Software Project Management Interview Questions and Answers
What is project management?
Applying knowledge, skills, tools, techniques in project and deliver project deliverables is a short definition of project management.It’s basically managing project time, cost and scope.
Is spending in IT projects constant through out the project?
Note:- It’s a tricky question, to know how much depth you have regarding costing of projects.
Normally in initial stage of projects (requirement and design phase) the cost is very less(as you need maximum business analyst and architecture), but as the project proceeds cost factor starts increasing. The cost is maximum in coding phase (this is where you require programmers, project leads and project manager). Later when the project is in testing and acceptance phase cost is less as we will need only one or two programmers for removing bugs, than the whole team.
Who is a stakeholder ?
A stakeholder is anyone who has something to gain or lose as a result of the completion or failure of this project or phase
Note:- It’s not only the end customer the stakeholder. Project managers, Project Lead, even programmers, testing department etc. are stake holders of project. So during project management interview whenever you refer stake holders be clear about the terminology.
Can you explain project life cycle ?
Twist :- How many phases are there in software project ?
There are five stages of any project initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closeout.These are general phases and change according to domain. Example when writing a book I will have following mappings initiating(contacting publishers,getting copy right etc),planning(Table of contents of book, Number of chapters , tool to use, chapter wise deadlines etc), executing(Actually writing the book), controlling(proof reading, language checks, page alignments etc), and closeout(Finally printing and on the shelf for sale).
Are risk constant through out the project ?
* Never say that risk is high through out the project.
Risk is high at the start of projects, but by proper POC (Proof of concept) risk is brought in control.Good project managers always have proper risk mitigation plan at the start of project. As the project continues one by one risk is eliminated thus bringing down the risk.
Can you explain different software development life cycles ?
Note:- This questions is asked to test that as a project manager do you have a know how of all the project life cycles.In PMP (Project management plan) you have to specify saying whichsoftware development model you will follow. Definitely depending on client and project scenarios it’s the project manager’s responsibility to choose a development cycle.
SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) is overall process of developing information systems through multi stage process systems from investigation of initial requirements through analysis, design, implementation and maintenance. The days are gone when one COBOL programmer used to analyze, test and implement software systems. Systems have become complex, huge team members are involved, architects, analyst, programmers,testers, users etc. To manage this number of SDLC models have been created.
Following are popular models which are listed:-
Build and Fix model.
Rapid prototyping Model.
This section we will go into depth of different SDLC models.
Water Fall Model
This is the oldest model. It has sequence of stages; output of one stage becomes input of other.
Following are stages in Waterfall model:-
System Requirement: - This is initial stage of the project where end user
requirements are gathered and documented.
System Design: - In this stage detail requirements, screen layout, business
rules, process diagram, pseudo code and other documentations are prepared.
This is first step in technical phase.
Implementation: - Depending on the design document actual code is written
Integration and Testing: - All pieces are brought together and tested. Bugs are
removed in this phase.
Acceptance, Installation and Deployment: - This is final stage where software
is put in production and runs actual business.
Maintenance: - This is least glamorous phase which runs forever. Code Changes,
correction, addition etc are done in this phase.
Waterfall is suited for low risk in areas of User Interface and performance requirements, but high risk in budget and schedule predictability and control. Waterfall assumes that all requirements can be specified in advance. But unfortunately requirement grows and changes through various stages, so it needs feedback from one stage to other.
Spiral Model removes the drawback of waterfall model, by providing emphasis to go back and reiterate earlier stages a number of times as project progresses. On broader level it’s a series of short waterfall cycles, each producing an early prototype representing a part of entire project. It also helps demonstrate a Proof of Concept at early software life cycle.
Build and Fix Model
This is the way free-lancers work Write some code and keep modifying it until the customer is happy. This approach can be quite dangerous and risky.
Rapid Prototyping Model
This model is also called as Rapid Application Development. The initial emphasis is on creating prototype that look and acts like the desired product. Prototype can be created by using tools which is different from those used for final product. Once the prototype is approved, its discarded and real software development is started from scratch. The problem with this model is that sometimes the prototype moves ahead to become the final live product which can be bad from design point of view. It’s a effective model but can have higher costing than other models as you require programmers during the initial phase of
the software cycle.
In this model we divide products into builds, where section of product are created and tested separately. Here errors are found in requirement phase itself, user feedback is taken for each stage and code is tested after it is written.
What is a project baselines ?
It defines a logical closure of any deliverable or cycle. Example you have completed the requirement phase with sign off from the client on the requirement document.So you put a baseline and say that further any changes to this document are change request. Versioning of source code is one type of baseline.
What is effort variance?
Effort Variance = (Actual effort – Estimated Effort) / Estimated Effort.
How is normally a project management plan document
PMP document forms the bible of a project. It has normally these sections :-
Project organization hierarchy
WBS / Activity list to be performed with schedule.
Work product identification (In short who will do what)
Project schedule( GANNT chart or PERT chart).
Estimated Cost and completion.
Configuration management section.
Action Item status.
How do you estimate a project?
There are many techniques available for estimating a project:-
Use Case points
WBS etc etc.
What is CAR (Causal Analysis and Resolution)?
The basic purpose of CAR is to analyze all defects, problems and good practices/positive triggers in projects, perform a root cause analysis of the same, identify respective corrective and preventive actions and track these to closure. The advantage of CAR is that root causes are scientifically identified and their corrective and preventive actions are carried out. CAR needs to be performed at project initiation, all phase and project ends and on a monthly basis. Fishbone diagram is one of the ways you can do CAR.
What is DAR (Decision Analysis and Resolution) ?
Decision Analysis and Resolution is to analyze possible decisions using a formal evaluation process that identifies alternatives against established criteria.
Example in a project you are said to use third party tools so you will not depend on only one tool but evaluate three to four more tools so that in case of problems you have alternatives. This is called as DAR