Software Project Survival Guide

Sample Top 10 Risks List

This week Last Week Weeks on List Risk Risk Resolution Progress
 1  1  5 Creeping requirements
  • User interface prototype used to gather high-quality requirements.
  • Requirements specification has been placed under explicit change control.
  • Staged delivery approach will be employed to provide some ability to change features if needed.
 2  5  5 Requirements or developer gold-plating
  • Vision statement specifies what is not included in software.
  • Design emphasis placed on minimalism.
  • Reviews have checklist item to check for "extra design or implementation."
3 2  4 Released software has low quality
  • User interface prototype developed to assures users will accept software.
  • Disciplined development process is used.
  • Technical reviews are used on all requirements, designs, and code.
  • Test planning assures all functionality will be covered by system testing.
  • System tests are performed by independent testers.
 4  7  5 Unachievable schedule
  • Project avoids making schedule commitment prior to completing requirements specification.
  • Upstream reviews are used to detect and correct problems when it is least expensive to do so.
  • Schedule is reestimated several times over the course of the project.
  • Active project tracking assures that any schedule slips will be detected early.
  • Staged delivery allows for delivery of partial functionality even if whole project takes longer than expected.
 5  4  2 Unstable tools delay schedule
  • Only one or two new tools are used on this project; remainder have been used on previous projects.
 6  -  1 High turnover
  • Project vision encourages developer buy-in.
  • Active, detailed project planning creates clear expectations.
  • Periodic reestimation supports revised plans to account for changes in scope without massive overtime.
  • Productivity environment supports high developer productivity, high motivation, and high retention.
 7  3  5 Friction between developers and customers
  • User interface prototype aligns developers and customers on same detailed vision.
  • Staged deliveries provide customers with evidence of steady progress.
 8  6  5 Unproductive office space
  • Will move development to off-site environment with private offices after completing user interface prototype.
  • Still need budget approval for conducting project off-site.