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This Assignment covers Lec# 8 to Lec# 16.
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People-related problems in a software project are:
• Low motivation: As the project manager it is your responsibility to ensure an ptimal level of motivation within the team. Lengthy projects, complex activities and scarce resources often decrease the motivation level in a software development team. However, you need to lead in such a way that the team is constantly motivated to do a good job.
• Problem employees: Some members of any team always create a problem. For example, an employee may carry a 'holier-than thou' attitude. Problem employees raise the chances of conflicts and differences of opinions within the development team. They lower the efficiency and productivity of other team members and make it difficult to meet the objectives of the software project within the specified time. You need to ensure that employees are not allowed to create a problem for the rest of the team. Even if the employee is very competent, you need to assess the indispensability of such employees for the project. Moreover, you refrain from playing favorite with certain employees and treat everyone with the same measure.
• Unproductive work environment: The work environment is a major factor that affects the productivity of the development team. For example, a noisy or cramped work space decreases the motivation levels of the employees. Similarly, unfriendly organizational policies also lower the motivation of the team members. As the project manager, you need to ensure that the team is protected from harmful external make the work space friendly to work in.
• Inefficient project management style: the project manager needs to lead by example. The team members absorb the work culture, work ethic, and attitude of the project manager and implement it in their work style. If you display a lack of leadership qualities and weak ideals, the motivation levels decrease across software team.
• Lack of stakeholder interest: For a software project to be a success, each stakeholder needs to take an active interest in the progress of the project. All stakeholders, including the customer, the management, and the software development team, need to commit to the success of the project. For example, if the software development team is not committed to the project, then their contribution may not be to the optimum level.
• Ineffective project sponsorship by management: Lack of commitment of the senior management to a software project lowers the motivation level of the team members. If the management commits to the progress of a software project, and takes a keen interest in the progress, the confidence of the software development team will increase.
There are many product-related problems that you can face in a software project. These are:
• Product scope changed toward the end of the project life cycle: The project time, effort, and cost estimates for a software project can go up dramatically when the customer changes the scope of the product toward the end of the project. In such situations, you should verify the criticality of the scope change. However, if the change request is not critical, you should retain the original scope with a proper explanation to the customer. If the change request is critical, you should explain the situation to the customer. Usually, a customer gives more time and funds to a software project if proper justification is provided. In some cases, the scope change may also be because of a change in government policy. It may become mandatory for you to include such change requests.
• Research-oriented software development: Many software projects digress from the original scope because of the nature of the software product or technology used. When a totally new kind of software is developed or a new technology is used, the software development team can lose focus of the objectives by getting into a research-oriented approach. It becomes your responsibility as the project manager to maintain the focus on the objective.
• Defined scope: You need to define the scope of the software product in the initial stages of a software project. The scope of a software product is defined in terms of the functionality requirements, the performance requirements, the assumptions, and the constraints on the product. If the product scope is ill defined, the software project does not have a proper focus on the features required in the product.
• Fuzzy users: You also need to clarify the background characteristics of the users of the final software product at the beginning of the software project. If the description of the users is fuzzy, then the software analysis, design, and development stages may reflect the ambiguity with regard to the functions and performance of the final software product.
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