Common Risk Analysis and Management Strategies and Why It Should be Done
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As per contemporary definition, risk is the occurrence of unfortunate events. Once it happens, the probability and potential of loss increases. In every software development life cycle, timely delivery of the product that comes with uncompromised quality is important. Hence, identification and prevention of risk is an important phase. In the testing phase, when risk management is planned efficiently it can help in the smooth flow of all other assignments. In the following article, we shall discuss the steps of risk management and some common risks and effective strategies for properly analyzing and preventing those risks.
How Risk Management is Performed
Following are the core steps of successfully carrying out risk management.
- A context should be established, and some criteria should be mentioned based on which the risk analyzation structure will be defined.
- Identify the probable scenarios that may cause complications. These scenarios should form the base on which further analyzation scenarios are to be planned.
- Analyze the risks based on their likeliness to occur and their range of impact.
- Compare the estimated risk criterion against the identified risk, rank them and identify the priority of management.
- Monitor and review the low priority risks first. For high priority risks, construct a proper management plan that ensures all the steps required to manage the risks at a level that is acceptable.
- Performance of your risk managing system should be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.
- Consult with the stakeholders as required after each step of risk management procedure.
Let’s discuss some common risks and their prevention.
Risk Associated with Estimated Delivery Time
In both Agile as well as Waterfall methodology, either the entire project or individual sprints have a specific deadline. When the team or the organization does not abide by that scheduled delivery time and fails to complete the sprint or pr oject it leads to economical loss of the organization. The worst-case scenario being when the client denies accepting the project and the assignment is given to another vendor, leading to deterioration of the company’s reputation.
Management and Prevention – Scheduled delivery risk may be avoided by checking the following factors
- Ensure that proper time is calculated to complete the scheduled task and the correct estimation is provided to the client. Backup time should also be considered keeping in mind that time may increase due to unavailability of resources, an unfortunate failure of test case scenarios, etc.
- Proper tracking of resources should be ensured. Systems, people working, their individual skills everything should be tracked to ensure completion of a specific task within scheduled time.
- Complex functionalities should be identified during the requirement analysis and proper time should be calculated to develop those functionalities. If the project is in Agile, extra time should be kept at hand for unexpected change in project scope and functionalities.
Budget Estimation Risk
The budget of a project usually changes with time. And they tend to get reduced until the customer is given a valid reason to increase the budget. Wrongly estimating the budget of a project may lead to cost overrun and the expansion of project scope, indirectly impacting delivery time. Let’s discuss how this risk can be minimized.
Management and Prevention – Budget related risk can be prevented by the following procedures.
- Preventing Gold Plating – Gold plating is the scenario when the project team adds more stuff in the application without the stakeholders asking for it. Although their intention is to improve the product by adding extra functionality, it consumes time as well as increases the budget. So, if the customer does not ask for the extra stuff, or does not approve budget requirements, gold plating should be avoided.
- Fluctuation of currency – When you are working with an international customer and the project duration is quite long, the budget may be fixed but with time, the currency rate may get fluctuated and your actual budget may get lower compared to the rate at which it was fixed. This situation can be avoided by adding a percentage contingency while deciding the budget of the project.
Contingency Plans for Technical Risk
One of the most important risk types that may lead to project failure are technical risks. They may arise due to several reasons, like continuous requirement changes, lack of advanced technology or complexity during integration. Let’s discuss how this can be avoided.
If the technology to be used is advanced or in its initial stage, the development team may not be aware of it yet. A proper knowledge sharing session should be planned before the actual project work begins.
Continuous requirement changes should be avoided by following a proper methodology. In the case of the waterfall model, the customer should be aware of the requirement specification and the work should start only once the green signal is given. In Agile, requirement changes are supported, but they should not be too frequent. After the end of each sprint, a demo should be presented to the customer to make sure that he is happy with how the development work is proceeding.
Complexity during project integration can be avoided by maintaining a proper structure of the modules, following naming conventions so that they can be easier to understand and finally following the standards set by the industry for development.
Importance of Risk Analysis
An important essence of the project is Risk analysis and management. It helps the project team to.
- Avoid any major disaster
- Save unnecessary expenses and enhance revenues
- Helps to explore new domains
- Ensures delivery of a quality product and increases the reputation of the organization
If you have not introduced risk management in your project, it is the perfect time to do so, in order to avoid any major disaster that may lead to project failure.
Written by Arnab Roy Chowdhury
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