How to Deal With Project Risk Management in Software Development

How to Deal With Project Risk Management in Software Development

Software development, as any other business activity, may be exposed to risks and bring harm to all stakeholders involved in the process. Accidents, unpleasant surprises, and happenstances occur and disrupt our plans, and in the case of software development, it may lead to significant financial and reputational losses. 

Any software product development company or an outsourcing provider should be ready to encounter such possibilities and get prepared for any outcomes. Hence, risk management is essential for any business that offers development services or does software development for its own purposes. GBKSOFT, as a top software development firm, collected the main risk associated with this activity and how it is possible to handle them.

What Are The Main Software Development Risks?

As software development is a long, demanding process, there are a lot of points when something may go wrong. Of course, it’s impossible to exactly predict whether something is going to fail, when and how it occurs. However, knowing the problems that are common for the industry will help you get prepared and think through the escape routes.

Inaccurate estimation

Estimation is a sore point for everyone. It is extremely easy to make mistakes while doing estimation and predicting the time and budget required for one or another project. Usually, the development tends to exceed the preliminary evaluations and as a result, the clients’ expectations won’t be satisfied.

Changes in the middle of the development process are another reason why estimations don’t match reality. Even the slight shift of scope may inflate your budget and timeline.

Changing Requirements

User requirements, as well as functional and non-functional ones, are essential for any software development project. However, if they weren’t adequately worked on, the team’s work may be disrupted, as changes in elemental requirements may demand to redevelop the system from the basics. 

Technology choice

There is always a risk that the technologies you have chosen to create a software piece may not be suitable for your needs or requirements. It’s especially possible in the case when you decide on some cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence or machine learning. 

This risk may also arise if you haven’t taken the future into account. For example, you are building an MVP that will be used by 500 users, but the final goal for the software is to maintain at least 10 thousand. The technologies used for the platform with 500 users may drastically differ for the same system but the one designed to maintain much bigger amounts. As a result, you will be bound to do everything from scratch once again, and it implies additional costs and prolonged deadlines.

Poor quality

Poor quality is a common issue. There are dozens of reasons why this may happen, starting from rushed deadlines which creates tech debt, or the development not qualified to deliver such types of solutions. At the same time, the constant change in requirements or roadmap also impacts the quality of development, as it’s hard to keep the focus on one thing.

Poor management

The quality of project management plays a role as important as the qualification of developers. Without adequate management, the team will experience a lack of planning, communication, synchronization, and risk mitigation, and won’t be able to deliver the best result they could have in other conditions. 

Moreover, it may push team members to quit and take the valuable info with them, without onboarding new developers or passing anything to them.

Human resources

There are a lot of situations in life when every team member may fall out from the work. Illness, accidents, pregnancy, the death of relatives, or simply the decision to change a workplace can’t be exactly predicted. In such cases, you should be able to temporarily pass the responsibilities of the person to someone else or to onboard a replacement.

External risks

We are not living in a vacuum, and hence, external events may influence your project. The companies are bound to deal with different challenges, from market shifts or changes in consumer behavior to sudden military conflicts and economic crises, and usually, they don’t have any control to change the situations, only adapt.

The Best Risks Management Practices for Your Business

So, what is the checklist for risk management you should implement? Simply, it includes four points: 

  • identification of the risk;
  • analyzing and assessing the risk;
  • preparing a risk management plan;
  • constant monitoring.

The first step is to understand what problems may arise. You can refer to your previous experiences, detect the most possible bottlenecks, and then evaluate and categorize every risk.

When the risk is understandable, you need to analyze them deeper and evaluate the probability of happening. Ideally, after this step, you should understand if every risk is going to lead to customer loss, possible business or legal issues, and reputational losses. 

Then, you should create a practical plan of what you will do if any of the contemplated risks will occur. It should include the description of events that will show that the risk came true, the main strategy you choose (transfer, mitigate or accept), and the action plan. 

After everything is thought through, you have a clear image of what your company will do if something goes wrong, you need to closely monitor the situation and react if it is needed.

In Conclusion

Risk management is extremely important in software development. With its help, you will be two steps forward and able to mitigate any damage that your team and project may suffer from. So, don’t forget to believe that everything is going to be fine. Even if you never use the risk management plan, you will be able to stay calm and share this confidence with your team members, clients, partners, and other stakeholders.

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