Building and maintaining software can be a risky business. Most enterprises rely on software – so extra cost, delays, or the inability to realise goals can have serious consequences. Larger risks that can sabotage long-term projects require immediate attention. And that means putting the emphasis on risk management. Here, we'll elaborate the top ten risks involved in software development.
1. Estimation and scheduling
The unique nature of individual software projects creates problems for developers and managers in estimating and scheduling development time. Always monitor existing projects so that you apply lessons learnt in the future.
2. Sudden growth in requirements
As a project progresses, issues that are not identified earlier can create a last-minute hurdle to meeting deadlines. Try to think big early on in the project, and anticipate the worst-case or heaviest-use scenario.
3. Employee turnover
Every project has a number of developers working on it. When a developers leaves, he or she may take critical information with him/her. This can delay, and sometimes derail an entire project. Ensure you have resources where team members can collaborate and share knowledge.
4. Breakdown of specification
During the initial phases of integration and coding, requirements might conflict. Moreover, developers may find that even the specification is unclear or incomplete.
5. 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 stick to it.
6. Compromising on designs
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.
7. Gold plating
Developers sometimes like to show off their skills by adding unnecessary features. For instance, a developer might add Flash to a basic login module to make it look ‘stylish’. Again, this is a waste of programming hours.
8. Procedural risks
Day-to-day operational activities might hamper due to improper process implementation, conflicting priorities, or a lack of clarity in responsibilities.
9. Technical risks
Sometimes software development firms reduce the functionality of the software to compensate for overruns pertaining to high budgets and scheduling. There is always a conflict between achieving maximum functionality of the software and peak performance. In order to compensate for excessive budget and schedule overruns, companies sometimes reduce the functionality of the software.
10. 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.