Top 5 Software Development Risks You Should Know About

Top 5 Software Development Risks You Should Know About

Tracy Watson

12/03/2020

7 min read

software development risks

Whenever you embark on a new software development project, there are some inherent risks that you will have to account for. While a reliable and experienced software development partner can help you mitigate and better deal with the risks, it is better to know about them so that they do not creep up on you unexpectedly. The most common software development risks list includes things like:

  • Unexpected technological hurdles
  • Cultural differences
  • Communication barriers

However, today we would like to go a little bit further and tell you about the top 5 software projects risks that are also common but will require more planning to overcome.

1. Not Enough C-Level Engagement

While it may seem obvious that creating custom software for enterprises requires a lot of support from C-suite executives, a lot of times, they fail to see the long-term benefits of the project. This is especially true if we are talking about a project that will require a long time to complete. As a result of this disengagement, there is a massive gap between the implementation team and the stakeholders, which will cause the project to flame out.

A good way to avoid this problem is to understand the scope of the project before you start, and the investment it will require to complete. The last thing you want to do is realize in the middle of the project that this is something not worth your time and money.

2. Questionable Project Goals

A lot of companies measure the success of a project with the standard “time, scope, money” metrics. While all of these are essential factors, the most important thing to keep in mind is the business value the proposed software would bring. Therefore, instead of a making a goal such as to have the project completed within a certain timeframe and particular budget, you make a goal like “This software will increase data exchange by 25%”. The business goals will vary from company to company, but make sure that they are measurable and provide tangible business value.

risks in software development

3. Unplanned Expenses

There will be situations when you see a need to expand the scope of the project, or additional time is needed for its completion. Things can get even worse if there is a need to redo some of the work done in the previous stages or if you chose the wrong development methodology, such as Waterfall instead of Agile. Whatever the reasons for the extra costs may be, simply dropping the project and forgetting about it is not an option.

You should be prepared for unexpected expenses before the project starts because there are many possible reasons a project might drag on, so it’s good to be prepared for such a possibility. Also, it is a good idea to see a silver lining in this situation. Try to see this as a way of investing in your company’s software development expertise and using a particular set of tools.

4. Failure to Get User Buy-In

A lot of attention is given to writing quality code, but sometimes not enough research has been done into whether the users actually want the features that you are developing. This is one of the risks in software development that is often overlooked because it requires extensive business analysis. In order to avoid such a situation, it is a good idea to include a business analyst in your team. The research they will perform will either confirm or reject a market need for a particular feature or project in general.

There are many such software project risks examples, but one of the biggest is the Nook offered by Barnes&Noble. What happened was that they launched a new e-reader called the Nook, but they failed to take into account that it could not compete with similar products such as the Amazon Kindle that was cheaper and easier to use.

5. Mind vs. Instinct Imbalance

Whenever an unexpected problem occurs, there is usually a logical approach to solving the problem. However, you may have a gut feeling that a different approach is different from the one that everybody agrees on. It is a good idea to voice this opinion because it could end up saving a lot of time and money. Therefore, you need to have a balance between the logical approach and the one that your instinct suggests.

it project risks

The Right Development Partner Can Make a Big Difference

If you do not have the experience or skill set in-house to actualize a particular project, it is a good idea to turn to a software development company that has a proven track record of success. They can help you deal with some of the IT project risks mentioned above and many other ones as well.

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