Saturday, January 12, 2008

What could go wrong?

Why crunch mode doesn't work:

"Managers decide to crunch because they want to be able to tell their bosses 'I did everything I could' "

"I think the reason there is this optimism, and ignoring what "could" go wrong - because if we did add it all up, the risk and cost would pretty much freak everybody out and nothing could get done. Its more a case of people ignoring the risks and hoping it works out.

Its not just software either. Ask anyone who has built a house, renovated, built a bridge, a building etc."

What could possibly go wrong:

"I (now) use a rule of thumb when I approach a new project or design problem: I try to think of ten things that could go wrong before I start. If I can’t think of ten things that could go wrong, I haven’t thought enough.

First, I look for “lack of” areas where the team doesn’t have experience, knowledge, or information. Then I look for areas where we’re dependent on someone else to provide something—areas where the project team doesn’t have control of a needed component. I look for areas where not all the key players are in agreement. And I look for areas where there’s not enough time to finish a component—or finish with desired quality. These questions help me identify natural areas of risk."

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