Risk and Risk Management in Software Projects

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The article, “Risk and risk management in software projects: A reassessment,” explains the risks and risk management in software projects. The success of a project is contributed and determined by how risks are controlled throughout the course of the project. Risks and constraints are inevitable in all projects and therefore, identifying and controlling them should be a key necessity during the project to avoid potential negative impacts. The checklist and other approaches are taken into consideration as they involve a technique and process to curb these risks (Bannerman, 2008). They include the analytical framework, process models and risk response strategy which has its own techniques of responding to risks.

The checklist offers a low cost pathway into identifying the top risks and constraints that affect the project or the possible success factors that contributes to the project outcome. The checklist should be used at consecutive periods during the project to have an updated risk awareness on the project (Kendrick, 2015). However, the checklist risk assessment is biased in the sense that it allows ranking to be done based on the cultural context of the project and not the actual project. Also, project managers focus on the potential losses according to the checklist rather than the probability of occurrence of a loss which will result to excessive project constrain in terms of time and cost.

Analytical framework is based on the idea of division of labor due to the presence of too many known and possible risks in the checklist. Therefore, the frameworks serve as a method of leveraging the risk management efforts to conquer the risk (Kendrick, 2015). This technique is usually used in software projects to manage risks as a whole and not individually which saves on time and cost incurred (Bannerman, 2008). Due to the presence of multiple related risk factors in most technological projects, analytical frameworks serves as a broader frame to think about what risk might become a potential risk to a project. Although analytical frameworks approach combines related risks to create solutions, it requires skilled personnel to make critical decisions which might be a threat to the project.

Process models approach focuses on the steps to be taken in managing risks through specifying individual activities which are necessary in managing these risks in software project. Through the specific sequence of risk management process with the help of process model, there is effectiveness in the management of risks (Kendrick, 2015). Process models are usually employed in projects to manage known risks and possible new risks as the project proceeds to a new environment. Process model however cannot be used in absence of analytical framework and the checklist hence it is not an independent model.

            Techniques that have been used in risk response are firstly avoidance strategy which aims at preventing occurrence of a negative impact. This technique is through conversion of the project design to a less vulnerable design to risk. Transference involves shifting the management of the risk to a third party although it does not eliminate the threat but hands over to a better managerial agent. Mitigation works on the principal that there is need to prevent a risk from occurring through creation of a more reinforcing action in the project (Jordan, 2013). The last technique is accepting the risk actively rather than passively which is appropriate when the threat is in low status. These techniques are widely used although some such as the accepting technique might be unfortunate as most threats have a high impact.


Bannerman, P. L. (2008). Risk and risk management in software projects: A reassessment. Journal of Systems and Software, 81(12), 2118-2133.

Jordan, A. (2013). Risk management for project driven organizations: A strategic guide to         portfolio, program and pmo success. Ross.

 Kendrick, T. (2015). Identifying and managing project risk: Essential tools for failure-proofing your project. American Management Association.

October 30, 2023

Business Economics Life


Management Workforce

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Project Management Risk

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