Risks are the uncertain happenings that are possible to arise from present action with probability to occur in future with potential for loss. These risks, if not handled in time efficiently, can lead to serious problems in the near future leading to software failures and loss for the firm. Hence, instead of waiting for the adverse situations to occur, it is better to be proactive and analyze and think about the future risks even before the technical work has been started. It is always better to be alert and solve the problems before they manifest themselves. Risk management allows organizations to respond to their software related problems pretty much in advance and through a controlled and effective manner.
The process of management of risks is essentially about assessing and controlling the risks for mitigating the software failure situations. While process of assessment of risks involves things like the risk identification, analysis and prioritization, risk controlling is all about planning, mitigating and monitoring the risks. This process of risk handling is carried out in small iterations all through the software project as a project management routine.
Any corporate software would be developed on the basis of software development lifecycle in which analysis is an important preliminary phase of the process. The risks which may hinder the success or performance of the project are analyzed and identified here.
Let us now see in brief about various phases involved in the typical software risk management process at the companies.
In this initial step of the risk managing task, different sorts of software risks are identified by the team so that possibilities and solutions for each of them could be found in the future steps of the process. Generally there are project based, product specific, generic and business risks occurring in a software development project. The factors like people, size of the project, process, technology used, tools, customer, estimation, sales and support are considered when examining the software risks. The risks in software development lifecycle are not identified by a single person spontaneously, but it is a complete identification process which is done through different strategies like meeting, checklist development, comparing the present project with the past project and decomposition by a group of people or team.
Once the number and type of the risks has been identified, they are subjected to analysis in order to determine their probability of occurrence and seriousness in the project. For each of the risks estimated to occur, the team will then assess the probability of loss occurring and impact of the loss due to the risk if it was to occur.
After analyzing the risks for their occurrence probability and impact on the project, they are sorted or prioritized by ranking them. Prioritization process helps the team to understand which risks are to be handled on priority and which are not so important to take action on. Based on the priority then the team led by project manager, will then decide which are the risks that require attention on priority basis and are required to be handled by the team at first.
Once the high priority risks are decided, a proper risk management plan is developed to handle each and every of these risks. Strategies like information acquisition of risks through further investigation, planning ahead of what to do if risks materialize, employ inspections to reduce the risk of quality problems etc., are planned in order to handle the risks for mitigation of their adverse consequences on project or organization on whole.
So, by following the above process, any organization can work out an efficient risk handling strategy to avoid or eliminate future risks and ensure safe and efficient software building processes.
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