Managing Risks in Digital Development
During the development period of any digital product, change and compromise are always inevitable.
Though these variables can offer opportunities to better refine your work, or an instance for your teams to come together in collaborative problem solving, they can also present challenges, risks and potential issues to the overall continuity of the project.
There are a variety of risks that may occur during the development of digital solutions, and, though it is challenging to identify every potential risk (however large or small), considering those that would be most damaging to your project prior to development can save you time, money, and a whole lot of stress.
So, how do we approach risk management, and how can we use this as an opportunity to build a better picture of our project?
Here at 6B, we present trade-offs clearly and objectively. This allows all members of the development team to digest the project holistically and realistically.
We approach all of our work with Agile Dependability, which is supported by Practical Engineering – these approaches allow us to remain completely flexible to change throughout the project’s lifecycle.
During the initial project scoping phase, we’ll consider what risks are most likely to appear as well as how many issues they may independently cause, and how best we can mitigate their effect. Risks can include:
Time Management – Delivering on-time is as important for you as it is the client. Dragging projects beyond their deadline can be expensive and frustrating, and could even mean that your client sacrifices important opportunities and events. There are lots of reasons why you could run over, and not considering all factors from initial kick off can be damaging.
Resources – This relates to a variety of things including your team numbers, equipment, available software and more. Events like staff leave can be unpredictable and will mean that your remaining team will have to adapt the value they offer the project.
Scalability and Buildability – You’ve built a nice-looking and highly usable solution, but how long until it’s tools and function fall behind? Scalability and buildability concern how future-proof your solution is and is critical to maintaining a good, long-term relationship with clients.
Cost Effective – Budget will nearly always be at the top of your client’s priority list, but it should also be a priority for you. Late projects, demand for resources and unexpected breaks and issues can be costly for both parties. Your solution should be strategically priced and intelligently designed. Being creative can be the most cost-effective solution during development.
Appealing to All Audiences – If developing a customer-facing website, multiple audiences will interact with it, and content must be relevant to their requirements. The navigation and search functionality, therefore, will be critical to the overall success of the user experience. A negative user experience can risk “switching off” users.
So how can we prevent these risks from jeopardising our projects? How you approach mitigation will always be unique to the individual project, but we have 4 tried-and-tested methods that are pretty universal:
- Tackle risks immediately and continue to track them throughout the project. Don’t let anything sit – it may cause more damage
- Track your projects diligently and honestly with time-tracking software or equivalent. This means that all member of your team and your client have visibility on the project’s development against your deadlines.
- Work collaboratively with those around you. If you have an issue you can’t solve, ask around and don’t be afraid to work with your clients when working around potential issues.
- Being transparent with your client is key to maintaining a good relationship. Some issues can’t be foreseen so remain calm and honest.