Rushing Risk Management

Executive Summary (Full paper here) Continuous risk management is a process that a development team can utilize in a software development life-cycle to drastically decrease the chances of project failure. This process typically contains the following activities:

  • Identify
  • Analyze
  • Plan
  • Track
  • Control

Additionally, the most important aspect of the process is communication. Communication is what facilitates understanding, as well as informs the decisions makers of risks that exist, and what the recommendations are to mitigate those risks before they turn into problems.

For various reasons, most likely scheduling and resource reasons, project teams cannot always perform the risk management processes as they are designed. In these situations, it is necessary to decide whether or not risk management should be performed, and if it is how it should be modified to yield the most benefit without hindering the development effort due to the overhead involved.

When it is determined that risk management should be performed, there are different strategies that could be used by project teams to perform the risk management activities so that they are inline with the hurried schedule of the project. One of these options is an informal risk management process. In this type of process, formalities are reduced to decrease the amount of overhead involved, while the benefits of performing the activities is maximized through the techniques employed.

Additionally, there is the option to tailor the standard, important aspects of the risk management process so that their scope is drastically reduced, thereby reducing the amount of effort required to perform them effectively.

Ultimately, the decision to perform risk management in a rushed project must be decided quickly by the appropriate personnel. The benefits must be weighed against the drawbacks. By analyzing a case study that illustrates the decisions that need to be made in a hurried project, it can be shown how these modifications to the standard risk management practices can be applied to an actual project.

Full Paper