A crucial step in software development outsourcing is the safe delivery of quality software. Software delivery often comes with some risks. Learn about five risk mitigation strategies you can use.
Quality software is the goal for outsourcing software development companies. However, the software is only as good as its delivery. Thus, the successful delivery of software is the crowning glory of any development project. Unfortunately, it comes with some risks.
In light of this, it is vital to implement risk mitigation strategies to prevent serious problems. This article deals with identifying and managing risks for clients when delivering quality software.
Identifying Risks with Quality Software
First, you need to know the potential risks. It is only then can you take steps to manage them. Let us start with that.
Oil well firefighter and inventor Red Adair once said, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” He may have been referring to his hazardous profession. However, this applies to software development as well.
Quality software is often complex. Therefore, securing it against hackers can be hard, especially with inexperienced developers. They may use code that accidentally gives hackers the chance to attack.
Among the possible threats are worms, Trojan horses, and logic bombs. To minimize this from happening, hire only experienced and qualified developers for a project. If you are outsourcing software development, make sure you work with a reputable company that delivers secure, quality software.
Much of the work that goes into quality software relies on a good understanding between the client and the developer team. The same applies to communication between project managers and developers.
You have to make sure there are no barriers to communication. Otherwise, you will have to deal with costly mistakes and increased risks to the software down the line.
Fortunately, technology has made communications much easier. Having an offshore team managing the software is not the problem it once was. You simply need to use the right technology and ensure that everyone speaks the same language.
Poor Project Management Implementation
Poor project management can cause delays in the workflow. As software development relies on the smooth transition from one stage to the other, delays are unacceptable.
You want a project manager that knows how to schedule the work without lag or overlap. Each part of the development should hit the target on time. When everything goes smoothly, no one is rushing to make up for the lost time. This will keep mistakes to a minimum.
Time Zone Differences
Working with a team that works in a different time zone can lead to some risks. The workflow may not go as smoothly as it should be given in this case. However, if the development team works during your time zone, then there should be no problem.
Many outsourcing companies require their development teams to work in the same time zone as a client. Even if it is in another country, the team operates as comfortably as a local one. As a result, the potential for mistakes and risks are the same as hiring a local developer.
Quality software depends on the service. However, quality service takes money. Some software development companies cut costs by hiring unqualified developers or skimping on quality control.
To keep potential risks low, check the quality control processes. Get a Statement of Work or software documentation from the outsourcing company. That way, you can see each goal and milestone in the development workflow. The Statement of Work will also indicate the quality controls the company has in place.
Risk Mitigation Strategies for Quality Software
Now that you know the factors leading to potential risks in quality software delivery, how do you minimize them? Here are five strategies you can use.
Assess the Project
The best place to start in avoiding risks is the beginning. You need to take steps in the early stages. Software delivery is at the very end of the process, so taking steps at that point is too late.
Risk mitigation should start at the project assessment stage. At this point, you look at the purpose and capabilities of the software and its value to stakeholders. You can then find out the least you have to spend to make it a good product. Doing this will give you the potential costs and outcomes of the project.
A thorough assessment of the project allows you to get what you want. It can also help you get the best quality software for your needs at the lowest possible cost.
Always make a point of communicating with the project managers. You can require daily and weekly updates as well as detailed reports at each milestone. When you have these in place, you can nip any potential crisis in the bud. It clears up any issues and prevents misunderstandings.
In particular, you need to stay on top of the development and testing phases when outsourcing software. The software development team will then get regular updates and feedback for each milestone. If there are changes to the requirements, the team finds out in real-time. As a result, it can adjust the work as needed.
Additionally, you can address any budget issues and changes in the scope at once. If you wait until delivery, these things can cause delays or code errors. You can avoid these risks by communicating frequently and regularly with the software development team.
Getting an overview of the risks is the key to avoiding problems with software delivery. You must sit down with the development team first thing and identify the potential risks of the project.
Say you need customer-facing software to handle the financial information of your customers. You know this exposes you and your clients to possible hacking from outside sources. Thus, you know you need to put to have cybersecurity. The costs in money and time will depend on many factors, but it will be a priority.
On the other hand, security will be less of an issue for software that runs exclusively in a local network. That said, other risks may come into play. An example would be poor integration with other software. You want to address these issues early on in the game.
The only way to make sure you get quality software is through rigorous testing. Testing will show if the team is hitting all the goals of the client. Therefore, you need to ensure that the development team carries out testing on all stages and milestones of the project.
How do you do this? Check the Statement of Work. Pay special attention to the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
The WBS is a graph showing each stage of the project. Since the WBS breaks the work down into small chunks, it is easy to check if quality testing is part of the workflow. If it is not, insist that they put it in to ensure each piece of the software works.
In most cases, quality testing for software takes the form of code reviews, code tests, and automated tests. Just like proofreading a document, other eyes should execute these tests. The developers in the team will not be able to see many errors because they wrote it. A good idea is to bring your software tester into the project to ensure independent review.
Testing at every stage may add significant time (and money) to the project. However, it is necessary. Thorough testing ensures the successful delivery of quality software.
One of the issues with software development is hitting the wrong targets. When the client is not a subject matter expert on the end-use of the software, it can be a problem. Instead of improving the work process, new software can become a cause of disagreement.
As the client, the software development team will look to you for direction. However, it would be best if you also get input from stakeholders on your end.
For example, you want to streamline your accounting processes with your own software. However, you are not an accountant. Therefore, you should consult the accounting department about what the software should be able to do.
Aside from ensuring the software will be useful, consulting stakeholders will also help you with the buy-in. Since you involved everyone in the department, they are more likely to accept the software. You can expect they will be happy to use the software when it arrives. As a result, you get the maximum benefit from its use.
Quality Software Delivered by Pros
Quality software is only as good as its end-use. When thinking about software development, whether in-house or outsourced, you need to understand the potential risks. Risk mitigation of security leaks, miscommunication, code errors, and resistance to its use can ensure delivery and implementation success.
You can ensure quality software delivery for your business with Full Scale. We deploy highly qualified software development teams for clients all the time. We have full awareness of the need to mitigate risks with software delivery, so you do not need to worry. Just work with us, and we can guarantee we will deliver quality software each time, all the time.
What are you waiting for? Contact us now and start achieving your goals!