Technology Positioning Statement Report

3.2.2 Software Project Management and Work Tracking Tools

Description: Project management tools used by software development project managers (for general project management tools see 1.1.3).

Category: 3 - Communication Technologies   Subcategory: 2 - Development Communication Tools
Old Category: none




Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Interoperability of tools; ease of use; ease of deployment; capabilities for web/VB development environments; compatibility with our lifecycle process.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Position: The industry does not have a single tool that meets all requirements for development teams, at least not at reasonable cost.  Hence most teams use low-cost tools like Microsoft Project to support their work.  The disadvantage of this is the lack of integration of tools to support all aspects of the development lifecycle, which reduces productivity.  However, this situation is improving.  Microsoft Project 2000 includes Project Central, a server-side component that can be connected to SQL Server and used to report project data and charts via a web server to an entire team.  Users with Microsoft Project 2000 licenses can update this data; others can see it at any time.  

More expensive but capable tools include products by Rational, Starbase, and Merant.

Rational's ClearCase Offers version control, workspace management, build management and process configurability.

StarTeam provides "fast and efficient productivity modules that will enhance your SCM experience. These productivity modules include defect tracking, topic discussion, view management, and support for parallel development. Unlike other tools in the market, StarTeam delivers all this functionality right out of the box without the need to purchase additional products or perform complicated installations and configurations. It integrates with and leverages Microsoft Project, NetMeeting, and Visual SourceSafe."

Merant is a leader in version control systems. Its products such as PVCS Tracker are now supplied as MERANT ASaP, a "best-in-breed" solutions strategy by partnering with and integrating the best development solutions across the application development lifecycle. Carefully selected partners and staff provide "one-stop-shop" expertise in the setup and management of both the infrastructure and tools needed for developing e-business applications."

A related category is defect tracking tools. Here, Rational provides ClearQuest, "a highly flexible defect and change tracking system that captures and tracks all types of change, for any type of project on any platform, including Windows, UNIX, and the Web. The fully customizable interface and workflow engine enable ClearQuest to adapt to any development process, and with support for industry standard databases". Merant provides PVCS Tracker, which has been around for many years and is widely used.

Visual Intercept, from Elsinore Technologies, "is the only project-oriented, three-tiered, enterprise-ready incident management system specifically designed for Microsoft Visual Tool users."

SC Usage: SC developers are skilled in using many of the aforementioned popular tools to support project management and software development. However, the tools are not integrated, and much remains to be done to leverage the investments in these tools. For example, Rational Requisite Pro generates about 70 documents in planning a project; but there is no repository to organize and manage these documents. Without adequate data management, powerful code generation or authoring tools may create more documents than developers can usefully absorb. Hence, a more integrated data management process (and perhaps other tools) are needed.

SC Application Impacts: Development speed and defect reduction, which these tools enable, are key drivers for all SC applications.

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