9 Software Development Risks and How We Overcome Them 


9 Software Development Risks and How We Overcome Them 

Written by:

SashaContent Manager

Sasha the Creator

Published on:

Read time:

14 min read



Navigating the intricate landscape of software development comes with its fair share of potential pitfalls. From technical glitches to communication breakdowns, these risks can derail a project and lead to delays, cost overruns, and unsatisfied stakeholders.

However, by identifying and addressing these risks early on, software development teams can mitigate their impact and ensure the successful delivery of a project. In this article, we explore 9 common software development risks and discuss mitigation strategies, topping them up with our practice. Let's set your project on a path of minimal obstacles and maximum results!

On the spot

Almost no software development (especially in large scales like enterprise) is without challenges. And these are the risks that may arise:

Risk 1: Lack of clear requirements and goals
Risk 2: Poor project planning and management
Risk 3: Code issues
Risk 4: Inadequate testing and debugging
Risk 5: Dependency on third-party libraries and tools
Risk 6: Infrastructure failures
Risk 7: Resource allocation
Risk 8: Lack of developers
Risk 9: Technology obsolescence

But they can be easily dealt with. How? Dive into our article and we'll tell you how we avoid such scenarios!

What Are Software Development Risks?

What are software development risks

At its core, software development is a complex process of problem-solving, innovation, and iteration. 

Software development risks, then, are the potential obstacles and challenges that can interfere with the successful completion or deployment of a project. They can arise either in-house or when outsourcing services (For more information on both in-house and outsourcing development check out the article "In-House Vs Outsourcing: Which Software Development Approach is Better?").

These risks could manifest as technical hurdles, like engineering errors or compatibility issues, or even as logistical and management challenges, such as shifting project requirements or team communication breakdowns. 

If left unchecked, these risks can escalate, leading to delays, cost overruns, or a compromised end product. Therefore, understanding them is essential for any team or individual venturing into software development. Through proactive identification and mitigation, developers can transform these challenges into opportunities for growth and refinement.

Ensure Smooth Software Performance

Ready to craft stellar software solutions?

Contact Us background-img

Common Software Development Risks

Risk 1: Lack of Clear Requirements and Goals

Lack of goals - software development risks

Software development is a multifaceted process, and its success often hinges on clarity at every stage. An all-too-common pitfall is embarking on this journey without well-defined requirements and goals. When such critical aspects are nebulous, the consequences can be dire. 

  • Firstly, developers might find themselves building functionalities that, while technically sound, don't align with the project's original intent. 
  • Secondly, without a clearly defined set of requirements, it becomes difficult to estimate project costs and timelines accurately. This can lead to budget overruns and project delays.
  • Furthermore, unclear goals make it impossible to evaluate whether the project has been successful or not, as there is no clear metric to measure against.

How we do it

A proactive approach is paramount. From the beginning of our partnership, before diving into development, we engage in comprehensive discussions with our Clients to ascertain and document the project's specifics.  We hold meetings to clarify all of their wishes, specifications, goals, and project vision down to the smallest detail.

We use tools such as requirement management systems and prototyping that are invaluable in visualizing and refining goals. Moreover, we foster a culture of open communication and feedback with Clients. 

Risk 2: Poor Project Planning and Management

Poor planning - software development risks

Poor project planning can lead to missed deadlines, budget overruns, and ultimately, a subpar product. Without a solid project plan in place, developers may struggle to understand their roles and responsibilities, resulting in decreased productivity and a higher chance of errors. 

Insufficient management may result in team members working in different directions, misallocation of resources, and lack of progress tracking. 

The cumulative impact can be a software development project that spirals out of control, resulting in disgruntled stakeholders, frustrated developers, and possibly, outright failure. 

Our approach

At SENLA, we start with defining the project's scope, deliverables, and timeline, and ensuring that all our team members understand their roles and responsibilities. Our project managers establish effective communication channels to ensure everybody is well-informed and receives the necessary guidance and support. PMs fully manage our teams and report to the Client at the end of each sprint during Friday demos.

We use methodologies like RUP, Agile, and Scrum to organize tasks, allocate resources, and monitor developers’ progress. Read more about the most popular models (and the ones we use) in our article "Top 10 software development models in a nutshell")

Our success stories are direct evidence of our approach to project management.

Risk 3: Lack of Developers

Lack of developers - software development issues

The demand for skilled software developers has grown exponentially as digital transformation sweeps across industries. 

However, this surge has led to a stark reality: the potential scarcity of experts for burgeoning projects. A deficiency in development talent can have dire consequences for a software project. 

Without enough engineers, the workload can become overwhelming, leading to delays in deliverables and even compromising the quality of the software. Overworked developers are more likely to miss nuances or commit errors. In addition, when the team lacks expertise and experience, there is a higher chance of making crucial mistakes that can be costly to fix later on.

How we do it

We invest in training and upskilling both current and incoming developers to cultivate the best talents. We create a positive and favorable working atmosphere in the team, and support courses and internships for employees, which contributes to the retention of talented specialists. In this way, our 600+ technical experts are super motivated and work for the benefit of both SENLA and our Clients.

Among the ways we create comfort for our staff is using one of our proven team models — The SENLA Unit — a project pod with a senior developer, middle developers, and junior developers. 

Our senior expert manages internal processes, deals with daily routines, handles communication with Сlients, determines the architecture for project solutions, and ensures quality control

Middle-level developers are our highly skilled professionals who are fully self-sufficient in completing various project tasks. 

Additionally, we engage junior developers who independently perform simple tasks and help others close complex ones so as not to distract their senior colleagues. 

Risk 4: Code Issues

Code issues - development risks

Software, at its essence, is built upon lines of code, making its quality fundamental to the overall product. Yet, the intricacies of engineering often lead developers into a quagmire of issues. 

From minor bugs to major system failures and performance vulnerabilities, code issues can compromise software functionality, security, and reliability. They can erode user trust, hamper the software's performance, or even lead to data breaches. 

Additionally, code issues may arise due to insufficient or inadequate documentation, making it challenging for developers to understand and modify the code.

Moreover, rectifying these problems post-launch can be resource-intensive, both in terms of time and money. As code becomes more complex, the likelihood of hidden issues or unintended interactions also grows.

Our approach

We always implement robust engineering standards and best practices to ensure consistency and reduce error-prone complexities. Our experts regularly perform code reviews and automated testing. It helps them identify and rectify potential problems before they escalate to minimize code-related risks in software development.

Risk 5: Infrastructure Failures

Infrastructure failures

In the realm of software development, the stability of the underlying infrastructure is as vital as the software code itself. When infrastructure fails, the domino effects are immediate and severe. 

Downtime can disrupt user experience, leading to financial losses and eroding trust. Worse still, infrastructure challenges can result in data loss, endangering both business operations and user confidence. 

Such failures might arise from unreliable hosting services, hardware malfunctions, or unforeseen calamities like cyber-attacks or natural disasters. The ripple effects of these challenges can extend beyond the immediate, impacting long-term user retention and brand reputation. 

How we do it

At SENLA, we invest in reliable and reputable hosting services, both in-house and in the cloud, to ensure a stable foundation for our Client’s software. In addition, upon our Client's request, we provide post-launch maintenance services and allocate a support team that resolves any issues that arise.

We always prioritize security as a key element and adhere to strict data protection protocols like ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and HIPAA. We also sign non-disclosure agreements to guarantee the protection of your project.

Going further, we provide project insurance to grant our Clients legal protection against any force majeures. The insurance covers all potential problems so they do not suffer any losses in case anything happens.

Risk 6: Inadequate Testing and Debugging

Bad testing

As software is developed and refined, the role of testing and debugging becomes paramount in ensuring its functionality and reliability. However, skimping on these crucial phases can open a Pandora's box of problems. 

Inadequate testing may allow critical bugs or performance issues, or security vulnerabilities to slip through, jeopardizing the software's integrity and reputation. Launching a product riddled with issues can lead to user dissatisfaction, tarnish the brand image, and even result in costly post-release patches or legal repercussions.

How we do it

Working on a project, our team uses various types of testing, such as functional, performance, security, regression, etc. to ensure the software's robustness. Additionally, employing automated testing tools and scripts helps us streamline the QA process and catch potential issues more efficiently.

Another technique we implement is a CI/CD strategy, which involves continuously testing and debugging the code as it is developed and integrated into the larger product (mostly depending on the methodology we use). 

With this approach we proactively detect bugs and fix them, reducing the risk of releasing software with numerous unresolved issues.

We talk more about testing in our article "A Comprehensive Guide to Outsourced Software Testing"

Risk 7: Dependency on Third-party Libraries and Tools

Third-party tools

In the quest to expedite development and leverage existing solutions, many developers turn to third-party libraries and tools. While these external resources can be invaluable, they can also introduce an array of risks to the software. 

Dependencies on third-party libraries can become obsolete, or their maintainers may abandon them, leading to potential compatibility and security issues in the future. There's also the ever-present risk of hidden vulnerabilities within these libraries that can compromise the software's security or functionality. Moreover, licensing complications with third-party tools can pose challenges regarding software ownership and distribution rights. 

How we do it

Before using a third-party library (if necessary to apply), our experts check the tool's reputation, frequency of updates, and existing user feedback. SENLA’s developers also maintain a level of abstraction in their code, ensuring that core functionalities aren't tightly coupled to specific libraries. Also, periodic audits of all external tools and libraries highlight potential vulnerabilities or licensing conflicts. 

All our developers are well-versed in terms of software licensing to prevent Clients from having any legal issues with code rights.

Risk 8: Resource Allocation

Resource allocation

Resource allocation is a critical aspect of project management that can pose various risks if not handled effectively. When mismanaged, teams may find themselves stretched thin, leading to employee burnout and diminished productivity.

Moreover, improper distribution of tasks or overloading certain team members can result in missed deadlines, threatening the project's timeline and potentially inflating costs. The ripple effects of such challenges can lead to compromised software quality, strained client relationships, and a demotivated development team. It's evident that resource allocation is a delicate balancing act, carrying significant implications. 

Our approach

Every person working at SENLA is indeed our nurtured expert. There is no shady recruitment to cater to our Clients' requests at our company. 

This gives us an immense advantage over almost any competitor - we perfectly know each of our team member's strengths and weaknesses. By accurately assessing a project's demands, we can distribute tasks more equitably, maximizing efficiency.

We also continuously monitor the team's capacity through regular check-ins and status updates. This way, we can increase productivity even more by identifying where and how workflows can be improved. We also share this information with our Clients, ensuring transparency and keeping them on track of their projects.

Risk 9: Technology Obsolescence

Technology obsolescence

The specter of technology obsolescence looms large, threatening to render projects outdated even before they're completed. The risk manifests when developers, either due to familiarity or inertia, continue using tools or languages that are on the brink of becoming obsolete. 

This can lead to software that's harder to maintain, lacks compatibility, or misses out on the benefits of newer technologies. Furthermore, software built on outdated foundations may struggle to integrate with modern systems, reducing its scalability and adaptability. 

How we do it

At SENLA, we regularly review our technologies, ensuring it aligns with all modern standards and best practices. Our specialists are constantly developing, undergoing certifications, attending tech conferences, and participating in developer forums to gain insights into emerging technologies and trends. 

We’ve accumulated more than 5000 mandays of development in all latest technologies. We choose the most suitable ones for our Clients' projects, providing the most personalized and innovative solutions. 

We encourage our developers to experiment with new tools or languages, so our Clients can stay ahead of the curve.

The Bottom Line

Software development, while a transformative endeavor, comes replete with a myriad of risks, as explored throughout this article — from ambiguous requirements and resource constraints to external threats and stakeholder complexities. 

However, the essence of successful software development hinges on proactive risk management. By anticipating potential pitfalls and preparing for them, you can navigate the turbulent waters of software creation with greater confidence and efficacy. 

Whether you want to get started with software development or continue an ongoing project, fill out the form below! We will gladly answer all your questions.


Long-term focus

We aim to become your rock-solid business partner fortifying you with exceptional technology expertise and perfect execution. And we approach this in all seriousness. We won’t try to drag you into cooperation at all costs just to make money from you (for example by lying that we have whom you need and meanwhile just hunting them).

Experienced teams with a profound knowledge

We offer software development in a wide array of industries and technologies. If you need a team whose knowledge you can trust, SENLA is a great choice with hundreds of projects under our belts.

Reduced bureaucracy

By partnering with us, you free yourself from extensive hiring and onboarding routines and take the enormous strain off you, your in-house staff, and your resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of services do you provide? Is it outstaffing, outsourcing or custom software development?

All of them! Understanding the market needs, we’re offering all 3 engagement models to accommodate for all of the needs you might have, from just reinforcing your team to fully developing a solution from scratch.

What strategies do you implement to prevent scope creep during the development process?

We begin with a detailed requirements gathering phase, clearly document it and hold regular checkpoints with Clients, ensuring alignment and timely adjustments if a project’s needs evolve.

How do you ensure that the software doesn't contain critical security vulnerabilities?

We prioritize security at every development phase by following the best practices, performing regular security audits, and using up-to-date tools and frameworks, ensuring the final product is as secure as possible. You can find out more about our approach to software security in our article "How To Ensure Cyber Security In Software Development: 12 best practices for outsourcing".

What if the requirements change during the process? How flexible are you to changes?

A Client’s satisfaction is the top priority for us. We support all actual software development models, so whatever your requirements are, on whatever conditions — be sure we can accommodate.
Our engagement models are also highly flexible for scaling. For example, our offshore development center can give out up to 100 experts per year! All we need to change conditions in a 1-month prior notice and that’s it.

Request an offer

More than seven hundred technical experts are ready to work

Contact info

Help me with:optional