This is the digital version of the printed book (Copyright © 2003).
If There's No Risk On Your Next Project, Don't Do It.
Greater risk brings greater reward, especially in software development. A company that runs away from risk will soon find itself lagging behind its more adventurous competition. By ignoring the threat of negative outcomes-in the name of positive thinking or a can-do attitude-software managers drive their organizations into the ground.
In Waltzing with Bears, Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister-the best-selling authors of Peopleware-show readers how to identify and embrace worthwhile risks. Developers are then set free to push the limits.
The authors present the benefits of risk management, including that it makes aggressive risk-taking possible, protects management from getting blindsided, provides minimum-cost downside protection, reveals invisible transfers of responsibility, isolates the failure of a subproject.
Readers are armed with strategies for confronting the most common risks that software projects face: schedule flaws, requirements inflation, turnover, specification breakdown, and under-performance.
Waltzing with Bears will help you mitigate the risks-before they turn into project-killing problems. Risks are out there-and they should be there-but there is a way to manage them.
Tom Demarco and Timothy Lister are principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild ( www.systemsguild.com), a consulting firm specializing in the complex processes of system building, with particular emphasis on the human dimension. Together, they have lectured, written, and consulted internationally since 1979 on management, estimating, productivity, and corporate culture.
Tom is the author or coauthor of nine books on subjects ranging from development methods to organizational function and dysfunction, as well as two novels and a book of short stories. His consulting practice focuses primarily on expert witness work, balanced against the occasional project and team consulting assignment. For the past three years, he has been teaching undergraduate ethics at the University of Maine. He lives with his wife, Sally O. Smyth, in Camden, Maine.
Tim divides his time among consulting, teaching, and writing. Based in Manhattan, Tim is coauthor, with Tom DeMarco, of Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies: Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior (Dorset House, 2008), written with four other principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild, and Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams,Third Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2013). He is a member of the IEEE, the ACM, and the Cutter IT Trends Council, and is a Cutter Fellow.
Prologue: The Ethics of Belief 3
PART I: WHY 7
Chapter 1: Running Toward Risk 9
Chapter 2: Risk Management Is Project Management for Adults 15
Chapter 3: Denver International Airport Reconsidered 22
Chapter 4: The Case for Risk Management 29
PART II: WHY NOT 35
Chapter 5: The Case Against Risk Management 37
Chapter 6: The Onus of Uncertainty 42
Chapter 7: Luck 46
PART III: HOW 51
Chapter 8: Quantifying Uncertainty 53
Chapter 9: Mechanics of Risk Management 60
Chapter 10: Risk Management Prescription 73
Chapter 11:. Back to Basics 80
Chapter 12: Tools and Procedures 91
Chapter 13: Core Risks of Software Projects 101
Chapter 14: A Defined Processfor Risk Discovery 113
Chapter 15: Risk Management Dynamics 121
Chapter 16: Incrementalism for Risk Mitigation 128
Chapter 17: The Ultimate Risk Mitigation Strategy 138
PART IV: HOW MUCH 143
Chapter 18: Value Quantification 147
Chapter 19: Value Is Uncertain, Too 151
Chapter 20: Sensitivity Analysis 156
Chapter 21: Value Offsets Risk 160
Chapter 22: Refining the Risk Management Prescription 164
PART V: WHETHER OR NOT 169
Chapter 23: Test for Risk Management 171
Appendix A: The Ethics of Belief, Part 1 175
Appendix B: Risk Template 181