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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Risk management is project management for adults, October 20, 2007
This review is from: Waltzing With Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects (Paperback)
In less than 200 pages, Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister manage to put together a very well-written text on risk management that vastly outshines other books of the same genre that are many times its size. Much of the ground that the authors cover in this work can be categorized as how to integrate "evidence-based decision making" into project management, although DeMarco and Lister do not explicitly use this term. The Prologue and Appendix A of this book, consisting of only 10 pages, are worth the price of this book. These two small segments discuss what the authors term "the ethics of belief" - on what basis does one believe? Because technology projects are often sited as high-failure-rate endeavors, in order to increase the success rate of project completion estimates one needs to honestly assess risk in terms of the evidence available. The Prologue simply states that "the business of believing only what you have a right to believe is called risk management", and that this discipline needs to guide the efforts of project managers through periods of uncertainty. Appendix A furthers this principle by indicating that "it is wrong...to believe anything upon insufficient evidence". The pages between these two segments walk the reader through such topics as the cases for and against risk management, quantifying uncertainty, core risks of software projects, and the tie between value and risk. Throughout "Waltzing with Bears", the consistent, superb use of graphs and simple line diagrams to support the material is unparalleled. Just like "Death March" (see my review for that book), I highly recommend this work to everyone involved in technology projects.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Erik Gfesser
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Lombard, IL United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,974