Risk concerns future happenings. Tomorrow’s problems are today’s risk.
Hence, a simple definition of a “risk” is a problem that could cause some loss or threaten the success of the project, but with has not happened yet.
These potential problems might have an adverse impact on cost, schedule, or technical success of the project, the quality of our software products, or project team morale.
Risk management is the process of identifying addressing and eliminating these problems before they can damage the project.
We need to differentiate risks, as potential problems, from the current problems of the project.
Different approaches are required to address these two kinds of issues.
For example, a staff shortage because we have not been able to hire people with the right technical skills is a current problem; but the threat of our technical people being hired away by the competition is a risk.
Current real problems require prompt, corrective action, whereas risk can be dealt with in several different ways.
We might choose to avoid the risk entirely by changing the project approach or even canceling the project.
Typical Software Risk
The list of evil things that can befall a software project is depressingly long.
Possible risks can come from group brainstorming activities, or from a risk factor chart accumulated from previous projects.
There are no magic solutions to any of these risk factors, so we need to rely on past experience and a strong knowledge of contemporary software engineering and management practices to control these risks.
Capers Jones has identified the top five risk factors that threaten projects in different applications .
Lack of Knowledge
Other Risk Categories
- Unavailability of adequate testing facilities
- Turnover of essential personnel
- Unachievable performance requirements
- Technical approaches that may not work
Preventive measure to reduce Risks : Broadly, there are five strategies for risk reduction:
- Hazard prevention
- Likelihood reduction
- Risk avoidance
- Risk transfer
- Contingency planning