How to reduce risk in software development
Software development is a complex process, and though there are so many technologies and software intended to make software development simpler, there are still some risks involved that you should be aware of. Learning how to reduce the risks in software development makes software development tasks easier.
Yes, that’s right! Software development does come with a certain amount of risks, but you can mitigate the risks when you take certain clever measures. In this article, we will be explaining some of the fool-proof measures that will make your software development project a great success.
Risks and solutions of software development
Have a look at some of the risks that come with software development, and a few solutions as well:
Lack of clarity in scope
Understanding the scope of the project is very important, and it is one of the ways to eliminate the risks associated with software development. The scope of the project determines how much work will be done, the features that need to be developed in the application, and so on. When the scope is well-defined, the software development process goes smoothly.
The solution for this: To work with experienced software developers or with a software development company that works only after understanding the scope of the project.
Understanding the scope of the project is directly proportional to the success of the project. However, this has to be collaborative, meaning the development team must be able to provide their feedback to the client. They might be able to give you suggestions that will determine the best way to complete the project. The scope of the project will also cover the budgetary requirements, and whether it will be sufficient to cover the scope of the project.
Not having the right people to work for you
This is probably the nightmare of every company looking to develop and launch their software. Getting the right people on board makes a whole lot of difference because they will be able to translate your dreams into reality. There have been lots of instances where people claim to understand the project requirements and then fail to deliver. And the additional burden comes when you are not able to communicate with them properly, probably due to language, culture, and other vagrancies.
The solution for this: To know if you have the right people on board, you can have a detailed discussion with the team to understand their development project, the projects they have done, testing strategy, and so on. You can discuss your project with them, and determine whether they understand what needs to be done. Keep in constant communication with them until you know they are the right people for it.
Failing to communicate the requirements initially
We know that finding the right software development company to execute your project takes time. So not spending enough time on getting the right team, and failing to communicate your requirements correctly is also a risk that would prove costly in the end. It could lead to extra costs, reduced quality, and delays in project delivery. You might eventually realize that the team was not what you were looking for. Failing to communicate might also include giving the team the project documentation and then not bothering to find out whether they have all the information about the deliverables.
The solution for this: Communication is the key. Conduct regular video and audio calls right from the first step of the project to make sure all are on the same page. You can install a shared repository for this, and both parties can see the scope of the project, the deadlines, and all.
Making mistakes with the choice of programming language
Often, using the wrong technology can break the project by reducing productivity, and increasing costs. Using a programming language of choice can prove to be costly because it can alter the desired result of the development process.
The solution for this: To choose a programming language that would be perfect for the project in terms of performance, compatibility, flexibility, etc. Just because a development team is familiar with a programming language, don’t just simply go for it, because that might affect the deliverable at the end.
Using too many programming languages
Developers not knowing how to handle the complexities of the different programming languages might find themselves at the short end of the rope. It could make the project harder to manage, debug, and document.
The solution for this: To choose programming languages that complement each other and work on different aspects of the project. The developer team must understand the logic, paradigm, and requirements when they work on multiple programming languages. It will make development easier and solve so many other problems that might exist.
Not using consistent coding standards
Developers sometimes fail to use consistent coding standards, and this could affect how they write, format, and organize the code. This could affect the structure, style, and logic of the code, and eventually, it would lead to errors, bugs, and vulnerabilities.
The solution for this – It is important that the developers follow the best practices of each language. Using tools like linters, formatters, and code analyzers can also help you keep track of the best practices. And finally, the developers must document the standards followed and share them so everyone is aware of what’s been done.
Having a risk mitigation plan
At the start of each project, the developers must develop a risk mitigation plan. Not having a risk plan itself is a big risk, because it can affect the entire goal of the project. Having a proper risk mitigation plan can eliminate risks, ensure the project is on schedule, evaluate the project, and even allocate funds for eliminating future risks in the project.
This plan should:
- Identify and assess the potential risks associated with each project
- Conduct techniques like brainstorming, risk analysis workshops, and checklists to contain the risks
- Develop a risk mitigation plan
- Recognize the technical, operational, and business risks of the software
For example, if the risk is that the project will not be completed on time, and meeting the deadline is crucial to the success of the project, then, as part of the risk mitigation plan you can increase the team size, break the project into smaller tasks, allocate tasks more accurately, add more resources and so on. The software must also, in the end, address the wider goals and aims of the company.
It is important to remember that risk is not static, it will emerge at any time. New ones can emerge at any time. So you have to implement a continuous risk monitoring process to recognize new risks, assess them, and instantly find solutions for them. You will have to communicate effectively with the stakeholders, keeping them apprised of the risks associated with the project, because they have to be aware of the risks, and how they were mitigated as well.
The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT department.