Managing Risks: “An Overview” – Guest Post by Rajini Padmanaban

‘Risk’ is a word that we always carry with us at every phase – be it personal or professional. Whatever we do, wherever we go, risks always exist.

If we talk about business, there is a risk of failure; but at the same time, by taking the risks, there are chances of great success as well. We can’t avoid any future uncertainty; but yes, the impact of loss can be minimized by analyzing and planning the strategy to handle it in advance. This is Risk Management – identify/analyze the risks and then handle those risks in the best possible way by mitigating them.

In the world of IT industry, one of the biggest risk factors is when a software program, without testing and software quality assurance, is released to end users, and in case the application is error prone, the denouement is disastrous. Therefore, a risk mitigation plan must be in place to avoid the consequences of such software failure in the market.

In a broader sense, software quality assurance and testing itself is a risk mitigation strategy. Even after sufficient qa and testing, all risks are not purged, but the risks that will exist will be of low priority with minimum impact.

Below are the key points that are considered while managing the risks:

  • Identify the risks
  • Determine Criticality of risk, i.e. how severe will be the impact of risk, if it occurs
  • Take required actions on the risk, i.e. either mitigate the risk or accept it if it’s of low priority

After taking appropriate actions against critical risks, quality software is released to the customers with low priority risks called out as known issues.

Some of the typical strategies  to mitigate risks include:

  • Adding more trained resources to help enhance test coverage in the limited amount of time
  • Looking at automation strategies to created automated regression suites to catch bugs which might otherwise be missed in mundane manual testing
  • Empowering the team with productivity tools and utilities to help them better focus on the areas that are not very stable

Thus, probability or encountering of risks is not an alert; however, we need to make sure we take appropriate actions for the encountered risks and handle the consequences if they do occur. It is important to focus and proactively work on the impact of risks.

Rajini Padmanaban is Director Engagement – Global Testing Services at QA InfoTech specializing in writing insightful articles on quality testing, providing technical consultation. Find her resourceful articles on quality assurance over the web.