COURSE TITLE:                     Software Project Management (SWE 625)


INSTRUCTOR:                        Professor Kenneth E. Nidiffer


SEMESTER CLASSES:           Spring 2010 (25 January – 3 May 2010)


SEMESTER EXAM:                Spring 2010 (10 May 2010)


TIME/BLDG/ROOM:               1920-2200/ Engineering Building/Room 4705


OFFICE HOURS:                     1815 - 1900 Mondays

                                                Engineering Building (Academic IV, Research II)

                                                Meeting Arrangement Mechanisms:

-       By appointment in class

-       By the Internet

-       By note in mail box – Suite 4300

Meeting Location: Room 5323

Department Administration Assistant

-       Ms. Michele L. Pieper: 703-993-1530




Internet: (Best Method)

Internet: (Alternate Method)

Internet: (Alternate Method)

(703) 455-4021 (Home: Telephone Number – Best Method)

                                   (703) 908-1117 (Phone-Office Number 1: Emergency Only)

                                    (703) 808-6357 (Phone-Office Number 2: Emergency Only)

                                    (703) 908-9235 (Fax-Office: Emergency Only)

                                    (703) 217-0215 (Cell Phone, Emergency Only)









TEXT:                         Title: Managing and Leading Software Projects

Dated: 2009

ISBN 987-0-470-29455-0

                                    Author: Dr. Richard E. (Dick) Fairley

                                    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc

Pick-up at University Bookstore (located in the George W. Johnson Center)




Undergraduate courses or equivalent knowledge in structured programming in a high-level language, data structures, discrete mathematics, and machine organization or assembly programming.




This course is concerned with processes involved in planning – including establishing project foundations, estimating, organizing, staffing, measuring and controlling, and directing. Topics covered include lifecycle delivery approaches; process models with special emphasis on the best practices contained in the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI©) constellations. The course will also stress the Program Management Institute’s Program Body of Knowledge (PMBOK©) and the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWBOK).




Upon completion of this course, students will know how to develop a software project management plan for software intensive systems; how to set up monitoring and control mechanisms; how to allocate and reallocate project resources; how to track schedule, budget, quality, productivity, and progress; understand the CMMI© frameworks and how to plan for the installation and support phase of the system life cycle. They will understand the importance of the work breakdown structure and its relationship to the delivery lifecycle, resource planning and execution, and progress and product measures from both a project and enterprise perspective. In addition, they will understand the relationships among quality assurance, configuration management, verification and validation, and test and evaluation. They will also gain an understanding of the key issues in costing and pricing units of effort, motivation of workers, leading project teams, and total quality management.




A taxonomy of management functions; corporate goals and objectives; system, project and product requirements; architectural frameworks; best practice frameworks, cost estimation techniques and models; software process development models with special emphasis on the CMMI© and software systems engineering delivery models that feature component and model based development; organizational structures and team structures; technical methods; documentation, quality assurance, configuration management, verification and validation, test and evaluation; staffing plans; monitoring and controlling mechanisms; standards (e.g. IEEE/EIA 12207 and IEEE Std. 1058.1™), policies and acquisition frameworks (e.g. DODI 5000.01), and procedures; work packages, schedules, budget, accounting systems, costing and pricing units of effort; risk management; post deployment software support; leadership, team building and total quality.




Grades will be based on homework, class contributions and the final exam in the following proportions:


Class Contribution                                                        10 %

Homework                                                                   30 %

Student Presentation                                                     10%

Final Exam                                                                  50 %

Note: Final exam is scheduled for May 10th, 2010 (7:30 – 10:15 pm)




First and foremost, welcome! Distance education is fertile ground for fostering innovation in teaching and learning. Such innovation meets the changing demands of students and attracts faculty that are diverse, excellent in teaching, active in pure and applied research, and responsive to the needs of students and the community. To ensure our mutual success, this syllabus addresses the classroom environment including the hardware, software, and equipment that will be used. It also addresses any conditions which apply to distance education students. In particular it addresses the requirement to attend class in person to take the final exam on 10 May 2010.

1.     The delivery mode that will be used is called “simulteaching” which means classroom plus synchronous online teaching, with recordings available afterward.


2.     Attached to this syllabus is a presentation that covers the course lecture dates, student reading assignments and homework assignments.


3.     The e-learning software is called NEW. NEW is open-source software that is under development at GMU. For example, NEW has been recently updated to automatically reconnect to its hosting and continue recording in the interim, in event of a network problem. It also has a new "voting" module for online students to answer yes/no questions.


4.     The technology being used is Smartboard, which will be used to present the course-related images, page templates, and interactive graphics.


5.     The e-learning classroom environment at GMU is located in the new engineering building, ENGR 4705, which is part of GMU’s C4I Center.


6.     Although welcome anytime, all distant education students are required to be at GMU (ENGR 4705) to take the final exam on 10 May 2010. The final exam will be from 7:30 to 10:00 pm.