Risk Management

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Risk Management in Software Development Projects
Risk management in a software development improves performance and efficiency, also helps to reach target and goals in the correct way. It reduces the chances of undesirable things taking place or reduces the effect if they do happen. Thus provide a greater control over the outcomes. Reduces shocks and increases likelihood of success in software development.

What is a Risk?

A risk is an uncertain event or condition that affects the project. Risk is possibility or any deviation from what is planned. It is something which may or may not happen but if it happens then it impacts the project.

It has the potential impact on time, cost etc. Not all the risks are negative. There can be positive risks too. In one hand, negative risks bring threat on the other hand positive risks brings opportunity.

“A person who can foresee problems / difficulties and identify proactive solutions will live happily”-Chanakya (350-283 BC) Author of Artha Sashtra.

We face risks all around us. In cricket, Batsman take a lot of risk before hitting a six. Marriage can be considered as a huge risk as we do not know what our partner is exactly like. Investing in stock is a risky thing as we do not know whether the share prices will rise or fall. Changing a job is a risk as we do not know about our new environment. Even going to office is even a risk because of the accident prone high traffic roads. There are risks all around us. An interesting fact says that cat drinks milk closing its eye because it does not want to get disturbed by the surrounding and enjoy the taste of milk completely. So, when anybody comes to beat him it remains unnoticed to the cat. Hence, it is beaten easily. The moral is we should not be so much involved in current successes that we forget to plan the future risks. We must always be ready with a risk management plan. Organisation must undergo risk management in order to protect their business and asset from threats. In IT industry a weak password is a risk as there is a likelihood that a hacker might harm the industry by losing data secrecy.

In software development we can have strategic risks like having a new competitor in the market, or financial risks like non-payment by a customer or client or we can have operational risks like theft of equipment or failure of hard drive etc.

What is risk management plan?

“If you need water today, you should dig well yesterday”-Old Chinese proverb.

Plan for the risk in the beginning and keep reviewing the plan throughout the project. Do all your risk management by meeting with the team and keep meeting them throughout the project. The meeting not only helps the project manager to understand the technical difficulties but also help him to further improve the plans continuously in a way that is more suitable to the efficient working of the team. It actually diminishes the gap between reality and ideal.

According to the famous proverb “If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.” But what goes into Risk Management Planning are as follows:

Planning - It clearly shows that you have plans and vision of the future. You must divide the project time into sub categories. The project must be sub divided among the team with the specified time. We must inculcate the time for testing and many other critical factors. We must be ready for the fact the time will cross the deadline or any of the unexpected risk will cause problem. We must be ready for the worst thing to happen during project and have even backup plans and alternatives available.

Roles and responsibilities-The project must be divided among the team where each member must have a definite role. The roles and responsibilities must be decentralised and none should have a very big say in the project in a way that he could possess a threat in completion of project and all work goes in vain. The project manager must be known to the fact that exactly how many...
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