Risk Management in Software Development

A key aspect of software development satisfaction has been business goals' fulfillment by IT technologies. In face of growing expectations regarding the reliability of systems operation, it is necessary to implement effective methods of risk management in software development.

This trend is reflected in increasingly popular IT corporate governance principles, IT audit principles based on risk analysis, and business continuity planning.

Risk in Software Engineering: Categories

Any software development project is associated with certain business risks. Such risks may vary depending on the nature of the project.

Risk of exceeding the budget

This is the most common failure in software development, which leads to other mistakes. It is very important to draw up a budget plan that will take into account all possible costs for the project. Adequately estimate the cost of software development to mitigate risks and not face issues.

Risk of loss or shortage of project team members

Developers must address both staffing and the risk of lack of knowledge. The team must be able to carry out work without hindrance if one of its members is temporarily absent or has left the team.

Productivity & Manage risks

Work productivity can be affected by both the human factor (incorrect communication, dismissal of an employee), and reasons beyond our control, such as natural disasters or illness. The solution to these problems will be the improvement of management practices, safe working conditions, the guarantee of human resources or insurance, and the right choice of production.

Project promptly

Delays in product releases are very common in software development, which is the result of poor planning, extremely tight deadlines, and the inability of developers to adapt to changing product requirements. Running out of time and unpredicted problems can arise from improperly scheduling a workflow or overconfidence in its success.

The whole process must be flexible so that developers can quickly adapt to changing requirements, be able to quickly deliver a corrected product to the customer, and be able to accurately determine the amount of time required to complete particular tasks.

Common Risk Management Strategies in Alfee company

Risk management in software development is a powerful tool designed to support perfect identification, monitoring, and reporting. Alfee is an extensive library of risks, security, and management models that support an organization's activities in the field of software project management.

Risk Management Strategy in Software Solutions

Strategies for dealing with risk indicate the purpose of project management, as well as a description of the procedure, which includes assumed roles, responsibilities, and time frames of actions taken.

Risk management is a set of activities that pursues two main goals. The first goal is to get the project manager to organize and prepare the process.

The second one is to create an organizational infrastructure, the task of which is to lead to isolating and reducing risk, eliminating it, prepare alternative methods of operation, and determination of time and cash reserves to protect against different threats.

Project risk sources analysis

There is a classification of sources by which we can determine the causes of problems and eliminate possible consequences.

External causes of project risks include global conditions that occur in political and legal spheres. In addition, conditions prevailing on a given market are mentioned, as well as requirements of financial institutions and agencies dealing with the regulation of market trading. External causes are most often beyond the manager's control.

Internal reasons are the way of planning the project along with human factors. The main reasons that threaten the implementation of the project include business disputes, communication difficulties, and technology failure.

There are certain methods for conducting analysis:

  1. Observation. Consists of observing the environment both directly and from a distance. For example, an analysis of a functioning system based on the observation of positive or negative economic aspects.
  2. Keeping records regarding the past. It uses previously collected material from databases, files, and reports prepared by your own or external company.
  3. Interview. To better understand the nature and extent of the risk, an interview form can be used, which should be conducted with practitioners of business who have the greatest experience within the studied area.

Risk Management in Software Development Projects

Any threat can be appropriately mitigated through appropriate and planned corrective actions. Successful project risk management needs measures for both assessment and control. Risk management in software development means not only solving problems but also giving us methods to deal with possible risks.

Risk avoidance

Referred to as a negative method because in most cases its use has negative consequences for software development projects. Risk avoidance is an individual and conscious refusal to accept even a temporary danger.

Active and passive risk-stopping

One of the most common manipulation methods. In practice, we can distinguish between active and passive risk stopping. The active one is a conscious decision to stop the risk in part or whole by, for example, not paying the premium. Passive stopping occurs when a person or a company decides to keep a given risk completely unconsciously, most often as a result of non-effective communication, and low productivity.

Control, transfer, and distribution

The first action is taken to reduce the frequency of losses and their potential consequences. As a result, a control method is limited to two main aspects: loss prevention through preventive action and loss reduction following an incident that could not be prevented.

The second of this sector is a transfer of responsibility to another entity using legal mechanisms and organizational or security measures.

Distribution is a method of dividing the financial impact of a given risk into a group. A typical example is a risk associated with operations when liability is distributed among its own companies and other shareholders.

Risk Management Process

The protection from fail emergence is a basic condition necessary to be implemented within the framework of the plan required under the project schedule. This applies to organizations operating in the financial and insurance industries as well as companies listed on stock exchanges. These requirements will affect an increasing number of organizations, including private businesses.

Alfee will help to establish development processes, identify potential risks in software development, and eliminate all the negative consequences for your entire project and business.

Risk management plan content

There is a plan which is a set of activities aimed at persuading a manager to create and organize a risk management process, leading to the creation of an organizational infrastructure. It is called a risk management plan.

Tasks of the organizational infrastructure include activities aimed at preparing alternative methods of operation, isolating and reducing risk, eliminating risk, if possible, and defining time and money reserves for safety purposes against threats that may arise during planning and performing tasks in the project.

In the risk management planning process, the input materials needed are the organization's risk management policy, enterprise management plan template, work breakdown structure, the record of employee responsibilities and roles, project charter, and project stakeholder tolerance guidelines for possible risks.

Using input materials listed above when creating your own plan will help you avoid mistakes. Risk plans should contain a technique that defines tools, methods, and data sources that are important in risk management. Then, when creating the plan, one must not forget to describe the roles and responsibilities of employees and teams of the organization.

It should also include the total project budget, a list of deadlines in which risk management activities at all stages are described in detail, a system for assessing adverse project events, and criteria determining the time when we take action against the resulting risk.

The last method that should be included in the risk plan is the way of creating documentation of the management process and describing the risk monitoring process during project implementation.

Risk Management Software Engineering

To ensure project success, almost all stages of work must take into account the software development risks and mitigation strategies. The risk project management plan should include regular checks and analysis of documentation, frequent phone calls and discussions of pressing issues by the team, and trusting open communication between product owners, project managers, and the technical development team.

Project risk

This group may include untimely delivery of test items to the testing team or problems with the availability of the test environment. Excessive delays in the elimination of defects found during testing are fraught with poor productivity. Problems with providing professional support for system administration do not lead to the project outcomes that you expect.

Digital product risk

Common risks in this group are software misses some key features, is unreliable and breaking frequently. It breaks down in a way that causes financial or other damage to the user or company, which also leads to poor productivity.

Risk Control in Software Engineering Projects

For risk mitigation in software development, some audits include verification of access to IT resources, the effectiveness of operating procedures, and principles for developing services and projects.

The risk monitoring implemented within IT systems includes:

  • Ensuring access to resources by permissions;
  • Division of duties - mechanisms for approving transactions by authorized persons;
  • Reducing the likelihood of developers' errors by using appropriate data formats, checksums, and data verification mechanisms with external registers;
  • Mechanisms for storing and archiving logs with information about access to the system and transactions carried out by end users.

Risk elimination strategy vs Development Team

The result of the work on a definition of risk leveling strategies should be a risk management plan (register of risks). This register refers to project documentation. It is updated throughout the life cycle of a project by monitoring and controlling risks.

In addition to the list of possible technical risks, the register determines how this risk affects the project, the magnitude of the risk is taken into account in terms of the probability of occurrence and the degree of its impact, and the risk management strategy is determined there.

It would also be correct to appoint those responsible for resolving the corresponding risk since the project manager cannot be the owner of all risks and be responsible for all at the same time.

The management of the risk of not reaching all the client's personnel for training due to their absence for various reasons should take place on the customer's side by assigning responsible persons.

In the process of managing the existing list of risks, it is necessary to calculate the possibility of the occurrence of the following or even new technical risks and replenish the risk register with the calculation of a strategy to respond to them.

Potential Problems Threatening a Software Development Project

Awareness of the business risk that international organizations are exposed to in connection with the use of advanced IT technologies leads to the software development process towards unpredicted issues.

Alfee company's development teams help to reduce the vulnerability of technology to internal and external risks, exclude poor code quality, and to reveal a concrete threat model thereby providing adjustment of risk management in software development.

Questions for Risk Management in Software Development

Why is risk management with spreadsheets, not a good solution?

It can lead to inconsistencies between data and risk management plans as there is no version control or updates. Assessments, analysis results, and other data are not available, and presenting them creates additional work for the entire team.It can lead to inconsistencies between data and risk management plans as there is no version control or updates. Assessments, analysis results, and other data are not available, and presenting them creates additional work for the entire team.

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