Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some highlights from Waltzing with Bears Part 1

A rip snorting book full of horror stories and help to avoid them. Title of chapter 2 says it all:


Other highlights...

Ok so I get a project that is going to fail and I have to believe in the schedule, despite the impossibility. When it fails we all go "oh dear, what a shame, but we tried". Using Clifford's argument about the ethics of belief is interesting, you need to have some evidence for your belief. Of course people will believe the crazy schedule anyway, as Cialdini points out in his book on Influence, once you make a public commitment to something you create reasons for that commitment, so this is part of being human. Wow this was going to be highlights and I am babbling.

back to the other chapters

If a project has no risks don't do it

Obviously the authors are nuts. But wait it's Tom DeMarco, he seemed sane before. "Risks and benefits always go hand in hand", phew, that seems more sane. So if I don't take a risk I don't gain anything. The risk elevator is nice analogy, a business that is standing still - ie not taking risks - goes backwards.

"Taking explicit note of bad things that can happen (risks) and planning for them accordingly is a mark of maturity." Where as technical proficiency is not a sign of maturity.

Denver International Airport disaster sounds like a great application of the 5 who's. Ask who five times and you can find the best person to blame.

The case for risk management is well put. The first one sounds wonderfully exciting "Risk management makes aggressive risk-taking possible", gosh. I hope I can remember this and the others next time I need to be "negative" on a project.

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