Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects

Front Cover
Addison-Wesley, Jul 15, 2013 - Computers - 208 pages
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.


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User Review  - VVilliam - LibraryThing

A really nice introduction to risk management and overview of a process to track it. I'm convinced to do risk management, and have an idea of what a process would look like. But, this book is lacking ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elefevre - LibraryThing

Excellent. Very well written (not to pretentious, not to simple), short, addresses the point perfectly. On the same level as Peopleware. Read full review


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About the author (2013)

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.

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