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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What are different kinds of risks involved in software projects?

When we create a development cycle for a project, we develop everything like test plan, documentation etc but we often forget about the risk assessment involved with the project.

It is necessary to know what all kinds of risks are involved with the project. We all know that testing requires too much of time and is performed in the last stage of the software development cycle. Here the testing should be categorized ion the basis of priorities. And how you decide which aspect requires higher priority? Here comes the role of risk assessment.

Risks are uncertain and undesired activities and can cause a huge loss. First step towards risk assessment is the identification of the risks involved. There can be many kinds of risks involved with the project.


1.Operational Risk
- This is the risk involved with the operation of the software system or application.
- It occurs mainly due to false implementation of the system or application.
- It may also occur because of some undesired external factors or events.
- There are several other causes and main causes are listed below:

(a) Lack of communication among the team members.
(b) Lack of proper training regarding the concerned subject.
(c) Lack of sufficient resources required for the development of the project.
(d) Lack of proper planning for acquiring resources.
(e) Failure of the program developers in addressing the conflicts between the issues having different priorities.
(f) Failure of the team members in dividing responsibilities among themselves.

2. Schedule Risk
- Whenever project schedule falters, schedule risks are introduced in to the software system or application.
- Such kinds of risks may even lead it to a complete failure bringing down the economy of the company.
- A project failure can badly affect the reputation of a company.
- Some causes of schedule risks have been stated below:

(a) Lack of proper tracking of the resources required for the project.
(b) Sometimes the scope of the project may be extended due to certain reasons which might be unexpected. Such unexpected changes can alter the schedule.
(c) The time estimation for each stage of the project development cycle might be wrong.
(d) The program developers may fail to identify the functionalities that are complex in nature and also they may falter in deciding the time period for the development of these functionalities.

3. Technical Risks
- These types of risks affect the features and functionalities of a software system or application which in turn affect the performance of the software system.
- Some likely causes are:

(a) Difficulty in integrating the modules of the software.
(b) No better technology is available then the existing ones and the existing technologies are in their primitive stages.
(c) A continuous change in the requirements of the system can also cause technical risks.
(d) The structure or the design of the software system or application is very complex and therefore is difficult to be implemented.

4. Programmatic Risk
- The risks that fall outside the category of operational risks are termed as programmatic risks.
- These too are uncertain like operational risks and cannot be controlled by the program.
- Few causes are:

(a) The project may run out of the funds.
(b) The programmers or the product owner may decide to change the priority of the product and also the development strategy.
(c) A change in the government rule.
(d) Development of the market.

5. Budget Risk
- These kinds of risks arise due to budget related problems.
- Some causes are:

(a) The budget estimation might be wrong.
(b) The actual project budget might overrun the estimated budget.
(c) Expansion of the scope might also prove to be problem.

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