Risk Management for Dedicated teams
Dedicated teams are the backbone of modern outsourced IT operations, but there are certain risks when working with them. Several risk management approaches exist to deal with the issue.
Risk management is the essential part of normal business operations. Every entrepreneur wants to ensure their ROI will be maximal and the business endeavors will succeed. Therefore, a clear understanding of risks and the ways to mitigate them is needed, along with the diligent monitoring of the operations for the first signs of approaching the crisis. This is especially important to maximize the advantages of dedicated teams, as the projects they partake in are often crucial for the business success, so minimizing the risks across the board is vital.
- Exceeding the planned deadlines and budgets. This is the most commonplace risk, as there are numerous factors that influence the longevity and cost of software development.
- Gradual loss of team productivity. People get tired of doing the same task over time, so a periodical change of targets is recommended. In short, it’s better to develop 10 features a year by completing one at a time, than stretching the development of 10 features in a bundle to a year.
- Developing the wrong product features and/or UI. Miscommunications and changes in requirements mid-development often lead to the final product being different in the way it looks and works from what was expected initially.
- Gold plating of the projects. This is another commonplace issue when the developers or the customer have bright ideas on how to improve the product even further during the development, thus exceeding the project scale.
- Changing the requirements frequently. This risk cannot be mitigated by the dedicated team. The customer himself must be sure of what he wants to receive as a result and not change the project requirements mid-development.
- Lack of declared skills or expertise. The team member might take a sick leave, a maternity leave or quit the team altogether. This might put the corresponding aspect of the project on halt until a replacement is found. The way to deal with this risk is ensuring your dedicated team has 2 specialists of each profile available to minimize the risk of stalling your project. This, of course, is possible only when working with a reputable Managed Services Provider, able to scale the teams upon request.
- A lengthy process of screening/shortlisting/onboarding for the team members. This risk is also always present due to the instability of the recruitment processes. Once again, working with one of the leaders of the IT outsourcing market can ensure the needed talents are either readily available or can be enlisted quickly.
- Lack of mutual trust, different corporate cultures, different time zones. The best way to gain trust in your dedicated team before even contacting them is checking for unbiased customer reviews on platforms like Clutch, Upwork or GoodFirms. This initial trust can later grow after shortlisting and interviewing the company, thus planting the basis for a strong long-term partnership. As for the cultural and time zone differences, outsourcing to Ukraine or other Eastern European countries allows solving these issues with ease.
These risks are always present, regardless of the professional level of the contractor you work with. Therefore, the goal of the risk management is evaluating these risks precisely and mitigating them according to one or more of preferred strategies.
Risk Management Strategies
We provide a brief explanation of the most widely used risk management strategies and best practices.
- DTRM concept. The Dedicated Team Risk Management concept emphasizes the importance of regular assessments of the situation to mitigate the risks, surrounding the software development process. Both the customer and the contractor’s dedicated team form the list of the risks likely to affect the project and monitor the situation regularly for the signs of these occurrences. If the periodic progress assessments show the signs of any risk surfacing, the team and the customer discuss and adopt the best way to avoid it.
- EBIOS. This is a French methodology for risk assessment when developing and maintaining the distributed infrastructure systems, concentrating on the security of operations. It is split into 5 stages:
— system context study, including the audit of the existing infrastructure,
— forming the security requirements checklist to ensure all the needs are met
— ongoing threats study to analyze the working conditions of the system
— identification of security objectives to allow choosing the best approach to meeting them
— determination of security requirements to account for the changes required to improve the system security
Applying this methodology provides traceability and transparency of ongoing system updates and DevOps workflows.
- ProRisk Framework. This is an open framework for risk assessment with multiple ready templates, that can be configured to fit any project scale and requirements. Despite the slightly steep learning curve, this method is suitable for medium and large scale software delivery projects.
- RiskIT method. This is a comprehensive method for risk management in IT projects.
This approach helps all the project stakeholders to take part in the ongoing assessment and control of the project workflows, enabling them to react to the changes in the situation at once.
- GDSD Risk management model. This is the risk management model for Geographically Distributed Software Development project. Oftentimes, the success of the project depends heavily on timely completion of various sub-projects, as well as on participants executing their roles diligently. Thus said, the most common approach to risk mitigation (especially in the case of IT Svit remote project management) is leaving it all to the Project Manager, who periodically assesses the progress of all tasks in the sub-projects and the main project, to make sure all the participants are going to meet the deadlines.
As you can see, there are quite a few risk management and mitigation approaches. The main point here is the need to assess the project progress adequately, communicate frequently and openly, as well as be willing to collaborate to ensure the project success.
Final thoughts on risk management for dedicated teams
The best way to mitigate the risks in remote software development is through frequent communication and collaboration between the customer and the contactor’s dedicated team. When the customer understands that making changes to the project specifications mid-development can render all the previous work useless — the risk of this event is significantly lower.
Based on IT Svit experience, the rest of the dedicated team project risks can be easily mitigated by adding 20% to the development estimates. This ensures there is sufficient time to deal with the majority of issues. This approach is justified by multiple 5-star IT Svit customer reviews on Clutch, which show our professionalism and praise the efficiency of our project management.
Would you like to experience the same approach for your business? We are always ready to assist!