Academic journal article International Management Review

Estimating Quality-Affecting Risks in Software Projects

Academic journal article International Management Review

Estimating Quality-Affecting Risks in Software Projects

Article excerpt


Regardless how much effort we make for the success of software projects, many software projects have very high failure rates and risks during their life. In addition to technical risks, the projects normally suffer from risks caused by management practices and conflicts of interests. Risk is not always avoidable, but it is controllable. The aim of this paper is to improve quality of software projects of the participating companies while estimating the quality-affecting risks in IT software projects. The results showed that there were 40 common risks in software projects of IT companies in Palestine. The amount of technical and non-technical difficulties was very large. Our data showed, once again, that most of the risks were very important. The study has been conducted on a group of managers to improve the probability of project success.

[Keywords] software project management; risk management; quality software; risk factors


Despite much research and progress in the area of software project management, software development projects still fail to deliver acceptable systems on time and within budget. Much of the failure could be avoided by managers pro-actively planning for and dealing with risk factors, rather than waiting for problems to occur and then trying to react. Project management and risk management have been proposed as solutions to preserving the quality and integrity of a project by reducing cost escalation. Risk is an uncertainty that can have a negative or positive effect on meeting project objectives. Risk management is the process of identifying, analyzing, and controlling risk throughout the life of a project to meet the project objectives (Schawlbe, 2005).

In the process of understanding the factors that contribute to software project success, risk is becoming increasingly important. This is a result of the size, complexity, and strategic importance of many of the information systems currently being developed.

The importance of software quality has been increasing for the last decade. In order to measure software quality, many metrics and methodologies have been proposed. Among them, the number of residual problems is frequently used, since it is easily understandable and deeply concerned with the needs in the software development organization. Also, development of a system or a software product should be supported by an appropriate quality plan to implement quality in processes for the development of systems and software (Kenett & Baker, 2010).

However, improving the overall development process is more desirable for achieving high software quality. For instance, constructing rigid specifications, introducing review activities, and determining feasible development plans (Mizuno, et al., 2002). Quality engineering is to ensure software quality through related validation and verification activities. These activities need to be carried out by the people and organizations responsible for developing and supporting software systems in an overall quality engineering process (Sun, 2010).

A software project's success can suffer due to the poor quality of its deployed software products and today, quality is still commonly managed on an ad hoc basis; research into software engineering projects indicates that software can use quantitative approaches to manage quality by using techniques and estimates to decide whether to release or to conduct additional tests (Li, et al., 2007). Despite many software projects' failures, there is importance in software process and software usage; quality-related issues have been relatively little treated in research and literature. We analyzed SDLC, popular software development methodologies, and showed risks in all phases.

Quality models based on results analysis, documents, questionnaires, and data for databases assist in estimating the quality of software through determination of risks that were common to the majority of software projects in the analyzed software companies. …

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