Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Embedded Software Risk Areas -- Project Management -- Part 2

Series Intro: this is one of a series of posts summarizing the different red flag areas I've encountered in more than a decade of doing design reviews of industry embedded system software projects. You can read more about the study here. If one of these bullets applies to your project, you should consider whether that presents undue risk to project success (whether it does or not depends upon your specific project and goals). The results of this study inspired the chapters in my book.

Here are some of the Project Management red flags (part 2 of 2):
  • Schedule not taken seriously
The software development schedule is externally imposed on an arbitrary basis or otherwise not grounded in reality. As a result, developers may burn out or simply feel they have no stake in following development schedules.
  • Presumption in project management that software is free
Project managers and/or customers (and sometimes developers) make decisions that presume software costs virtually nothing to develop or change. This is one contributing cause of requirements churn.
  • Risk of problems with external tools and components
External tools, software components, and vendors are a critical part of the system development plan, and no strategy is in place to deal with unexpected bugs, personnel turnover, or business failure of partners and vendors.
  • Disaster recovery not tested
Backups and disaster recovery plans may be in place but untested. Data loss can occur if backups are not being done properly.

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