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A Project manager's assistant (Master of Software Engineering, unofficial)

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Garbers, Benjamin R.
Hunt, Kenny; Periyasamy, Kasi
Aug 2006
Computer software -- Development -- Management
Software project management is a difficult endeavor due to the complexities of maintaining the cooperation and coordination of project team members in order to insure the ordered completion of numerous tasks with multifaceted interrelationships. In addition to sharing software artifacts such as requirements documents, design documents, source code, and test cases, timely communication among team members is critical for the success of the project. Additional complexities arise when an individual team member assumes multiple roles (e.g., a project manager also acts as the requirements specialist) or when a single role is shared among multiple team members (more than one designer or programmer). Software project management tools vary from simple spreadsheets to complex software packages that allow the project manager to track project tasks, time sheets and billing. Most of these packages require the project manager and other users to input data at the right time. Moreover, the software artifacts such as the requirements document, design document and source code are not accessed via these tools. This paper describes a project management software tool supporting a wide array of project management activities. The tool was developed at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in coordination with IBM, Rochester, MN as an Eclipse plug-in built on top of the Agent Building and Learning Environment (ABLE) framework. The tool provides a wide array of automatic and semi-automatic support for managing team communication; interactive development and dissemination of software artifacts (requirements and design documents); managed review of documents; time tracking; tracking skill-set profiles of project team members; the intelligent selection of project team members using personal profiles, and cost estimation.
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