Top Custom Software Development Risks and Their Mitigations
Posted on May 15, 2018 By Vishal Virani
As easy and effortless as it sounds, custom software development complex and requires you as the developer to juggle through various tasks simultaneously. From choosing the technology to understanding the user to studying the market and even the existing systems, the developers have to face tough situations while managing the custom solution. If not done carefully, it can pose to be a potential risk for the company. The investment can be a total waste, if the end product does not work out to be the way you wanted, and your reputation is at stake.
While this risk will remain, there are a few others that can be reduced or removed, depending on the need. We will, here discuss these risks in software development, and help you out with ways in which you can reduce them.
Experience in software development
Does the client you are working for have an understanding of the software development process? Do they have any experience of being involved in the software development? If you are dealing with an altogether new client, they may not know what they want from the software solution. The requirements may not be clear in this case, and the risk increases.
You may have to be involved in this case. Sit with the client, understand what they are expecting, listen to their idea, and finally voice your thoughts. You will need to provide them with inputs from a software perspective and train them a bit into the development process for a fulfilling experience.
Maintaining the software requires experience, and if your client does not have the requisite experience, you may want to train them or help them hire a dedicated resource who will help maintain the software solution. The new hire will be responsible for stating upgrades and update needs for the software solution.
Presence of legacy systems
Developing an altogether new system is easier than developing a system that is connected to an existing system. If your client’s existing system is written in a coding language that is not modern, and requires to be integrated with the new system you are working up, you might face some basic issues. If you identify this need late in the development stage, you may risk changing the whole process for building the new system.
You might want to consider talking about this right at the start, as this will not only affect the end solution but also the choice of technology.
Insights into security
When you are dealing with software development, security is a major concern. This runs deeper when you are working on a custom solution. You will need to understand the security requirements posed by the client in detail. You should ask them about the data that poses threats.
As a developer you should consider strict and standard practices when developing custom solutions for high security data needs. You should have a security test plan, which will help you understand the security loopholes that still need to be fixed. You might want a third party to conduct the security test on the software solution you have developed.
Detailing the final product
It is important that you understand a bit of the business goal before you start developing the product. Who is responsible for hosting? Where is the final product going to be hosted? How many users are going to access the product? How are the users going to access the product developed? Getting answers to these questions will help you with deployment, and ensuring quick access to the product. It is always a good idea to involve the IT department at client side early on for a better deployment process.
The stakeholder prominence
As a developer, your job is to ensure that the goal is indeed unified. You may not want to keep changing the context of the solution you are developing. That’s why you should ideally start with knowing the stakeholders involved in the project, and their stakes. You should also find out if they have a common goal or not.
If there are many people involved in the software solution you are developing, you need to update every one of them with the progress of the software solution. An insight into the stakeholders will give you an idea on how big a team you will need to support the stakeholders involved. This support team will make sure the development team is not troubled with questions, and they will keep the client in the loop.
Data migration and integration
It is important that you ask the client, at the initial stage itself, if they want data migrated from their existing system or not. The data migration is a major task and can take anywhere between several days to months, depending on the data type and the system. If, both the old and the new systems have to run simultaneously, the data migration becomes complex. The earlier you know, the better customization you can offer.
Similarly, it is important for you to know if the system that you are developing needs to be integrated with external systems. The complexity goes higher if that’s the case. If there is a commercially documented API available for the project, the risk is slightly less, as compared to a project that has been custom developed.
New requirements during development
This is a major risk that can stall your development or cause major complexities in the process. A tight scope and well-defined project is out in the market sooner than a project that introduces new or hidden requirements while the development is in progress. Not only is the time to develop increased, it also reduces the quality and increases the complexity of development. Make sure you have a target set for the release of the project and a tighter scope to avoid this situation.
Coming to an end
Finally, you need to make sure you are offering value to the organization with the idea they brought to you and the solution you are offering. If at any point, you believe there is no value addition, make sure you mention it and do not initiate the project development.
The payment terms and the overall cost should be clearly communicated so that there is complete transparency. Payment is another aspect which can pose to be a major risk for the custom development projects.
Coruscate is a custom software development company and has been offering simple custom solutions to complex problems. We dive into the details before validating the idea and offering the solution. A simple yet quality approach helps us steer ahead of competition. Connect with us with your idea and we will transform it into beautiful solutions.
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