Project Management: How To Avoid Risks

Practically it does not matter whether the software development project is a complex or an easy one, each and every has its own risks. Successful project management means efficient risk control. In order not to fail and predict the most critical issues, let us share the most common project management risks and some ways to avoid them efficiently.

Types of risks:

  • Unclear technical specification. This is something that prevents software development engineers from starting development of functional end. Wrong project kick-off or initiation is a primary critical bottleneck in project management.
  • Time estimation & risks evaluation. Accurate development time estimation is one of the crucial aspects here. It is almost impossible to perform estimates with the highest accuracy rate because every app at the end of the day is some sort of unique technical solution.
  • Design mockups & wireframes. It is a very common drawback when the software developers pay less attention to project design aspects while trying to save time notwithstanding the fact that designing belongs to the list of critical tasks.
  • Change requests. Here comes the challenge of changing market competition. Time to time your client may ask development team to change the functionality of the app (add new or cut existing features) absolutely right on the go due to emerging threats or opportunities in the business field. Future product should be compatible and you have to always consider unexpected change of requirements.
  • Budget cut. Software development outsourcing company should be ready to face the issue when initially approved budget is all of a sudden drastically cut, hence the list of features to be developed remains the same or even becomes more extended.
  • Human factor. As per the statistics, about 80% of the software development and project management fails caused by humans. Software developers and project managers are just people who sometimes may be unwell, fall in love, celebrate one’s birthday during several days or out of the blue ask for emergency day-off due to family reasons etc.
  • Circumstances & risks. Those can be controlled or predicted by no means: national or foreign legislation changes, policy termination, electricity blackout, natural disaster, technologies being discontinued and the list is neverending.

With that being said, let’s jump to a discussion of the remedies that may cure the sickness of unprofessional project management and help you out with avoiding some of the risks if not all.

How to avoid risks

These are the basic ones:

  • Be transparent with your client. We believe that transparency and highly professional communication may greatly reduce the chance of conflicts to occur and any sort of misunderstandings. Be honest and bring to the client’s table anything that may affect the project development, even the worst risks. Once the development started, the last thing is to after some time receive the email from the client that says “sorry, guys, we burned all the fundings and we have to stop the development”.
  • Be useful. Make sure you not only foresee risks of project management but also tend to improve the product by way of finding the best possible technical solution in order to cut the timeline for development and save client’s budget. Quality should not be compromised.
  • Identify, prioritize & track the risks. Whatever may occur in the future, should be maximum foreseen now. A short discovery phase is always a smart way to identify as many risks as possible. Brainstorming also works in this respect. All project management risks should be well prioritized with focus on those that may cause the most painful losses. Think how to nil them first. And please do not forget to record and track the risks. This will be helpful for future development and retrospectives. And to sum up, create your Risk Response Chart. This tool is also very helpful in project management.

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Serhii Salduhin
Serhii Salduhin
Head of Sales at Lvivity