Understanding Software Risks and Software Risk Management
When we speak of software risk, it is the possibility of suffering from a loss in the software development process. Losses can include production cost increase, poor quality software, inability to complete the project on time, and more. The existence of software risk is due to the fact that there are many known and unknown things that you are not able to include in the project plan. There are internal risks and external risks where internal risks are those within the control of the project manager and external risks are those beyond the project manager’s control. When carrying out risk management it is important to identify the risk, reduce its impact, reduce the likelihood of risk, and monitoring the risk.
Every possible cause of risk has to be dealt with by the project manager.
Some risks are well known to the team and the entire project. An example of this would be not having enough number of developers that can delay project delivery. The project management plan considers these risks.
There are risks that a project team is aware of but they don’t know if these risks exist in the project. An example of this is not being able to get the client’s requirement properly due to poor communication. This is a known risk but what is unknown is if the client has indeed communicated all the information properly or not.
You cannot know some risks. These risks are usually related to technology that you have no idea about but your client wants you to work with it so you expose yourself to unknown risk.
Quantifying risks is involve in software risk management. There are many things involved in this including having a precise description of risks that can occur in the project, defining a risk probability which explains the chances for the risk to occur, defining how much loss a risk can cause, and defining the liability potential of the risk.
It is important that previous projects be studied in order to identify risks that your project may be subjected to. All possible vulnerable areas to risk should be checked. Make a flowchart to examine all essential areas. Identify the known unknowns that can affect the project. Evaluating decisions taken related to different factors is important. In this way, you define the processes important for risk identification.
Software risk analysis involves identifying and categorizing risk. You also need to analyze its impact. It is then followed by software risk planning. Involved in software risk planning are defining preventive measures that would lower down the likelihood of risks, defining measures that would reduce the impact when a risk happens, and constant monitoring of processes in order to identify risks early.
Finally, software risk monitoring is included in project activities and regular checks are done.