Software development is an activity that uses technological innovations and requires a high level of knowledge from different fields.
Each software development project contains elements of uncertainty, which leads to project risks. The success of an IT solution creation largely depends on risk management.
It is not enough for a project manager to simply be aware of the risks to achieving a successful result. Risks need to be identified, assessed, logged, prioritized, and managed. In this article, we will consider why software product discovery services are important for quality.
The goal of most software engineering projects is to provide value to users, usually through new features, efficiency gains, or innovations.
Software project managers will agree that the search for such opportunities goes hand in hand with the unknown. As risks are present in all software projects, it is essential that stakeholders work diligently to identify, understand, and mitigate any risks that threaten project success.
The key to success for most time- and cost-constrained projects is risk-mitigation-focused management (as well as a competitive product idea, strategic planning, and user feedback).
These factors can be eliminated with a comprehensive discovery before software product development.
What is Risk in Software Development?
Simplistically, the risk is a potential problem. This is an action or event that could jeopardize the success of a project.
Risk is the opportunity to incur losses, and the overall risk exposure of a particular project will take into account both the likelihood and magnitude of potential losses.
Crisis management is rarely effective. Risk identification and aggregation is the only predictive method for determining the likelihood that unplanned or unacceptable events will occur in a development project.
These include terminations, interruptions, schedule delays, cost underestimation, and project resource overruns.
What is Risk Management?
Risk management means containment and reduction of risks. Firstly, you must identify and plan it. Secondly, there should be a willingness to act when risks occur, drawing on the experience and knowledge of the entire team, to minimize its impact on the project.
Risk management includes the following activities:
- Identify risks and their triggers.
- Classify and prioritize all risks.
- Make a plan to minimize risk.
- Monitor risk triggers during a project.
- Take mitigation measures if any risk materializes.
- Update risk statuses throughout the project.
Identification and classification of risks
Most software development projects are risky due to the many potential problems that can arise. Experience from other projects can help managers classify risks.
What matters here is not daintiness or range of classification, but rather the precise definition and description of all real threats to the success of the project. A simple but effective classification scheme is to allocate risks by area of impact.
Five types of risk in software project management
For most projects, we can identify five main areas of risk exposure:
01. New, untested technologies.
Most software projects involve the use of new technologies. Ever-changing tools, methods, protocols, standards, and development systems keep your projects alive but also increase the likelihood of technology risks.
Training and knowledge are critical here, and the misuse of new technologies most often leads directly to project failure.
02. User and functional requirements.
The software requirements cover all user needs regarding the features, functions, and quality of the software system maintenance.
As a rule, it’s a long and difficult process to define requirements. Moreover, customers usually change requirements during discovery, prototyping, and integration.
Changes to elementary requirements are likely to permeate the entire project, and changes to user requirements may not meet functional requirements. These failures often lead to one or more critical failures in a poorly planned software development project.
03. Application and system architecture.
Choosing the wrong platform, components, or project architecture can have disastrous consequences. It is recommended to attract experts who understand the architecture of a required system to the team.
It will increase the chances to make the right decisions concerning design and other important elements.
04. User experience.
It is important to ensure that any risk management plan addresses user and partner performance expectations. Benchmarks and threshold testing must be kept in mind throughout the project to ensure that work products are moving in the right direction.
Organizational problems can also adversely affect project outcomes. Project management involves planning for the efficient execution of tasks and balancing the needs of the development team with the expectations of the clients.
Of course, adequate staffing includes selecting team members with skill sets that are well suited to the project.
Without a preliminary study and analysis of the subject area, there is a huge risk of developing an inefficient product that will remain unclaimed by end-users or a high probability of failure to put it into operation.
The first stage of a reliable company upon receiving a request for the development of a software product is to determine the goals of its creation and the list of tasks that it has to solve in the future.
If the customer does not provide the company with a statement of goals and a list of tasks, then the company identifies this together with the customer, through a questionnaire. Here are some questions that may be asked to the customer during the survey process:
- What do you see as the purpose of the future system?
- What issues does it need to solve?
- What opportunities should it provide?
- What should it look like?
- Do you know similar products?
- Will the system be single or replicable?
- In which countries will it work?
- Is it intended to exchange data with other existing products?
- How many users will work with the system at the time of implementation and in the future?
- What systems and how long have you been working with them?
For the purposes of a qualitative and comprehensive study of the subject area, the company may request documentation maintained by the customer on automated activities, for example, this may be:
- Rules for document management;
- Completed reports, and reporting forms;
- Job descriptions;
- Internal regulations, instructions;
- Documentation from the field of quality management.
A fairly effective way to study the subject area is also interviewing employees of the customer company. Sometimes the software development company can identify conflicting expectations and, of course, it needs to compare them and come to a common vision.
Based on the analysis of the collected information, a number of requirements for the future software product are formed: implementation method, design features, nature of user interaction, user roles, data storage model, etc. the implementation method is described in the terms of reference.
Software development is a multi-stage and complex process. The discovery phase is very important in software development as it allows developers to reduce the possible risks.
However, developers should know the customers’ expectations to do it effectively. Inoxoft’s team carries out the collection and analysis of information to research the subject area.
It also carries out the formation of requirements for the software product and its documentation. The company has a specialized division consisting of qualified analysts under the guidance of the chief designer.