Complex software development is a risky job. The number of unsuccessful projects surpasses the number of successful developments, particularly when large projects are analyzed. This paper describes an approach to develop, retrieve, and reuse management knowledge and experience concerned with software development risks. Scenarios are used to model risk impact and resolution strategies efficacy within risk archetypes. A risk archetype is an information structure that holds knowledge about software development risks. A risk management process organizes the use of risk archetypes within an application development effort. The process resembles a reuse process framework, where two sub-processes are respectively responsible for identifying and reusing risk information. Simulating the impact of the expected risks can support some of the decisions throughout the software development process. The contribution of this paper is to show how risk archetypes and scenario models can represent reusable project management knowledge. An observational analysis of applying such an approach in an industrial environment and a feasibility study are also described. © 2002 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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