed management - an assumed principle of any true engineering discipline - can help to turn this perception around. In essence, management without measurement, qualitative and quantitative, suggests a lack of rigor, and measurement without management suggests a lack of purpose or context. In the same way, however, management and measurement without expert knowledge is equally ineffectual, so we must be careful to avoid over-emphasizing the quantitative aspects of Software Engineering Management (SEM). Effective management requires a combination of both numbers and experience.

The following working definitions are adopted here:

  • Management process refers to the activities that are undertaken in order to ensure that the software engineering processes are performed in a manner consistent with the organization’s policies, goals, and standards.
  • Measurement refers to the assignment of values and labels to aspects of software engineering (products, processes, and resources) and the models that are derived from them, whether these models are developed using statistical, expert knowledge or other techniques.
  • The software engineering project management subareas make extensive use of the software engineering measurement subarea.
  • Software Requirements, where some of the activities to be performed during the Initiation and Scope definition phase of the project are described
  • Software Configuration Management, as this deals with the identification, control, status accounting, and audit of the software configuration along with software release management and delivery
  • Software Engineering Process, because processes and projects are closely related.
  • Software Quality, as quality is constantly a goal of management and is an aim of many activities that must be managed.

Topics for software engineering management

As the Software Engineering Management is viewed here as an organizational process which incorporates the notion of process and project management, we have created a breakdown that is both topic-based and life cycle-based. However, the primary basis for the top-level breakdown is the process of managing a software engineering project. There are six major subareas:

  • Initiation and scope definition, which deals with the decision to initiate a software engineering project
  • Software project planning, which addresses the activities undertaken to prepare for successful software engineering from a management perspective
  • Software project enactment, which deals with generally accepted software engineering management activities that occur during software engineering
  • Review and evaluation, which deal with assurance that the software is satisfactory
  • Closure, which addresses the post-completion activities of a software engineering project
  • Software engineering measurement, which deals with the effective development and implementation of measurement programs in software engineering organizations (IEEE12207.0-96)

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Source:  OpenStax, Software engineering. OpenStax CNX. Jul 29, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10790/1.1
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