Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

Planning in software project management : an empirical research of software companies in Vietnam

Nguyen, Quynh Mai ; Meier, Andreas (Dir.) ; Pasquier, Jacques (Codir.) ; Donzé, Laurent (Codir.)

Thèse de doctorat : Université de Fribourg, 2006.

The software industry has become a key industry in many developing countries because of the application of information technology in business, manufacturing and many other sectors. Software development produces higher value addition compared to other industries with more skilled human resources. Software project management is an interesting issue of both researchers and managers. Software... Plus

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    Summary
    The software industry has become a key industry in many developing countries because of the application of information technology in business, manufacturing and many other sectors. Software development produces higher value addition compared to other industries with more skilled human resources. Software project management is an interesting issue of both researchers and managers. Software projects have a notorious reputation of poor performance in terms of schedule, cost and quality assurance. There has been limited research on software project management, especially in a context of developing countries. Consequently, this study will concentrate on the role of planning for project success. The conceptual framework in this study was developed to examine the critical role of planning in software projects. This framework includes three important elements: planning factors, planning performance and project outcomes. Planning factors are defined as human, management and technical factors that involved in project planning. Planning was assessed by the performance of four tasks, including defining requirements and specifications, estimating cost and time, scheduling and risk analysis. Project outcomes were evaluated by five criteria: overall success, qualitative benefits (such as improving project team ability, enhancing the company image financial benefits), financial benefits, time and costs. In the framework, planning performance is influenced by human, technical and management factors. Planning performance also related to project outcomes. This framework also proposed to analyze the influence of project characteristics on the relationships between the planning factors and planning performance. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were used to examine the relationships identified in the conceptual framework. 80 software projects in 65 software companies in Vietnam were analyzed. This data was collected mainly by survey. One case of the leading software company was chosen for in – depth analysis through interviews. The research finding indicated that, there were not many significant differences between software projects based on size, type and ownership. Smaller projects had better scheduling, less budget excess, and better intangible benefits like improving project team capability, enhancing the company image, etc. than bigger projects. Considering the ownership differences between software projects, the significant differences mainly related to human factors. The project manager effort, team member ability and customer involvement of software projects in foreign companies were better than that in local companies. There were minor differences between software projects by type, such as commercial, made to order, and outsourcing. These findings indicated the important role of human factors in planning. The role of the explanatory variable of planning to project success also confirmed. There were significant relationships between planning performing and all five project outcomes. The qualitative analysis of the project as shown the case study of the Financing and Promoting Technology Corporation (FPT Corp.) provided more explanations for these quantitative findings.