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Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects by Timothy Lister, Tom DeMarco

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15. Risk Management Dynamics

Despite a few repeated assertions on our part that risk management needs to be an ongoing activity, you might still have the sense that it happens at the beginning of a project and then (aside from an occasional bit of lip service) goes quietly to sleep till the next project.

Perfectly prescient beings might be able to go about risk management that way, but not us. When projects go awry, they often do so at or near the midpoint, so that’s where risk management needs to be particularly active. The cause of problems almost always arises earlier than that, but the perception of the problems begins around mid-project: The early project activities seem to have gone swimmingly, and then everything falls apart. This is a ...

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