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Managing structure-related software project risk: A new role for project governance


Paul Bannerman



This paper extends recent research on the risk implications of software project organization structures by considering how structure-related risk might be managed. Projects, and other organizations involved in projects, are usually structured according to common forms. These organizational entities interact with each other, creating an environment in which risks relating to their structural forms can impact the project and its performance. The nature of the phenomenon is examined and an approach to managing structure-related risk is proposed, responsibility for which is assigned as a new role for project governance. Due to the structural and relational nature of these risks, the project is poorly place to manage the risks. The paper argues that having identified this previously overlooked source of risk in software projects, risk management practices need to be augmented with additional analyses to identify, analyze and assess these risks to improve project outcomes and the delivery of quality software. The argument is illustrated and initially validated with two case studies of software projects. Implications for research and practice are drawn and directions for future research are suggested, including extending the theory to apply to virtual organizations.

BibTeX Entry

    publisher        = {IEEE},
    author           = {Bannerman, Paul},
    month            = apr,
    year             = {2010},
    keywords         = {software project; risk management; organization structure; governance},
    title            = {Managing Structure-related Software Project Risk: A New Role for Project Governance},
    booktitle        = {Australasian Software Engineering Conference},
    pages            = {10},
    address          = {Aukland, New Zealand}


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