Software development is activity that uses a variety of technological advancements and requires high levels of knowledge. Because of these and other factors, every software development project contains elements of uncertainty. This is known as project risk. Successful projects are always associated with proper risk management. All the projects have one or other minor or major risks. It is impossible to remove all the risks, still successful project managers should design a risk plan which involves identifying, quantifying, and managing risks to reap the full success of a project.
Can software management risk be effectively managed?
From our experience with dealing with more than 80 customers worldwide, here are 6 ways that help us to effectively reduce your risk.
1. Break down the project and schedule payment . To manage the risk better, break the project as well as the total project costs down into various phases. The key here is to identify discrete deliverables at the end of each phase. Each deliverable will be signed off by the client if found acceptable and complying to the specified requirements. The client will make a payment against each sign off.
2. Go, No-go : The client has the prerogative to declare a go or a no-go after each deliverable is presented, according to whether the deliverable conforms with the requirements specified in the requirements document. This way, we place the client in a position of control.
3. Reduce risk by starting with a business-prototype. Take 5 % of the business process and web-enable it and analyze the results before continuing.
4. Good Process and Documentation: Good processes and documentation help considerably in managing risk. Requirements and Change management process is a good example. Remember for instance that whenever requirements and subsequent changes to these requirements are not managed well, in the development process, we are adding to the risk.
5. Use of efficient technology for future proof solutions. XML transforms existing IT systems into e-business systems allowing information to flow seamlessly throughout your corporation.
How to identify risks?
All projects have some measure of risk. It is impossible to remove all risks, so try to identify and manage them to prevent project failure. There are various sources of risks from scope risks to cost overruns associated with a project.
Major risks associated with a typical project include:
- Scope Risk (the project grows in complexity as clients add to the requirements, integration issues, software & hardware defects)
- Scheduling Risk (unexpected delays at an external vendor, delays in acquisition of parts)
- Resource Risk (lack of suitable resources and lack of availability of funds)
- Technology Risk (delays arising out of software & hardware defects or the failure of an underlying service or a platform)
- External Risk (Unforeseen regulatory requirements, natural disasters)
- Legal Risk (violating trade mark and licenses, sued for breach of contract)
Project management at Insight
Defining project success before you start requires critical and conceptual thinking. A project can be conceived as a measured chain of achievements and this chain is created by starting at the end of the project. This last achievement in a project is what defines the success of the project. This measurement is not just a deliverable and a due date, it is instead a strategic result that needs to be defined with clear consultation with the stakeholders.
When a problem is identified, available solutions are studied, potential solutions determined and a project brief is created in this stage. A decision is made to outsource or work on the project internally. As may be the case, the service provider and the team members are then identified.
A project manager at Insight plans and monitors projects to accomplish goals within predictable quality, cost and time. The aim is to build and deliver solutions that exceed customer expectations using well-defined, reliable, flexible, economical and adaptable processes from end-to-end in our business cycles.
The project scope defines the vision and the end-results of the project. A needs analysis document will gather detail information like target audience, technology profiling, budget and schedule, staffing and risks. A project scope or proposal document is then developed as a detailed proposal for meeting project needs. The next step is to then negotiate and sign a contract and select a team to work on the project. A project plan is then developed. It contains a description of the project management activities that will be necessary for the execution and control of the project.
We’ve been in the business of software and web application development for the past 18 years and our services include custom software development, website design & development, web application development, web enabling legacy systems, website maintenance and eLearning solutions. There are a range of project management techniques that are used to manage and track time, resources and tasks in a project. At Insight Consultants, we use an in-house software called Operations Management System that doesn’t just help manage projects, but also functions as an employee relationship management. To know more about our software development process, Contact Us