605.708.8VL - Tools and Techniques of Software Project Management

Computer Science
Spring 2023


This course examines tools and techniques used to lead software-intensive programs. Techniques for RFP analysis and proposal development are explored, and techniques of size estimation (function points, feature points, and lines-ofcode estimation) and the use of models such as COCOMO to convert size to effort and schedule are described. In addition, conversion of estimated effort to dollars and the effects of fringe, overhead, skill mix profiles, and staffing profiles on total dollar cost are explained. Moreover, techniques for estimating effort and planning the COTS intensive development programs are described, and tools and techniques for measuring process maturity and process efficiency (e.g., CMMi, Lean, Six Sigma, and Kaizen) are addressed. The course also investigates the formation and management of virtual teams, as well as techniques that can be used to ensure success in this environment. Finally, the course addresses topics that require collaboration between the project manager and human resources, such as personnel retention strategies, managing unsatisfactory performance, and formal mentoring programs. Prerequisite(s): Three to five years technical work experience is recommended.


Profile photo of Tushar Hazra.

Tushar Hazra


Course Goals

Fundamental goal of this course is to identify and describe various tools and techniques which can be used to lead or manage a software intensive project during the entire life-cycle (including pursuit of new business thru project execution) and then apply that knowledge to prepare specific artifacts necessary for effective management, e.g., Work Breakdown Structures, size estimations, effort and schedule estimations, cost estimations, COTS integration estimations, employee retention strategies.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Student Coursework Requirements

Class Participation

Class participation is important and essential to discuss various principles and concepts of project management taught in this class.

Class Participation is evaluated by the following grading elements:

Class participation is graded as follows:


Four team assignments for this course are as follows:

  1. RFP and SOW Assessment (Due Date: End of Class - Week 4)
  2. Software Size Analysis (Due Date: End of Class – Week 6)
  3. Effort and Schedule Estimation (Due Date: End of Class – Week 8)
  4. Estimated Effort Hours to Dollars Conversion (Due Date: End of Class – Week 10)

The term assignment projects are evaluated by the following grading elements:

Term Paper

In this course, each student must write and present one (1) out of four (4) papers of his / her choice from the following list. 1st draft of the paper is due at the end of sixth (6th) week and the final version is due at the end of twelfth (12th) week. Each student will make a presentation of the paper on the 14th week.

  1. Managing Virtual Teams: Benefits and Limitations
  2. Human Resources Retention Strategies: Project Management Perspective
  3. Creating Business Value Today: The role of a Project Manager
  4. DevOps, Agile, and Iterative and Incremental: Pros and Cons for Project Management

Term paper and presentation evaluated by the following grading elements:

Grading Policy

Each student is required to complete all graded activities to earn a course grade. Timely feedback on students' performance is an established learning tool, so I will try my best to grade and return to you, as quickly as possible, all material that you submit.

I generally do not directly grade spelling and grammar. However, egregious violations of the rules of the English language will be noted without comment. Consistently poor performance in either spelling or grammar is taken as an indication of poor written communication ability that may detract from your grade.

A grade of A indicates achievement of consistent excellence and distinction throughout the course—that is, conspicuous excellence in all aspects of assignments and discussion in every week.

A grade of B indicates work that meets all course requirements on a level appropriate for graduate academic work. These criteria apply to both undergraduates and graduate students taking the course.

Score RangeLetter Grade
100 - 90A
90 - 80B
80 - 70C

Final grades will be determined by the following weighting:

Item% of Grade
Assignments (Group 20; Individual 20)40
Exams (Mid-term and Final)30
Term Paper (Group or Individual)10

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.