I understand this may apply to very few but I hope there are some who can give me good advice.

I would like to know what project management tools embedded software engineering organizations/groups/teams have been using - and why? Embedded Software development imposes it's own requirements for projects and their management so keeping those in mind, if you had a chance to work towards selecting your tool, what were your criteria? Also, if you are already using one, what are the features they lack specifically due to your requirements or preferences?

2 Answers 2


We did not find an issue with any special requirements for embedded software projects that were different from any other software projects when it came to methodologies or tools. I used MS Project to show embedded software projects and dependencies with the hardware schedules and non embedded software projects.

Today, I would use a simple prioritized backlog in any Agile tool.


In terms of managing the project, there's not that much that separates embedded software projects from other software projects. The same tools, techniques, and principles can be applied. If you are working in a multi-disciplinary environment, you also need to account for the time and schedules of the other engineering teams and dependencies between software tasks and other non-software activities.

However, there are some considerations that might be useful to keep in mind. Two that come to mind are dependencies on hardware and productivity.

There might be dependencies on hardware. This will affect estimation, scheduling, and risk management as you need to account for the availability of the system and time-sharing. Risks include the system not being constructed (or in a functional state) when software is ready to perform integration tests or deployed. Depending on what other engineering or manufacturing activities exist, you need to appropriately budget time and money across the board.

There is also a difference in productivity that depends on the type of system. From the work of Putnam and Meyers, the nominal LOC/Staff Month of an embedded systems project ranges from 60 LOC to 300 LOC per month, depending on the size and scope of the project. If you are using historical data to generate estimates and schedules, you need to be aware of the type of projects that the historical data came from and factor in the differences in productivity between the type of system being built.

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