Risk to Reason
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Risk to Reason

Managing Project Risk with Agile

About the Book

Agile: pragmatic tools for managing risk in projects

With Agile now the de facto approach for software development, it is essential to understand how we can use Agile approaches and tools to manage and mitigate risk.

Worldwide it has become clear that software projects have high rates of failure and even when ostensibly successful often don't deliver the value that was promised at project inception.

When we talk to organisations about the benefits of Agile software development, all too often we get the response that the current priority - Big Project X - is too important to fail and that Agile is too risky. 

In this book we will look at:

  • the Agile Risk Management Model
  • the four different kinds of risk faced by software development projects
  • how we can use the Agile Risk Management Model to manage risk.

About the Author

Nathan Donaldson
Nathan Donaldson

CEO Boost Agile

I am a business coach, specialising in business transformation. I ensure that organisations can successfully transform and take advantage of industry best practice.

Organisations are dealing with high staff turnover, poor product quality and extended delays in delivery. Ultimately this results in a lack of competitiveness in the marketplace. 

It doesn't have to be this way. Transforming your business into a Lean/Agile organisation is like replacing your old, inefficient Model T Ford with a new, modern, efficient car. My coaching equips your leaders and teams with the tools they need to deliver the most value to your organisation.

Driven by a passion for change

I’m dedicated to finding new ways to grow individuals, teams and organisations.

When I started my career I worked 12 hour days, day in day out, for months on end. I can honestly say this was the least productive time of my working life. Since then I have strived to find a good work/life balance and in the process maximize my productivity.

A history of success

I own and manage Boost New Media, a thriving software development company. In two short years I have developed Boost Agile into Asia Pacific’s leading Lean/Agile consultancy. I’ve worked with many intelligent and passionate people and have enjoyed coaching them and their teams through Lean/Agile transformations.

I provide coaching, mentoring and training to leaders and teams that enables them to effect lasting and measurable change.

Table of Contents

  • Managing software development risk with Agile
    • Agile: pragmatic tools for managing risk in projects
    • The 4 risks common to most software projects
    • Managing risk in software development projects using Agile
  • Reducing risk with prioritisation
    • What is the problem?
    • What is prioritisation?
    • Why is prioritisation important?
    • Prioritisation evaluation
    • Practical tools for prioritisation
    • How does prioritisation reduce risk?
    • Summary
  • Case Study: IntuitionHQ iPad application
    • The project
    • The goal
    • Getting started
    • The power of the inspect and adapt cycle
    • What had happened?
    • Conclusion
  • Reducing risk by increasing transparency
    • What is the problem?
    • What is transparency?
    • Why is transparency important?
    • Transparency evaluation
    • Practical tools for increasing transparency
    • How does increased transparency reduce risk?
    • Summary
  • Case study: Smells, meteors and upgrades board
    • The project
    • The problem
    • Experiment to find a solution
    • Why a whiteboard?
    • What impact did the System Board have?
    • How did the experiment progress?
    • Conclusion
  • Reducing Work In Progress to reduce risk
    • What is the problem?
    • What does limiting Work In Progress mean?
    • Why is limiting Work In Progress important?
    • Work In Progress evaluation
    • Practical tools for limiting Work In Progress
    • Constrain global WIP by applying local WIP limits
    • How does limiting Work In Progress reduce risk?
    • Summary
  • Conclusion
    • The tyranny of wishful thinking - the greatest risk of all
    • Next steps
  • About the author
    • Nathan Donaldson

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