Risky Business

It has been identified that the biggest risks in project work concern management and marketing. Yet, in most environments we only concentrate on technology risks. Agile, incremental and iterative, development is also often assumed to be risky. By changing the way of thinking about risk, people would see that iterative risk management is a proactive way to tackle all aspects of risk. A very simple way.

1. Management risks - just fund the project for the time zone you are comfortable

2. Marketing risks - use the first possible release to test the waters

3. Technology risks - use the effort early to tackle any technological uncertainties that traditionally are left lurking until the (assumed) end of the project

The status quo practice is quite different. We take huge risks by starting a megaproject, for example estimated to 5 calendar years, based on a business case. Everyone knows that business case targeted five years from now is pure speculation. In the global markets it's a very expensive speculation by the way. Based on this speculation management needs to make a decision for funding a five year project. Their natural reaction to tackle the risk is to review the project mercilessly. We can be sure that changes to project requirements, technology and scope will happen. We have this heavy review practice going on making the project move even more slowly. More time means more changes, more changes mean more reviews - are you starting to get the picture?

Most of us see this everyday. How do we try to fix it? Naturally by reviewing. Because? That's what we allways do.

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