The Software Project Management Plan

The Software Project Management Plan

This is a vital document of a project. It describes how the project is supposed to be executed and what it is going to create. Next in importance would be the SRS. The SPMP should include definitive project information that contains:

●  Charter: Elements from the project charter that define the project, including deliverables

●  Organization: How the project will be organized and executed to produce the deliverables

●  Process: Details of the managerial and technical processes that will be used during the project

●  Work breakdown: Work breakdown and work package details

●  Schedule: Schedule, dependencies, and resources

●  Budget: Budgetary and definitive estimates

All of these items are related, and the SPMP actually develops over a period of time as the many items come together. The process generally starts, though, with incorporating the elements of the approved charter into the SPMP. Because the project is approved beyond the concept stage, it can proceed to the definition (what) and planning (how) stages, where the detailed planning takes place.

Major Elements of SPMP

Generally completed from a template such as that explained by IEEE 1058, "Standard for Software Project Management Plans", the SPMP explains the how of the project processes discussed earlier in this section. It explains how the project team will execute the life cycle software development processes of the chosen life cycle.

The project charter information is included into appropriate sections of the SPMP. The rest of the document includes sections that contain these:

●  Project overview and deliverables

●  Project organization

●  Managerial processes

●  Technical processes

●  Work packages, schedule, and budget

Other sections in this blog provide details about how to identify and represent the information required to complete an SPMP. The depth and breadth of the coverage for each section is a matter of judgment according the type and scope of the project. When completed and approved, the SPMP becomes the benchmark for controlling the project during implementation (the do it step).

How These Project Planning Documents Relate

As illustrated in Figure (a), the flow of information starts with defining the goal, objectives, and high-level scope of the proposed software project. These items are generally presented in a project charter document. For a large project, or one to be sublet through a contracting process, the charter may be supported by a scope of work document containing more details outlining the work to be carried out.

Relationship of Planning Documents

When the charter including the why and what for the project has gained management approval, then the information in it is incorporated into the SPMP where the details of how the project will be executed are explained at a level appropriate for the size and scope of the project, as well as the maturity of the project team and organization.


life cycle, project charter, srs, spmp, deliverables
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