5 Risks You Need to Know When Building Software


27 April 2021

Software Development

Agile Project Management


Building software is a high stakes, high reward adventure. Having the capacity to see what can go wrong is a desirable trait, since it gives you foresight to minimise the need for the project to be rescued.

Anyone involved in a software project should recognise the following risks during building, and practice habits that lead to a successful software product by the end of it. The worst-case scenarios for these risks we have seen and mitigated throughout the years, and bring you this article to help you do the same.

What risks can you run into?

Scope creep

Nearly every project has some degree of scope creep – sudden requests from customers or stakeholders can sometimes pull the carpet from under your feet, feeling an urgent need to add on “just this small thing” in the scope meeting.

What happens when you continue to add these “small things”? You get reverse Jenga – having a frame of the entire build, and then sneaking additional blocks in that shouldn’t be there, trying to stop the tower from toppling. Don’t hastily jump into addressing or ‘fixing’ these requests without proper digestion and a good discussion among your team. Assign a separate meeting to talk about whether these changes are necessary to implement, since they will play a huge part in affecting tasks and timelines in the scope.

It will also help you greatly to read up the 10 steps to take before starting an app to safeguard these occurrences.

Productivity issues

To make great tech, you need great people. Not great robots. Productivity risk can amplify through lack of resources, gaps in planning or even technical issues. This means processes are slowed down, or tasks are difficult to understand or implement efficiently.

Agile methodology has proven its effectiveness in breaking long projects into short milestones, minimising the chances of team members sitting on a task for too long or falling behind.

This is also when productivity tools like Jira come in handy for tracking tickets and comments. During any sort of development phase, time estimations are created for tasks to complete.

Employee turnover

It’s safe to say that there’s never a convenient time for an employee to resign. It can knock over other dominoes like resource allocation, project timelines and budgeting, which are just some examples that need to be re-stabilised during a critical transition phase.

It’s wise to focus your energy on damage control and solving the immediate problem at hand, but only to a certain degree. When these transitions happen, how many dominoes fall over?

If your answer is “all of them”, is the immediate answer to simply stand the dominoes back up and keep going? It’s the perfect time to perform an autopsy on things, like what may have caused their leave (if necessary), or whether the framework used is the most optimal and efficient for the team. You may find some interesting insights you previously were blind to.

Technical issues

In software development, one nugget of wisdom to keep with you is this: despite the need to predict as much of the process as possible, you will still have unpredictable problems. It’s still a considerable statistic that 32% of software projects fail due to poor management.

Risk management has entered the chat.

Monitoring, impact and remediation are some top technical priorities that you should take into consideration and have optimal risk mitigation strategies for. The goal is to reduce these risks so that the cost of mitigation outweighs the potential benefit.

A couple of ways technical risks can manifest are through:

  • Constant changes in requirements in the software
  • Level of complexity of the project
  • Integrating modules can be too challenging within the project performance

There are many answers on the internet on preparing your product to survive in the market. We’ve given you the ultimate guide on how to set your product up for success, which you can download for free below.

Other external risks

Too far beyond any operational limit, these macro risks are usually unpredictable and sit outside of the immediate program. So, what can you do about it? Having a specialised business analyst on board allows them to sniff out the market and create plans B to Z, ready to throw in any backup ideas if the project is met with a fork in the road:

  • Changes in governing rules
  • Adjustments in customer product strategy and priority
  • The market is developing very rapidly
  • Sparse funding for continuous project development

As long as you have taken the time to prepare and cover all the potential risks that can occur during a software build, your project should be primed and ready to develop. Chat to us here so we can help you move forward.

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Shannon England

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