June 6 -- August 6,  2011

University Of Houston Clear Lake Syllabus


Continuous Risk Management (SENG 5330)


Location: UHCL 2700 Bay Area Houston TX, 77057        Semester Credit Hours: Three (3)

Instructor: Dr. James C. Helm    Summer Semester June 7, 2010            Revision Date: May 16, 2010

Office Delta Building Room 123 Email for appointment email:

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1.         Course Text:    Hall, Elaine M., Managing Risk: Methods for Software Systems Development, Addison-Wesley, 2001.  ISBN 0-201-25592-8


Reference:    Dorofee, A. J.; Walker, J.A.; Alberts, C.J.; Higuera, R. P.; Murphy, R. L.; Williams, R. C., Continuous Risk Management Guidebook, Pittsburgh, Pa.: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 1996.


2.         Course Description:

Continuous Risk Management is a software engineering practice with processes, methods, and tools for managing risks in a project. It provides a disciplined environment for proactive decision making to assess continuously what could go wrong (risks), determine which risks are important to deal with, and implement strategies to deal with those risks. The purpose of this course is to explain what Continuous Risk Management is; to help you understand the principles, functions, methods, and tools; to show what it could look like when implemented within a project; and to show you how a project could implement its own adaptation.


3.         Course Objectives:

This Course will enable students to:

·              Understand the concepts and principles of Continuous Risk Management and how to apply them.

·              Develop basic risk management skills for each component of Continuous Risk Management.

·              Be able to use key methods and tools.

·              Be able to tailor Continuous Risk Management to a project.


4.         Course Requirements:

A.     End of Module Assignments: The student shall complete the six- (6) end of module assignment in the summer session.  The end of module assignments for this course is given in Section 7. End of Module Assignments.

B.     Written Report: The written report topic, format, length, and style is given is Section 8. Project Guidelines.


5.         Evaluation & Grading:     The student will be grade on the following:

·        Mid-term Examination ....................................................................... 25%

·        Final Examination .............................................................................. 25%

·        Average grade for End of Module assignments ................................... 25%

·        Risk Management Plan Student Hypothetical Research Project ........... 25%




6.         Courses Outline:





Week 1 June 6-11

WebCt Module 1 Introduction and Buy the Textbook.

WebCt Module 1 and Textbook Chapters 1-2

Read Textbook Managing Risk by Elaine Hall Chapter 1-2-3

Week 2

June 13-17

Module 2 Risk Management Paradigm

Module 2 and Textbook Chapter 3

Module 1 Assignment from Textbook

Due June 20-24

Week 2

June 3-17

Module 3 Identify.  The Risk Information Sheet.  The Case Study.

Module 3 and Textbook Chapter 4.  Read the Case Study.

Module 2 Assignment from Textbook

Due June 27-July 1

Week 3

June 20-24

Module 4 Risk Information sheet after Identify.  Methods and Tools.

Module 4

Module 3 Assignment from Textbook

Due July 11-15

Week 3

June 20-24

Module 5 Analyze

Module 5 and Textbook Chapter 5

Module 4 Assignment from Textbook Due July 17-22

List of all Case Study risks

Taxonomy-Based Risk Identification

Goal-Driven Risk Management

Week 4

June 27

July 1

Module 6 Risk Information Sheet after Analyze.  Multivoting Example.

Mid-Term Examination Available to Start June 27 turn in the mid-term July 3nd.

Module 6

Mid-Term Examination

June 27, 2011 8:00pm – July 1, 2011 11:00pm

Module 5 Assignment from Textbook Due July 25-29

Tri-level Attribute Evaluation Exercise

Exercise: Multivoting Form

Week 5

July 4-8

Module 7 Plan.  Plan Elements, Research, Accept Watch, Mitigate.

Module 7 and Textbook Chapter 6

Module 6 No Assignment

Software Risk Checklist - Taxonomy Example

Week 5

July  4-8

Module 8 Risk Information Sheet After Plan.  Task Plan Example.  Mitigation Planning Worksheet.  Methods and Tools

Module 8

In Summer only 5 assignments!

Week 6

July 11-15

Module 9 Track.  Case study Spreadsheet Risk Tracking.  Methods and Tools

Module 9 and Textbook Chapter 7

No Assignment


Week 6

July 11-15

Module 10 Control.  Completed Risk Information sheet after Track and Control.  Methods and Tools.

Module 10 and Textbook Chapter 8

No Assignment

Week 7

July 17-22

Module 11 Communicate & Document.  What is communication?  Relationship to other paradigm functions.  Enablers to communication.  Barriers to communication.  Documentation of Risks.  Methods and Tools.


Module 11 and Textbook Chapter 9

You should read the entire book but you will not be tested on the Textbook past chapter 9.

No Assignment

Week 7

July 17-22

How to Implement CRM

Module 12

Prepare for final.

Week 8

July 25-29

Course Summary

Final Examination available August 1, 2011

Module 13

All (5) module assignments are due today.

Week 9

Aug 2-7

Final Examination


On Line and On your own notes.




7.                  Five End of Module Assignments:

Due week of June 20

1.      Module Assignment 1:        You are the technical lead for a commercially available requirements management tool. Your supervisor has come to you for a make-or-buy decision: In the next tool release, should you develop an object-oriented database in-house, or use an existing third-party object-oriented database package?  Use a decision tree to diagram decision, chance event, and outcome nodes.  Discuss the parameters of this decision from three perspectives: risk averse, risk seeking, and risk neutral.

Due week of June 27

2.      Module Assignment 2:        What is a risk assessment? Cite three reasons to perform a risk assessment early in the project.  Imagine that you were brought in to replace a retiring project manager of a project in the design phase.  Would you delegate the task of performing a risk assessment?  Discuss the ways a baseline of assessed risks would be valuable to you.

Due week of July 11

3.      Module Assignment 3:        Develop a risk checklist for the requirements, design, code, or test phase of software development.  Which phase do you think has the greatest risk? Explain you answer.

Due week of July 17

4.      Module Assignment 4:        List five ways that a risk database can assist the risk analysis process.  How would you ensure that the risk database is maintained?

Due week of July 25

5.      Module Assignment 5:        Many risks are interrelated.  Analyze the following compound risk: Unstable requirements with tight budget will likely cancel the project.  Discuss the dependencies that exist between the two risks.


Section 8.      Project Guidelines

The written report is a risk management plan that the student develops from a hypothetical software/hardware project.  The style and format of the term paper should be the same as the Risk Management Plan given in Unit 11 Module 9b.  It is highly desirable that Microsoft word be used to match the style and format of the Risk Management Plan Case Study. Risk Management plan for Project ZEUS.


Project Manager Information Assumptions For Your Project

These are the ideas and information concerning the project manager and the lead software engineer interested in working on the project you have decided to build.  Assume that you have already developed the project description, so the following description is the situation the project is in at the time you start.  At his time the concept (vision) document has been completed.


This is the first system he/she has managed of this magnitude and complexity.  However he/she believes it is going to be a very positive experience for himself/herself and the rest of the personnel on the project. All his/her other projects were control systems and they were all very successful.  The people working on the project are very good and they’ve done these types of projects before, but one of the project manager’s goals is to streamline the development process.  It’s a competitive world for funding your project needs to be cost-efficient and may need tools to help the development cycle.


In order to reduce administrative costs, the project manager decided to reduce project overhead by having only a secretary, a financial manager and an assistant project manger.  The project manager and Assistant Project manager will make all technical decisions.


Rather than using the very costly center configuration control system, the project manager decided to allow the hardware manager and the software manager to use whatever configuration management process they are comfortable with.  Each will prepare a configuration management plan and submit it to the project manager to be incorporated into the project plan.


The software engineers working for the software manager are just a fantastic bunch of people some of them just out of college.  They are always willing to put in extra time to meet schedules and find really efficient workarounds for the hardware issues. The project manager thinks that software can fix just about any problem the hardware group comes up with.


The company’s system development is based on good, solid engineering principles that apply to any project. The waterfall life cycle has always done very well for the project manager and that is what he will use on this project.  Therefore, he/she foresees no problems whatsoever.


Assume that your project will be completed on a reduced schedule, after the project manager spoke to his team managers.  He/she looked at the original schedule put together by the predecessor and that person was far too pessimistic. With the current schedule, the project manager got the schedule down to a lean operation with delivery four months sooner. This will get the team to the integration milestone with the necessary hardware.


Due to the short time to design, build, test and install the software, the project manager decided that the hardware test program would be limited to subassembly tests of the instruments and a functional test performed on the entire project prior to delivery.


The project manager also decided to use commercial grade foreign parts in the project and instruments because they are more readily available, and are less expensive than tested qualified parts.  Besides, many of the tested qualified parts have procurement lead times of 18 months or more.


The project is currently in the requirements definition stage of the life cycle.  Things are going marvelously.  The project manager knows that the project is a little late in defining some of the interface requirements, and that’s causing the project to slip a bit, but the team can work around the TBD requirements. They are waiting for some of the interface requirements to become solid before they design their software.  Therefore they feel that they have plenty of time.  And besides, the project manager believes he/she will be able to upload changes to the software system during operations anytime a module needs to be fixed and if requirements are missing anything, it will not be a disaster.


Since the project is in the requirements stage of the live cycle, the project manager thinks one of the most exciting opportunities of new project is that this is the first project at the company to use object oriented design and the C++ programming language.  Every single one of the software people has the chance to learn something new on this project.  This will put the software engineers on the forefront of the technology curve and really bring the software team into the future. The software manager has also selected one of the newest C++ compilers with all the latest features to help improve the software development efficiency.


The experiments/events/activities the project is going to be able to do with this new system will be fantastic.  The users/stakeholders are quite enthusiastic about coming up with more experiments/projects/activities that they can do with the project. The users/stakeholders actually have more experimenters signed on than were originally expected so they will be able to make total use of all/percent of the operations time of the system.


Section 9.      Honesty Code


The Honesty Code of UHCL states "I will be honest in all my academic activities and will not tolerate dishonesty."


Section 10.    Special academic accommodations (as specified by the Americans with Disabilities Act)


If you will require special academic accommodations under the Americans with Disability Act, Section 504, or other state or federal law, please contact the Disability Services Office at (281) 283-2167