General Risks in Software Project Management

April 30, 2019

Author: Hari Saran Manandhar

Risk identification and management are crucial areas for the success or failure of any software project. During the software development process in any company, various risk factors are associated in project management. The general risks in software project management are listed below. 

Delivery Planning Risk 

This risk is specially related with work breakdown structure (WBS) planning where tasks were scheduled allocating time for completion. In most of the software development projects it is seen that development process is running behind the schedule which directly impacts the delivery of the project. The main reasons for the risk are: 

  1. Incorrect Time Estimation (Incorrect Project Plan) 
  2. Underestimate of Project Complexities (development goes in an unhappy flow) 
  3. Resource Allocation and Expertise Level 
  4. Unexpected Resource Unavailability 
  5. Frequent Expansion of Project Scope 
  6. Silo approach in team (lack of knowledge sharing and communication) 

Deliver Planning Risk is a major risk which initiates other risks. 

Possible Mitigation: 

  1. Manage some buffer time for possible time delay (Slack Management) 
  2. Back up resource management 
  3. Avoid frequent changes in the project scope 
  4. Proper communication between team members 

 Financial Risk 

  1. Improper budget estimation 
  2. Budget exceeded due to project delay 

Technical Risk 

These are technical risks associated with the functionality of the software or with respect to the software performance and quality of the product. Reasons for this risk might be: 

  1. Reducing functionalities in order to compensate for schedule overruns and budget overruns 
  2. Insufficient Software Testing 

Operational Risk 

Operational risks are risks which are associated with the day-to-day operational activities of the project. Operational Risk can occur due to any of the below reasons: 

  1. Improper Process Implementation 
  2. Silo approach followed by software development teams leading to conflicts 
  3. Conflicting Priorities 
  4. Lack of team spirit 
  5. Lack of clarity in responsibilities 
  6. Breakdown in communications 
  7. Lack of enough training 

There are many categories of risks associated with software projects. Risk Management hence is a necessary component of Software Project Management. 

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