How to Handle Risk Management in Software Development Projects?

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Each business is unique, and it is difficult to anticipate all the risks. However, if you are looking to outsource software development, a few methodologies help you identify bottlenecks, predict the impact, and the chance of risks. Management of risk involves a set of activities organizations can perform to avoid the effects of risks. Risk management’s motive is to realize what can turn out bad, the effect, and how to fix it. The upside of appropriate risk management is that even if the risk materializes, the businesses do not suffer much. Let us understand how some of the risks in software development projects can be encountered.

Organizational Risks

If the task estimations are not proper, the project schedule can hit a rough patch. This will, in turn, influence the organization’s pay and will prompt the failure of the project.

  • Due to the incorrect deadlines set by a business analyst from the client’s end without consulting your team, you can be at risk. This can create panic and increase the cost as you would have to add more resources to the project. Such software development scenarios can be avoided by informing the client before starting the project about the probability of such a risk.
  • Defining the project scope well in advance is very important. It shouldn’t be vague, which further would affect the deadlines. Prepare a functional specification document with a detailed list of features prioritized.
  • Unavailability of clients to the development team for discussions can lead to delay in submitting deliverables. Hence, scheduling regular meetings and appointing a point-of-contact should be taken care of.

Schedule risks

When the client and the development team are in two different time zones, the potential client can be skeptical about outsourcing software development. The development team can allocate resources to such projects which will work in the same time zone. With a proper strategy and time synchronization, the implementation can progress smoothly. However, if the dedicated team is sent on-site for some weeks, it will reduce the risks of conflicts, misunderstandings which usually occur at the initial phase.

Operational risks

The outcome of a project can be affected if there are any operational problems. The project management team should prepare to execute the task and discover a balance between the development group’s requirements and client expectations.

  • Design and planning are often the phases that are skipped, which later creates operational problems. Focusing on these phases and prototyping, deployment architecture building can save a lot of time and minimize operational risk.
  • Lack of resources allotted can lead to delay in projects. If it is a long-term project, there should be dedicated resources allocated and not those who work parallelly.
  • Unstable workload, improper quality testing and analysis, and no post-go-live support are important points that increase the operational risk. These can be handled by proper resource allocation, strict QA audit, and hassle-free support to resolve critical issues.

Technology Risks

Following are the technological risks:

  • Taking a technical risk can lead to inefficiency and low-performance issues. Choosing the wrong technology is a common mistake that leads to failure. Instead of focusing on popular technology, the technology best suited for the client’s business objective should be emphasized.
  • Integrations with third-party systems are highly risky if it’s new for the development team. However, if a buffer time is available and the tools are updated, it reduces the risk.
  • Working with the existing source code is a bad idea. The entire code should be thoroughly investigated to increase efficiency and bring improvements to it. If required, a meeting should be arranged with the earlier team to get a better understanding.

Conclusion

With appropriate risk management, more assets are centered around creating useful functionalities and delivering high-quality products instead of defeating risks.

Some advantages that risk management brings in are as follows:

  • Reserving funds by cutting costs on predictable and avoidable scenarios.
  • The capacity to work quicker by permitting the development team to focus on development and not on fixing unannounced issues.
  • More intelligent spending by not expecting to pull in extra financing to tackle unpredicted issues.

Handling risks can be challenging, but with the help of checklists, comparisons with similar projects, and prioritizing risks can prove beneficial for your organization to a great extent.

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