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Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects
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Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risk on Software Projects

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  435 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The authors, consultants in risk and management, show how to identify and embrace worthwhile risks in software development and offer strategies for common risks that software projects face, such as schedule flaws, requirements inflation, and specification breakdown. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., P
Paperback, 196 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Dorset House Publishing Company, Incorporated
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Jean Tessier
Mar 14, 2016 Jean Tessier rated it really liked it
Shelves: software
The guys from Peopleware are at it again. This time, they tackle the management attitude that plays the ostrich and keeps its head in the sand, denying reality instead of facing it. They are making a case for knowing what risks lie ahead, how to notice them, and how to prepare for their possible occurrence.

In their usual style, the authors keep things light and simple, yet offer quick and easy rules to get you going. The book is peppered with anecdotes taken from their professional experience. Y
Sep 20, 2016 Richard rated it liked it
Found this book lying around the office. Picked it up - quick read, clear language. The theory (first half) is more interesting than the suggested praxis (second half).

A major weakness of the book is its complete failure to address Parkinson's Law, which was proposed in 1955, is a legitimate phenomenon, and undermines large swathes of the proposals laid here. I find it hard to believe that the authors, being seasoned experts in management science, were unaware of its existence, and thus charge t
EINFÜHRENDES RISIKO-MANAGEMENT-BUCH guten Ideen, z.B. Fertigungstermine als Wahrscheinlichkeitskurve (Risikodiagramm) statt als Datum auszudrücken. Nicht finden wird man eine systematische Unterteilung & Erklärung von Risiken z.B. in Geschäfts-/Projekt-, Prozess- und Produktrisiken (analog zur nicht erwähnten Einflusskette: Projektqualität -> Prozessqualität -> Produktqualität).

Das Buch ist DeMarco-typisch runtergeschrieben, seine Leser hätten nur "Zeit für ein flott geschrieben
Dec 17, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it
Shelves: manager-fu
Has some interesting observations about why nearly all software projects run late, and why most organizations do a terrible job at managing risk. It also presents a model for estimating risks and their probable impact to your project schedule - which seems like it ought to be very useful, but I haven't figured out how to put it into any sort of practice in my own projects. Part of the issue is that the model assumes that you have a pretty good method in place for estimating how long things ought ...more
Jun 27, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: geekery
Good but not as good as Peopleware, this book talks frankly about managing risk in intellectual projects with unflinching honesty, and does a lot to attack various corporate cultures where downplaying and minimizing risks takes hold, putting blinders on everyone and often leading to disaster.

A lot of this stuff is intuitive and can basically be boiled down to saying "Oh for heaven's sake, just use your brain and apply real world thought to business decisions" which sadly, often needs saying. And
Evan Leybourn
Oct 31, 2014 Evan Leybourn rated it really liked it
Too many organisations to not understand how to identify, treat and mitigate risks. And those that do, often overcompensate. Waltzing with Bears takes readers on a journey of risk and risk management in a very entertaining and enlightening way. My only criticism of the book; in many places Tom doesn't support his statements with sufficient evidence. Any much of the evidence that is put forward in anecdotal, qualitative or statistically insignificant.

That being said, I would recommend this book t
Johnny Graber
Oct 11, 2016 Johnny Graber rated it it was amazing
A quick read on managing risks you should not miss. Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister put the important aspects in a little book that is not going to bore you with much theory. If you want to go deeper in the theoretical fundaments, then you find all the references you need. If you don’t want to go down that rabbit hole, you can follow along and get a well written explanation on what you should look out for, how to gather risks and what your job is to manage them.
Aug 23, 2008 A. rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I've read this book in connection with work-related stuff (pushing my little project at work) - I found this book more honest on dirty-laundry of software projects than usual books on project management. But here and there it was not enough for my needs, hence if you are new to software/systems project management and looking for more information - READ this book BUT don't stop on it, look for other books too.
Bjørn Taranger
The book argues the case that software projects need to address the risks associated with the project in a structured an methodical manner. Risks are always present, and those that you ignore will occasionally hit you hard.

I find the basic premise of the book quite convincing and relevant. I also believe that some of the practical steps recommended in the book have been superseded by the agile methodologies that are dominating the field nowadays.
Apr 15, 2016 Kristjan rated it it was amazing
This was classical DeMarco and Lister - statements made more than 10 years ago, still being valid for the industry :) Highly enjoyable read and full of straight to the point statements. I would have only hoped, that chapter 19 (Value is uncertain, too), chapter 21 (Value offsets risk would have been longer.
Alex Glagoliev
Oct 12, 2015 Alex Glagoliev rated it did not like it
Книга хорошо раскрывает беспорядки в управлении (и не только управлении) при создании программного обеспечения. Дает хорошее описание и резонные практические советы по управлению рисками. Начиная с основ "что вообще такое, этот ваш риск?" до эффективных способов их устранения.

Feb 17, 2012 Marcin rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book talks so perfectly well about risk and uncertainty and exposes why we don't do it on IT projects and what are the repercussions. DeMarco and Lister really understand how and why agile works and this was in 2003. Most organisation as still way behind their thinking.
Sergey Zubov
Aug 14, 2016 Sergey Zubov rated it really liked it
The first half of the book that contains common information about risk management is great. But the second one that teaches how risk management should be performed seems a bit outdated. If you aren't a big fan of waterfall-like processes, you'd better skip the second part.
Andy Tischaefer
Mar 01, 2014 Andy Tischaefer rated it really liked it
Good book full of practical examples and techniques around risk management. Formal, but still accessible.
Mattia Battiston
Dec 23, 2015 Mattia Battiston rated it it was amazing
Great guide on how to really do risk-management properly. The book offers lots of practical tips and gives lots to think about.
Oct 04, 2013 Alan rated it it was amazing
The best book I've ever read on the real world of software project management. Explains risk management in clear-eyed, comprehensible terms. And yeah, the title is a Dr. Seuss reference.
Dec 03, 2013 Ivan rated it really liked it
О необходимости планов, и первоначальной оценки с учетом рисков. Написано не чуть не хуже других книг Де Марко) Читается также легко как и художка.
Mar 29, 2011 Kim rated it liked it
Recommended to Kim by: Chris Spiller
Some good ideas. However, it fails to take into consideration certain essential concepts such as Parkinson's Law and Student Syndrome. I still prefer the more holistic approaches of TOC and CCPM.
J rated it liked it
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“The pathology of setting a deadline to the earliest articulable date essentially guarantees that the schedule will be missed.” 0 likes
“Risks and benefits always go hand in hand. The reason that a project is full of risk is that it leads you into uncharted waters. It stretches your capability, which means that if you pull it off successfully, it's going to drive your competition batty. The ultimate coup is to stretch your own capability to a point beyond the competition's ability to respond. This is what gives you competitive advantage and helps you build a distinct brand in the market.” 0 likes
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