The Software Project Manager’s Conflict: To Allow, Or Not Allow, Change

This research investigates if software development projects can be delivered on time and to budget in environments where requirements change frequently. Software development projects have a poor delivery record with most delivering late and over budget, many being cancelled, and only a few delivering software that meets the customer’s full requirements.

A project’s schedule and budget are determined and committed to in the early stages of the project when little is known about the product requirements. As the customer learns about the product they need to change the product. But change requires rework and this creates a conflict for the project manager: should they allow changes, to exploit their learning, or should they reject changes to protect the promised schedule and budget.

The traditional waterfall software development approach tries to resolve this conflict by perfecting the requirements upfront and therefore preventing change. In contrast, iterative and incremental approaches try to resolve the conflict by frequently delivering small increments of top priority functionality and allowing the customer to reprioritise between iterations.

  • 10,000 words – 29 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for MBA and IT students

1 – Aims And Objectives

2 – Introduction And Background
The Conceptual Sub-Problem
The Real World Sub-Problem

3 – The Nature Of The Problem
The Waterfall Approach
The Agile Approaches
Two Extremes

4 – Research Design And Methodology
Questions And Initial Hypotheses
Data Collection And Analysis

5 – Analysis And Findings
How The Data Was Analysed
Completeness, Reliability, And Extensiveness Of Data
Outcomes Of Analysis
Preventing Change By Getting The Specifications Right Up-Front
Change Happens Anyway
Management Of Frequent Change
Uncertain Finish Date
Big Bang Delivery Reduces Return On Investment

6 – Conclusions, Implications And Recommendations
Conclusion And Implications
Incremental Delivery For The Remainder Of The Current Project
Incremental Delivery For Future Projects
Manage The Decision Making Bottleneck


Software Development Projects Dissertation
Software Development Projects Dissertation

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