Manage Risks in Software Development

“If you do not invest in risk management, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, it’s a risky business” - Gary Cohn.

“Risk management is not about future decisions, but about the future of decisions that we must take now” - Robert N. Charette.

“Risk management should be an enterprise-wide exercise and engrained in the business culture of the organization” - Julie Dickson.

No advanced technology can help you in mitigating the risks involved in a software development process. It is pure knowledge, experience, and planning that can keep you away from the prospective risks and from trouble.

Many times these risks are the result of shortsightedness that leads to project uncertainties. It is indeed challenging to anticipate risks at the project development stage, but it is important to identify the bottlenecks to achieve successful project delivery. Risk management lets you know about what can go wrong and helps you prioritize & manage all such other risking factors.

We will highlight a few advantages that can turn the tables for you if you do the risk management right now.

Risk management helps you save a chunk of money spend behind unforeseen and emergencies;

It gives you better control over the entire project that makes you more confident and stable with the project development;

Risk management allows you to focus on the project entirely while other issues are being taken care of;

It enables you to prioritize every task of the process;

Allows you to set up smarter spending strategies, making you capable of handling the project without extra fundings;

Helps you in taking preventive actions and minimize the possibility of future risks;

Why are IT companies adapting to the risk management process?

Well, if you avoid doing risk management exercise, there are chances of you failing miserably. It gives you a chance to…..

Evaluate the entire project:

As mentioned above, technical risk management in software development allows you to assess the organization’s strengths and weaknesses. You can prioritize the work of each department and analyze which team needs to coordinate with the other.

You would be surprised to know that around 32% of projects fail because they do not know how to manage software development risks.

Plan for the future:

The risk management plan is an exclusive document covering every form of risk that may be encountered at various stages of the app development process. Identifying them at an early stage reduces their impact on project success.

You can successfully execute all the strategies that you have planned for the application’s future. By doing this, you can work in the right direction, meeting all the deadlines, and achieving satisfactory results.

Every team is aligned with the project purpose and works in the same direction to achieve the end goal.

Let’s look at the various types of risks that can really make things go wrong.

We can divide the risks into several different categories that are:

Technical risks:

There is a vast pool of advanced and new technologies available for the entrepreneur to choose from. And there are chances that your team may not be qualified or equipped to match with the tech demands. You may fall short when it comes to updates or changes in operational environments or say maintenance.

These are some of the common risks, but it is really important to manage software development risks. By identifying these risks early, you can make yourself aware of your capabilities and address various strategies. You can know which areas of the project need your focus and which team needs to undergo training. If required, you may take assistance from a software development company to help you overcome these challenges.

Legal risks:

You may think that you have done adequate research in finding out the rules and regulations of your operation country. But any changes in the law system may give your serious business repercussions.

Suppose you have associated your project with platforms like Amazon, Google Play, and Apple App Store. In that case, any changes in these platform laws will also affect your project.

Tight deadlines:

Well, this challenge is something that you would have faced quite frequently if you have been in the industry for quite a long time. The pressure from the management team often results in technical glitches in the project.

Due to the pressure, you may feel a lack of resources or inadequacy of tools to release the projects on time. This is quite a chaotic situation that results in a mess up situation. Project deadlines often lead you to a situation where you have to work on two things, parallelly giving justice to none.

To avoid these deadlines risks, try to stay ahead of the game. Practice good communication within the teams to ensure that the project is delivered in a timely manner.

Human risks:

A sudden rise of a developer or any other role may arise because the current one has to leave the organization because of ill health, pregnancy, death, or any kind of arrest. All these may delay your project deliverables.

Locational risks:

The mobile app development company you choose as your development partner or your premises’ location may experience unseen climate changes. These climate changes may affect the work productivity of individuals.

Hence it is essential to manage these unforeseen risks in software development.

Budget constraints:

You may wish to circumvent through this constraint scenario, but it is unavoidable. A sudden expense may change your allocated budget scenarios, which further affects your project planning.

You may decide on investing in a better but costlier technology that changes your budget scenarios. An important step in risk mitigation in software development is to talk with your team and decide on the deliverables. This will help you in staying close to your project goals and objectives.

Risk management strategies in Software Development

Management risks:

Poor project management or organizational problems severely affect project outcomes. This further may lead to trust issues, implementation issues, improper planning, slow decision-making, and more.

The sad truth is, this is an underlying problem behind many organizational failures.

Known risks:

Risks that are foreseen and known to the product manager are categorized as known risks.

Predictable risks:

If you have years of experience in the industry, then you are well aware of the risks that might come if you take a particular step during the project development process.

Unpredictable risks:

These are very uncommon risks; the whole occurrence is mostly unknown and is categorized as unpredictable risks.

The severity of these risks may change from one organization to another, but in any situation, it may cause you a fortune. Hence, you would always wish to manage these risks in software development.

Risk management strategies in Software Development

Now let’s discuss how you can initiate a risk management plan.

This is a general process; however, you may go into the specifics and add more things if you wish to manage software development risks more accurately. The risk management plan is also designed project-specifics, which means one plan can not be used for another.

Step 1: Identify the risk:

While you evaluate your project scope, sit with your team, and try to find out any prospective risk, you may encounter during the project’s life cycle.

You should look out for all the possible risks and analyze the impact of each of them on a particular project. Digging deep into the unknowns will help you identify potential risks that can save your millions.

Step 2: Evaluate the risk impact:

If the above step successfully identifies the risk, the next step is to categorize and evaluate its impact. It would be best if you saw how much the probability of recurrence of the project’s risk.

Impact evaluation means you need to see what loss would it cause to you and your businesses financially. Will it have any impact on the reputation? Will it land you in any legal conflict? Try to find out answers to these questions.

Step 3: Create a risk management plan and clear it with the clients:

In order to manage risks in software development, you need to initiate a risk management plan that will have the following sections in it.

Define Risk:

Every problem may come up with a unique risk for itself. If you have identified the risk successfully, the next step is to describe it in the document. This should be as crisp and short as possible.

Define the Trigger:

Find out the sources which may trigger the risk. List them down and prioritize each trigger on the list.

Severity score of the triggers:

The next step is to give a score to each trigger. How these triggers on the list impact the application.

Plan out a strategy:

We will discuss the risk management strategies in the next section; however, you have to define your approach to risk management in this section.

Plan an alternate strategy:

If in the case that your initial strategy doesn’t work out, you need to decide an alternative approach to the risk.

Define the execution of the strategy:

This section can be long and detailed because it includes the entire planning of the strategy. It describes how you will execute the strategy for risk management. You need to describe every single step in detail so that it can be referred to at any point in time.

Observe the risks:

It goes without saying that it is important to keep an eye on the risks. Once the threat is solved, you should not believe that it will not happen again. If your process needs to repeat the same set of strategies that triggered the risk earlier, then you need to keep a close eye on it.

It would also help if you discussed the same with your client so that he/she knows about your strategies and how you will deliver a product. They should be aware of the importance of risk management in the entire process of app development.

Step 4: Communication:

Communication is an important part of any process. Communicate your strategy to your stakeholders, clients, a team of developers, and everyone involved in the process. Let them have an idea about the certainty of risks in the project.

As promised earlier, we will now have a look at the risk management strategies in software development.

Risk mitigation:

In this strategy, you plan to make the risk less severe than expected. You may come up with a temporary solution or highlight the risk impact to the client. However, there is always another side to it. You can get exposed to the risk at any point in time throughout the project. Hence, this risk mitigation is suggestable only when you have an emergency situation to handle.

Risk avoidance:

In this strategy, you plan to decline the risk completely. The reason being, these kinds of risks can cost you a fortune and mess up the entire project. You put the whole project at stake if you do not acknowledge the risk at the initial stage.

It is a suitable option because this strategy is easy to implement.

Risk Transfer:

In this strategy, you rely on another partner to solve the problem for you. This might turn out to be a costly affair, but if you do not find yourself capable enough of solving a problem, then better give it to somebody else.

This is a safe and fast option to solve an issue, but give you less control over the project.

Risk Control:

In this strategy, you take control of the risk and implement a process that can control its impact on the product.

Risk acceptance:

If you are ready to bear all the consequences of the risk, then you should go for this strategy. In this strategy, no matter how small or big the risk impact is, you chose to overlook the consequences and accept the risk. Also, you will not be required to invest any resources behind solving this issue for you.

However, this form of strategy is not suitable or advisable for any form of business. It can have severe implications on your business model.


Every entrepreneur’s dream is to deliver a rich product in quality and highly functional. It would be advisable to check the end product requirements with the ones mentioned in functional Vs. non-functional requirements document. An important step to ensure this is to manage the risks in your software development process. You are putting everything at risk if you do not follow this discipline of risk management. You can stay ahead of the game and foresee the problems that you may face throughout the project lifecycle. We strongly encourage our clients to include risk management in their planning.

blog Author - kodytechnolab

Manav Patel