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“There are many books available on software risks and software failures. There are very few books that provide step-by-step information on getting troubled software projects back on track. This book provides detailed guidelines for software project recovery. Some of the steps the author recommends may be unpleasant, but all are important.”

—Capers Jones, chief scientist emeritus at Software Productivity Research LLC

 

“This is a well-conceived, well-written, interesting book about an important topic. The author is right in saying that no one else has covered this particular facet of project failure.”

—Robert L. Glass, publisher of the Software Practitioner

 

A 10-STEP PROCESS TO IDENTIFY SEVERELY TROUBLED PROJECTS AND AVOID COSTLY FAILURE

It’s a software development nightmare: a project that’s rapidly spiraling out of control…or already a disaster. Conventional project management techniques won’t save these projects: there are no standard rescue processes to follow. You need something radically different: Catastrophe Disentanglement.

 

Drawing on in-depth data from hundreds of development organizations, E.M. Bennatan presents a proven, 10-step program for rescuing any project that’s worth saving. You’ll find specific guidance for addressing massive budget overruns, schedule slippage, poor quality—or all three at once. Using practical examples drawn from decades of hands-on experience as a software development leader and consultant, Bennatan shows how to

  • Evaluate where your project really stands
  • Align your project’s developers, managers, and customers
  • Defi ne the minimum acceptable project goals that are achievable
  • Replan your project to successfully deliver the new minimum goals
  • Identify risks in your revised project and create effective contingency plans
  • Install an “early warning system” to keep your rescued project from slipping back toward catastrophe

Catastrophe Disentanglement is an effective, comprehensive approach to software project rescue. Whenever projects are in trouble—whether you are a senior manager, project manager, team member, or software customer—this book could save your career.

 

Preface    xi

Chapter 1  An Introduction to Catastrophe Disentanglement    1

Chapter 2  When Is a Project a Catastrophe?    15

Chapter 3  Step 1–Stop    43
Chapter 4  Step 2–Assign an Evaluator    57
Chapter 5  Step 3–Evaluate the Project    73
Chapter 6  Step 4–Evaluate the Team    95
Chapter 7  Step 5–Define Minimum Goals    113
Chapter 8  Step 6–Can Minimum Goals Be Achieved?    133
Chapter 9  Step 7–Rebuild the Team    147
Chapter 10  Step 8–Risk Analysis    169
Chapter 11  Step 9–Revise the Plan    189
Chapter 12  Step 10–Create an Early Warning System    209
Chapter 13  Epilogue: Putting the Final Pieces in Place    233
References    245
Glossary    255

About the Author    257

Index    259

 

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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