Problem drift: a risk model for complex socio-technical projects

Costantini, Silvana; Hall, Jon G. and Rapanotti, Lucia (2017). Problem drift: a risk model for complex socio-technical projects. In: CEUR Workshop Proceedings: STPIS 2017 (Kowalski, Stewart; Bednar, Peter and Bider, Ilia eds.), 1854.



Increased globalisation and market volatility put pressure on organisations to become more flexible and explore new technologies and operational domains, so that projects are becoming more complex, with increasing uncertainty and risk. Complex project management is challenging for both traditional and agile approaches: traditional techniques may be left behind by unrecognised environmental change in a volatile context, while in a stable environment, agile may require too expensive interaction with the client. One area of growing interest is how traditional and agile may combine to increase the chance of project success. Yet how to strike a balance between the two remains poorly understood. In this position paper, we propose a model for complex socio-technical projects related to risk arising from volatility, that tries to explain the balance of agile and traditional. The model introduces the concept of drift rate as a measure of volatility, with the impact of drift related to loss of development resource, risk accumulation as a function of resource expenditure and drift rate, and validation the means to manage that risk.

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