Chapter 5. Planning for Software Project Risks

In This Chapter

  • Identifying project risks

  • Several software risks to avoid

  • Completing qualitative and quantitative analyses

  • Choosing a software development model

  • Preparing the risk response plan

Risk is an uncertain event that could have a positive or negative outcome. Risk is everywhere: whether you're driving, sky diving, crossing the street, trading stocks, or swimming with sharks. When you do something risky, you must calculate whether the potential reward is worth the potential risk. Some things are easy — the reward of driving from Point A to Point B is usually considered worth the risk of a traffic accident. For every risk there is some reward. If you're lucky, the reward works in your favor, like buying low and selling high in the stock market. The risk is that you buy a stock and it tanks — you took a risk and you lost your investment.

One of the toughest jobs for any project manager is managing project risks. In addition to risks that affect your ability to complete your assignments, project risks include the following:

  • Inadequate time for completing the project

  • Inadequate budget for completing the project

  • Unrealistic scope expectations

  • A project team that needs additional time to ramp up development language

  • Stakeholders that do not or cannot provide clear project requirements

In software project management, the risks are rampant: time, cost, scope, quality, project team, and so on. We examine each of these risks, and more, in this

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