4 Risk Management Strategies for Software Development

Every software development comes with a certain degree of risk. The risks can, however, be managed with a view to minimizing their impacts. While these risks vary depending on the nature and complexity of a software, they nonetheless fall into the following categories.

1. Budget Risk

This is the most common risk and has to do with concerns of a project going over budget. It can easily feed into other risks as well.

During software and mobile app development, you are likely to make assumptions that cannot be ascertained until later information clears them up. As clarity sets in, goals and objectives may shift, and the software may need to be restructured to make it viable. To overcome the budget risk associated with this kind of scenario, rolling wave planning is highly recommended.

It helps teams to make software decisions when there is clarity instead of presenting detailed plans with huge budgetary implications at the onset of the project. The decisions are made as new insights become known along the software development progression. This reduces budget risk by optimizing time and resources use through re-planning.

Although rolling wave planning keeps your project on budget, having a budgeting plan that factors every aspect of the project is critical. Do not make the mistake of underestimating the cost of developing a software during the budget-making stage.

2. Personnel and Knowledge Risks

Personnel risk refers to the possibility of some of your project team staff being absent. Any absence, however short, could cause serious errors or costly delays. Knowledge risk, on the other hand, refers to less than a perfect transfer of information. Relearning can be costly in terms of resource, time and labour. The solution for dealing with these risks is to adopt squad-based software development.

You can have squads of between ten to twelve workers or co-located teams that share knowledge, plan together, work together and complete code reviews from the beginning to the end of a project. Such a team has an established optimal capacity and a free, open flow of information and knowledge, which helps to mitigate knowledge and personnel risk and remove knowledge silos, making it possible for any member of the team to take on tasks performed by others if the person is absent or has left the team.

3. Productivity Risk

Lengthy projects with long-term goals and deadlines are commonly affected by productivity risks. As a result, productivity is affected due to a lack of work urgency. To overcome getting caught in this trap, implement sprint-based development, which aims at coming up with a demo version of the software within a certain duration. This also involves breaking up the tasks into smaller; manageable portions.

The import of this is that it sets actionable objectives and goals to be met by the project teams, which fosters a sense of urgency. Since the goals and objectives are short-term, the team is motivated and galvanized to work diligently as the deadline draws near. The sustained momentum creates a sense of urgency and immediacy and eliminates the risk of complacency.

4. Time Risk

Time risk refers to product delays. The culprits are mainly inflexible product requirements, unrealistic timelines, and poor planning. The simple solution to this problem is following a duplicatable, flexible process.

Time risk can be a result of an unwieldy project scope, inaccurate capacity planning, a rigid software development process, or an obsession with attaining perfection. All of these factors can increase the risk of your project missing its completion dates.

A credible software development process should be flexible and adaptable in response to changing software needs. It should also promote frequent delivery of manageable tasks to create and maintain momentum, and a sense of urgency.