Be aware of possible risks during software development!

Software Development Risks

Sergey Palyukh
24. Jun ‘19


Be aware of risks you can meet within software implementation.
Risk is future uncertain events with a probability of occurrence and potential for loss. Risk identification and management are the main concerns in every project. Effective analysis of risks will help to effective planning and assignments of work.

Most enterprises rely on software. It means that extra cost, delays, or the inability to realize goals can have serious consequences. Larger risks that can sabotage long-term projects require immediate attention and emphasis on risk management. 

Let us elicit the top risks involved in software development from sides of Business, Management and Technology.

Schedule and budget risk

The unique nature of individual software projects creates problems for developers and managers in estimating and scheduling development time. The goals and objectives of software development can change in the process of its creation. In order for the product to remain viable, you must be able to adjust to possible changes. Always monitor existing projects so that you apply lessons learned in the future.

Expansion of scopes and requirements

As a project progresses, issues that are not identified earlier can create a last-minute hurdle to meeting deadlines. This directly affects the implementation timeframe, as well as the architecture of the code (it may be necessary to rewrite the existing and working functionality) and program performance. 
Try to think big early on in the project, and anticipate the worst-case or heaviest-use scenario.

Good to have clear understanding of what customer wants to get in the end. The better the business requirements analysis is carried out and the application architecture is developed - the better the application will turn out and the less these risks will be.

Employee turnover 

High importance has proper recourse planning. Every project has a number of developers working on it. The departure of the lead developer from a project can adversely affect the implementation timeline and the success of the implementation of the application as a whole. It is impossible to foresee but you should always be ready for this. Ideally, at each main position, there should be about 2 specialists who are equally involved in the project, this will help minimize the potential risk of the developer leaving.

When developers leave, can cause a delay, and sometimes derail an entire project. Ensure you have resources where team members can collaborate and share knowledge.

Lack of team interaction

The lack of communication within the team can also have a bad effect on the implementation of the project, for example, when different developers understand the same thing differently, especially for distributed teams. General meetings and planning are a must have for the success of the project.

In an age of iterative development and deployment, multi-geographical teams, multiple time zones and a pace - good communication is an essential core competency of the project team.

Undefined metrics

Stakeholders must be clear on how a successful project will look like. A project charter or other mission statement should be tied to expected outcomes in the business that can be seen and quantified. The software development objectives should have a clear alignment to those metrics. If the metrics are not set, then it is impossible to assess how successfully the project is being implemented; therefore, false expectations can be obtained.

Productivity issues

On projects involving long timelines, developers tend to take things easy to begin with. As a result, sometimes, they lose significant time to complete the project. Set a realistic schedule, and follow it. 

In order to get stuck into the next ‘real’ tasks, developers tend to rush the design process. This is a waste of programming hours, as designing is the most critical part of software development. 
As well, sometimes developers like to show their skills by adding unnecessary features that again turns into a waste of programming hours.

Minimizing such risks lies with the project manager and team leader. It is necessary to set priorities for tasks, deadlines. The demo is also obligatory.

Solution: sprint based design. Sprints are short-term development stages in order to create a demo version of a product within a given time frame (1-2 weeks). They serve to indicate the correct goals and objectives for the project teams and allow you to see the intermediate results of the work. This gives developers confidence in the correctness of product creation and allows you to adhere to the desired speed of the task.

Ineffective design

Misalignment of design and business objective is a huge risk factor to be avoided. As mentioned above, business analysis and application architecture is the basis of a quality application. It is impossible to economize at these stages, because if a poor-quality analysis of business requirements is carried out, then you can end up with a useless application that does not solve business problems.

Technical risks

There is a huge number of different technologies, programming languages and libraries used for various needs. Wrongly chosen technologies may affect the stability of the application or the ease of supporting the infrastructure, as well as the speed of searching for the necessary developers. The choice of correct language for a particular task or project can minimize potential technical risks.

Unavoidable risks

These include changes in government policy, the obsolescence of software or other risks that cannot be controlled or estimated. As the field of software development becomes more and more complex, the risks associated with it have intensified. It is vital that development firms focus on strategic planning to mitigate such risks. As well, you need a reliable service provider to have a quality internet connection. 

We encourage every manager to carefully address your business, management and technology context with a critical eye and be on the alert for these risk areas. Technology is an investment for a business opportunity. Knowing these risks will help ensure that your investment of time and money in a software relationship will bring your company its highest return.

Our team has experts, which are always ready to come for help, give advice and save from risks. You are welcome to connect to us for further information.

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