Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to reduce risk in big projects

A big project has bigger risk, so to reduce the risk a big project requires:
  • Better project planning & team coordination. A big project has more dependencies between teams so you need to smoothen the workflow. Pay more attention to communications between teams.
  • Better to avoid technology risk (use familiar technology & development methodology, hire consultants that have experiences with the technology.) You better to try out new technologies/methodologies in smaller pilot projects instead of a big project. The use of familiar technology/design will also prevent hours of argumentations over architecture details.
  • Change one thing at a time. Don't try to do too much things once. Use incremental development, deliver smaller improvements early & often.
  • It's more critical to follow best practices (e.g. standard/guidelines, architecture governance, domain modelling, design patterns, design & code review, refactoring, requirement scrub, test driven development). You can't get away with breaking the rules or take shortcuts such as in smaller projects.
  • Pay more attention for reuse, avoid duplication of works by different teams.
  • Pay more attention to QA (e.g. continuous integration test, automatic build & test scripts).
  • Use available tools/framework for your infrastructure (e.g. Trac for project/bug tracking, SOAPUI for web service tests, Selenium for GUI tests, OSB or Spring Integration for ESB). Don't build your own tools since it will add more risk and maintenance burden.

Source: Steve's blogs

Any comments are welcome :)


Surviving Object-Oriented Projects by Alistair Cockburn

Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules by Steve McConnell

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