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Risky Business (part 1)
Build a comprehensive risk management plan that allows you to complete your projects on time, every time.

| Life On The Edge |

In the fast-paced world of software development, developers are constantly under stress to take their product to market at the fastest pace possible. This high-stress, high-speed approach to software development carries both rewards and risks: being early to market may give a software firm first-mover advantage and long-term domination of the arena, but it may also cause them to minimize or underestimate risks, and the consequent impact could do irreparable damage to the product and the business.

Underestimating the consequences of risks is the last thing any developer should do. Many firms invest in structured processes and state-of-the-art technologies to complete their projects within budget and time constraints. But successful developers know that the secret to the success of a project lies more in managing the risks that might unfold during the course of the project via a comprehensive risk management plan.

The impact of not managing risk can be disastrous: without a risk management plan, an organization will never have a clear picture of the risks inherent in a project, and can therefore never take corrective or preventive action to head them off. Left to themselves, these risks can become serious problems, snowballing into issues that can sometimes derail the entire project or cause significant cost and time explosions...something that's sure to make the customer (and the guy in the corner office) unhappy.

Over the course of this article, I'm going to discuss the basics of risk management, outlining the process by which project risks should be identified, analyzed, nullified and monitored. Much of this is extremely basic risk management theory, designed to give you a taste of the subject, and if you find it interesting or useful, I would strongly recommend investing in more detailed tomes on the subject.

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