Mitigating Risks in Software Development

Risk Management is Key

There are always risks associated with any business venture. When you’re building software, the risks are only magnified. After all, the technology is ever-changing, the possibility of bugs is omnipresent, and there could be numerous changes and hiccups that threaten to derail your operations entirely.

BairesDev is no stranger to dealing with risk — and risk management. From planning ahead to prioritizing to implementing a rigorous quality assurance (QA) process, we’ve become accustomed to the art of mitigating risk in the software development process. Ultimately, this is about reducing the prevalence threats and resolving them seamlessly when they do occur. 

While there is no way to completely prevent obstacles or errors from occurring during the software development lifecycle (SDLC), careful planning will allow you to know how to proceed when setbacks do occur.

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Determine the Likeliest Risks Associated with the Project

Before you can start addressing and preventing risks, you need to identify what they are. What could possibly derail the project? All software projects carry risk, but they can still vary depending on the nature and type of product you’re looking to create, as well as the people and processes involved with it. Pinpoint what these might be upfront, and then routinely assess whether new risks have presented themselves during development.

Categorize and Prioritize

Once you’ve identified risks associated with your project, it’s time to categorize them and determine which of them are the most pressing. The ones that present the biggest threats are the ones you should aim to tackle first. 

Categorize the risks on your list based on the type of concern they present and when you need to resolve them. You should also pinpoint how much effort they will require in terms of resources and personnel, as well as how difficult they will be to work out. This doesn’t necessarily mean the most intricate threats are the highest-priority ones — it’s just a way to classify your risks to facilitate easier planning.

Create a Plan

In addition to identifying risks, you’ll need to have a clear plan for actually mitigating them. The project manager will likely spearhead this effort, but they will need input from the software development and QA teams on what’s feasible and what kinds of efforts they can put forth to reduce or resolve the issues. 


This is the most effective way of preventing problems from escalating and wreaking havoc on your project. Rather than dealing with issues as they arise, you’re thinking long-term and recognizing what you need to do ahead of time.

Ensure Your Employees are Properly Trained

With tools and technology constantly evolving, all of your team members need to be at the top of their game. Reducing risk means ensuring that everyone is properly trained in how to use these technologies. They also need to be kept abreast of the processes and policies you have in place.


One way to implement training is to bring in outside help either through staff augmentation from Top 1% IT experts like the ones we have at BairesDev or programs in which specialists instruct on and demonstrate how to use the tools.

Account for Changes in Requirements

Requirements may well change during the project, and you need to be ready for these alterations, should they occur. This, of course, is another risk. Have a process in place for working through requirement changes from clients, project managers, leaders, and other stakeholders, such that they won’t stall the project.

Research Compliance

You will need to comply with the laws of any area or territory in which you operate or release software. If your product is wide-reaching and concerns global markets, then this might mean you’re contending with many different laws and legalities. But this is a risk you can’t afford to leave to chance. You’ll need to thoroughly research the compliance laws governing any region where individuals will be using your technology.

It’s a good idea to have a dedicated compliance or legal professional investigate these matters and ensure you’re meeting the restrictions.

Continually Monitor

Even with a clear, thorough plan in place, you can’t remove yourself from the process of risk mitigation. You’ll need to continue to monitor risks and issues when they occur. There should be regular check-ins, reports, feedback, reviews of how various concerns have been addressed, project-tracking tools, and more.

Communicate

Communication is an essential part of any software development project — one that plays an important role in reducing risks and keeping them at bay. Make sure there are established means of communication between different stakeholders, including the development team, quality assurance professionals, the client, and others involved or with a vested interest in the project.

Your business should be keeping the client apprised of all efforts while the client, in turn, should deliver timely feedback. Team members should also be communicating with one another, raising any concerns, obstacles, and successes as they occur. There should be a system for tracking risks and their statuses, such as through a log or portal, highlighting concerns, and whether they’ve been resolved.

Implement a Rigorous Quality Assurance Process

QA testing is one of the chief ways you can truly mitigate risks. This thorough process involves professionals analyzing features of your product like usability, performance, security, load threshold, and more. Leveraging the skills of QA professionals will help protect your business from the threat of releasing a product that is not up to par and full of vulnerabilities — as well as protect the end-user.

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all risks from building software — after all, every software development project is risky to some extent — you can protect yourself by establishing a clear plan. That way, you can reduce the chances of these threats from getting the better of your product and business and increase your odds of success.

BairesDev has a track record of producing high-quality software and assisting businesses across sectors with their IT and technology projects. Contact us to learn more about partnering with one of the top nearshore outsourcing software development firms.

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