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Product and Project Risks

April 28 2019 , Written by Harry Published on #TESTER

Product and Project Risks

    Product risk involves the possibility that a work product (e.g., a specification, component, system, or test) may fail to satisfy the legitimate needs of its users and/or stakeholders. When the product risks are associated with specific quality characteristics of a product (e.g., functional suitability, reliability, performance efficiency, usability, security, compatibility, maintainability, and portability), product risks are also called quality risks. Examples of product risks include:

-     The software might not perform its intended functions according to the specification

-    The software might not perform its intended functions according to user, customer, and/or stakeholder needs

-   System architecture may not adequately support some non-functional requirement(s)

-    A particular computation may be performed incorrectly in some circumstances

-    A loop control structure may be coded incorrectly

-    Response-times may be inadequate for a high-performance transaction processing system

-    User experience (UX) feedback might not meet product expectations

Project risk involves situations that, should they occur, may have a negative effect on a project's ability to achieve its objectives. Examples of project risks include:
-    Project issues:

  • Delays may occur in delivery, task completion, or satisfaction of exit criteria or definition of done

  •  Inaccurate estimates, reallocation of funds to higher priority projects, or general cost-cutting across the organization may result in inadequate funding

  • Late changes may result in substantial re-work

-    Organizational issues:

  •  Skills, training, and staff may not be sufficient

  • Personnel issues may cause conflict and problems

  • Users, business staff, or subject matter experts may not be available due to conflicting business priorities

-    Political issues:

  • Testers may not communicate their needs and/or the test results adequately

  • Developers and/or testers may fail to follow up on information found in testing and reviews (e.g., not improving development and testing practices)

  • There may be an improper attitude toward, or expectations of, testing (e.g., not appreciating the value of finding defects during testing)

-    Technical issues:

  • Requirements may not be defined well enough

  • The requirements may not be met, given existing constraints

  • The test environment may not be ready on time

  • Data conversion, migration planning, and tool support may be late

  • Weaknesses in the development process may impact the consistency or quality of project work products such as design, code, configuration, test data, and test cases

  • Poor defect management and similar problems may result in accumulated defects and other technical debt

-    Supplier issues:

  • A third party may fail to deliver a necessary product or service or go bankrupt

  • Contractual issues may cause problems to the project

 Project risks may affect both development activities and test activities. In some cases, project managers are responsible for handling all project risks, but it is not unusual for test managers to have responsibility for test-related project risks.

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