Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Risk reduction strategy: early & incremental deliveries

In his book, Alistair Cockburn wrote 12 risk reduction strategies, such as described in his web: http://alistair.cockburn.us/Project+risk+reduction+patterns/v/slim

My favourites are the strategy 1-6 which can be summarised as follows:
1. Early & incremental deliveries.
2. Prototyping / run pilot projects.
3. Start immediately, adjust later.

When you don't understand the matter completely, just start to build something based on what you know & the standard  (e.g.  even if the final WSDL from the cloud provider is not definitive yet, you can guess which information will be in the messages so you can mock the web-service to support your development.) The work will lead you to the answers as you reveal more information during the work.

Incremental delivery should be supported with regression test, ideally automated (continuous integration), so that a new delivery will not break the features from previous deliveries.

When the project just started, many members of your team & perhaps the stakeholders/management are a bit nervous since they don't really now what to expect to happens. Thanks to the early delivery, as soon as you show the early result (perhaps with demo to the stakeholders & customers) you show to the world that the project roll out. The team morale will improve and your team will gain more trust & buy in from the management & stakeholders.

These principles are inherently incorporated in the agile methodology (e.g. Scrum).

Source: Steve's blogs http://soa-java.blogspot.com/

Any comments are welcome :)


Surviving Object-Oriented Projects by Alistair Cockburn

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