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Managing Testing Resources: Five Suggestions for the Project Manager – Assessing the Risks for your Project as a Whole (#2 in the series Managing Testing Resources: Five Suggestions for the Project Manager)
By Cem Kaner and Johanna Rothman

More and more project leaders are thinking about risk, how to assess risk and plan for it. We can’t address that general problem here, but if you could use some starting references to the literature, we suggest that you look at the Software Program Manager’s Network, http://ww.spmn.com; the Software Engineering Institute, Risk FAQ, http://www.sei.cmu.edu/organization/programs/sepm/risk/risk.faq.html; and the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge, http://www.pmi.org.

All that we’ll say here is that you have a challenge when building a product, because you have to trade off four factors:

  • time to market
  • cost to market
  • reliability of delivered product
  • feature set.

You can’t optimize your project against all of these. The product will probably be late or over budget or unreliable or lacking in features. If you manage well, you get to pick which of these dimensions suffers most, and which is held closely to your initial plan. The risk assessment question is, “What could happen on your project that would increase your time, raise your costs, keep your reliability low, or force you to cut features?” Listing the risks (the “what could happens”) is the first step in managing them.

Original article can be found at: http://www.jrothman.com/Papers/Managingtestingresources.html

Johanna Rothman consults, speaks, and writes on managing high-technology product development. Johanna is the author of Manage It!’Your Guide to Modern Pragmatic Project Management’. She is the coauthor of the pragmatic Behind Closed Doors, Secrets of Great Management, and author of the highly acclaimed Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People. And, Johanna is a host and session leader at the Amplifying Your Effectiveness (AYE) conference (http://www.ayeconference.com). You can see Johanna’s other writings at http://www.jrothman.com.

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