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Software Project Management Plan: Structure & Examples

Instructor: Lolita Jackmon

President of a local chapter of the Project Mangement Institute (PMI) and a certified Project Management Professional since 2009.

In this lesson, you will learn why a project management plan is necessary, understand the basic elements of a software project management plan, and see an example of a typical plan used on software projects.

The Software Project Management Plan

If you have ever been given a team assignment that wasn't clear and left you with many questions, you probably found it quite frustrating to navigate your responsibilities. It is likely that in this scenario, you would have benefited from a Project Management Plan. For software projects, team members use a special type of Project Management Plan, called the Software Project Management Plan, to better understand their role and the project expectations. What might be some of these roles and expectations?

Let's look at the role of a Business Analyst (BA). The BA works primarily with the Project Stakeholders to understand and document the requirements for the software code. Then Software Developers create software code to elicit the desired outcome or requirements, and finally, a Tester ensures the code generates the response that the BA documented. As you can see, software projects require a variety of activities to be completed by a diverse group of people working in different disciplines. Oftentimes, the people participating in the project work in different organizations, creating a challenging environment to accomplish the goals of the project.

This is where the Software Project Management Plan comes in -- to ensure all the different people and groups fully understand all aspects of a software project, companies use this plan to communicate expectations. It documents planning assumptions and decisions, facilitates communication among project stakeholders, documents approved scope and cost, and schedules baselines.

Projects involve lots of different participants.

The Project Management Plan Structure

According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), a project management plan is a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. It is typically comprised of these nine subsidiary plans:

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