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September 5, 1996
"Risk Agones: Learning to Embrace Risk Management"
Dr. Robert N. Charette, ITABHI Corporation

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Risk Agones (*): Learning to Embrace Risk Management

Most software organizations have a definite misconception about the subject of risk management. At best, it is seen as a necessary, but boring, chore that has to be performed as quickly and painlessly as possible, while at worse, as yet another craze in the bureaucratic annals of over-management that serves to keep the organization from achieving its real objectives. The reality, however, is much different from both of these views.

The intelligent application of risk management in software projects can create substantial benefits if the difficulties that have plagued other software improvement efforts can be overcome. These include such things as:

Dr. Robert N. Charette will review the general concepts and mechanics that underpin the active management of software project risk and software risk management. He will then concentrate on the critical issues of putting risk management into practice, such as investment, management commitment and training required, for both new software development and software evolution and maintenance projects.

(*) agon, n., pl. agones

  1. A conflict, especially between protagonist and antagonist in a work of literature or drama.
  2. The part of an ancient Greek drama, especially a comedy, in which two characters engage in a verbal dispute.
  3. A test of will; a conflict: "Freud's originality stemmed from his aggression and ambition in his agon with biology" (Harold Bloom).


Dr. Robert N. Charette

Dr. Charette is a recognized international authority on the management of risk. He is past chairman and vice-chairman of the National Security Industrial Association Software Committee, served on the National Academy of Science study for NASA of the Space Shuttle's software development practices, and is the current chair of the Software Engineering Institute's risk management program advisory board. He is the author of over 40 magazine and journal articles, as well as a number of best selling books, including three highly acclaimed books on the subject of risk management: Applications Strategies for Risk Analysis, Software Engineering Risk Analysis and Management and Introduction to the Management of Risk.

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