You and your team have worked months and months or even years on your project. You have been part of the project that has evolved from nothing to some thing real. It went through different life cycles of a software development. Now you have reached a point when your project is fully developed and is ready to be shipped to the client. What will be the future of the project? There can be only two possibilities: It can be a successful project or it can be a total failure. Well, you definitely do not want an unsuccessful project after all your hard work, commitment and dedication.  So, when handing off a project what are the risks involved and challenges faced ?

handoff

(Egeland, 2014)

Every project has some kind of risks. One of the biggest risks that is involved is delivering an incomplete product. Due to missing, incomplete or changing requirements and specifications, the end product may not align with the customer needs and this will dissatisfy the customer(Argento, 2009, p. 3). Another risk is delivering low quality product. If the software did not go through complete testing and validation, chances are it will carry too many bugs with it. Another risk is not meeting the scheduled expectations for delivery due to ineffective planning and managing.

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(Project Delivery Services)

Along with risks, there are some challenges faced by the project. The main challenge is getting the right project requirement to make sure it is aligned with stakeholder’s business needs. The other dilemma is to make decision about when to stop testing the software and release it to the customer(Yang et al, 2008, p.813). If there is any delay, it may result in a loss of market share (Yang et al, 2008, p.813). Another challenge is traceability that demonstrates responsiveness to customer(Grant, Five challenges of product delivery that kill results). It shows that whenever customers asks, you can point them to the code, docs, release, etc. Traceability lowers the risk of re-work. (Grant, Five challenges of product delivery that kill results).

So, can these risks be mitigated or even avoided ?  If you truly practice agile development in your project, risks can be identified and addressed early as agile development focuses on constant feedback, on going collaboration, conversation with stakeholders to clarify things and to make sure developers and testers get the information that they need(Grant, Five challenges of product delivery that kill results).  Team members can bring up any blockers or risks during the daily standup meeting. Sprint Retrospective is also a good opportunity to talk about things that needs improvement or to identify risks(Krishnamurthy, 2014, para. 6). “Agile fights overly optimistic schedules” (Thomas, 2008, para. 15).  “Agile Project Planning uses Agile Estimates and measured velocity to put together an empirically sound schedule” (Thomas, 2008, para. 15). Agile gives the ability to review, assess and improve current processes within each phase of the software delivery lifecycle(Argento, 2009, p. 6)

References:

Argento, R. (August 2009). Lowering business costs: Mitigating risk in the software delivery lifecycle.
Retrieved November 16, 2014 from
https://jazz.net/library/content/articles/insight/lowering-business-costs.pdf

Egeland, B. (21 October, 2014). Image of handing off project. Retrieved November 16, 2014 from
http://blog.aecsoftware.com/

Grant, T. Five challenges of product delivery that kill results[Video file]. Retrieved November 16, 2014 from
http://www.jamasoftware.com/five-challenges-product-delivery-recorded-webinar/

Krishnamurthy, V. (2014, April 18). Managing Risk in an Agile Project. Retrieved November 16, 2014 from
http://www.techwell.com/2014/04/managing-risk-agile-project

Project Delivery Services [Online Image]. Retrieved November 16, 2014 from
http://www.eurotherm.com/products/programmable-automation-controller-system/project-delivery-services/

Thomas, S. (28 May, 2008). Agile Risk Management. Retrieved November 16, 2014 from
http://itsadeliverything.com/agile-risk-management

Yang, B., Hu, H. & Jia, L.,  “A Study of Uncertainty in Software Cost and its Impact on Optimal Software Release Time”, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 34, no. 6, November/December 2008       http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4553721

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