Risk Management
A Risk is any event or situation that would harm any software development project in some way. The goal of risk management is to limit the likelihood of something bad happening to your software project. It's therefore something that all software project managers should practice to safe guard the valuable software project. Our Risk Management includes formal techniques, methods, and tools to enhance our abilities to deal with software risks. We help our valuable clients by monitoring the risks on a software development project by using our various tools. The Top-10 Risks List is a simple tool that helps us and our customers monitor the risks on a software project. The list consists of 10 of the most serious risks to a project ranked from 1 to 10, each risk's status, and a plan for addressing each risk. The act of updating and reviewing the Top-10 Risks List each week raises the awareness of risks and contributes to the timely resolution of them.

Creating the Top-10 Risks list consists of the following:

Risk Assessment: This consists of the following three parts:
  • Risk Identification: The first step in producing the Top-10 Risks list is to identify the factors that pose a risk to the project schedule. For example, a potential risk with respect to requirement is that 'Requirements have been baselined but continue to change' or 'Vaguely defined areas of the application are more time- consuming than expected'.
  • Risk Analysis: The next step is to assess the likelihood and impact of each risk and the risk levels of alternate practices. A useful risk analysis practice is to determine the "risk exposure" of each identified risk. Risk exposure is equal to the probability of the unexpected loss multiplied by the size of the loss. For example, if there is a 25% chance that it will take 4 weeks longer to get the project approved, then the risk exposure is 1 week.
  • Risk prioritization: produces a list of risks prioritized by impact. This list serves as a basis for risk control.
Risk Control: Risk control is made up of risk-management planning, risk resolution, and risk monitoring.
  • Risk Management Planning: produces a plan for dealing with each significant risk. It also makes sure that the risk-management plans for each of the individual risks are consistent with each other and with the overall project plan. The risk management plan can be as simple as a paragraph for each risk that describes who, what, where, why, and how of each risk's management.
  • Risk resolution: The resolution of any particular risk depends a lot on the specific risk. Sometimes it helps to investigate the risk further, or to collect more information about the risk. This also includes developing the contingency plans to handle the risk, in case it does not get resolved.
  • Risk Monitoring: is the activity of monitoring progress toward resolving each risk. We conduct a weekly risk assessment meeting to discuss the risk resolutions and to identify the new risks.
While the essence of effective risk management is based on common sense and is employed to some degree by good project managers everywhere, many formal techniques, software development methods, and tools can be used to enhance our abilities to deal with risks. Such techniques and tools span traditional areas such as cost estimating and quality assurance to less traditional ones such as organizational behavior and personal risk aversion.
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