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Thread: Risk management

  1. #1
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    Risk management

    This post isn't really PHP based, but came up in a thought I had from http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=257386 and remembering traceability. I'm using this forum because most of the projects I'm involved with are PHP based, and there's lots of discussion here about other processes like XP and other flavours of TDD.

    I've recently been thinking about risk management when it comes to projects I'm involved in. I did an engineering degree, and during it they constantly talk about how important risk management is, and how the SDLC can benefit by being risk driven, without really explaining the whole risk mitigation part of things other than general concepts. While it's plainly obvious where using something like a test driven approach can be beneficial, I'm wondering what's out there for helping with risk driven projects, and being able to incorporate risk analysis in a project's traceability.

    (This is mostly an aside that I use when trying to give a simple answer on how tdd affects the code that you write, and how code can be refactored to benefit from it).
    TDD can be thought as both Test Driven Design, whereby the design of your application is driven by how you're going to test it, or Test Driven Development, whereby the whole development phase of your lifecycle is geared around your testing (one I guess is a subset of the other). TDD can directly influence your final application code, as sometimes you'll explicitly write/refactor your code in a way that makes it easier to be tested (see http://www.lastcraft.com/partial_moc...umentation.php for what I mean).

    So, is Risk Analysis a process that stands a level above a process like TDD, as TDD can be used to mitigate several very big risks (such as a buggy application! )? Is Risk Analysis something that can exert a direct influence over the final code you write? How do you go from your risk metrics (things like probablity X impact = risk value) to actively preparing for them in code?

    This random ramble of a post is geared towards asking "How do the projects you're involved with manage risks, and are the end results of that management directly traceable to your final code?".

  2. #2
    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    Agile Development methodologies mitigate risk by delivering partially working solutions in sucessive steps which increase the functionality of the product. Becuase the user is constantly involved with this process, testing and commenting on each iteration, the final project is much more likly to suit the users needs, probably much more so than asking the user to list out the requirements for the system, sight unseen (big up front design).

    HTH
    Jason Sweat ZCE - jsweat_php@yahoo.com
    Book: PHP Patterns
    Good Stuff: SimpleTest PHPUnit FireFox ADOdb YUI
    Detestable (adjective): software that isn't testable.

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    Yep, I understand how the iterative life cycle can help reduce the risks to the end product, however each stage of that life cycle has risks involved with it in each iteration. How does design/code account for the risk that the client changes their mind between each step? Is it possible to measure this kind of risk, and account for it in each step the client sees? What about the risk that the project's lead developer suddenly gets an offer that's irresistable to go roast bill gates' marshmallows (hell, for 501K I'd do it, even if I had to wear a toga.... wait, maybe not)?

    I think what you were saying comes back to what I'm thinking about traceability, and being able to find that balance between what was agreed upon, and where the leeway is on what the final product is, and how to manage the everything under those circumstances.

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    Moved to a more appropriate location.


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