Software development inherently carries with it a number of risk. Can you figure out the technology in time? Will the customer change the requirements? Will a competitor release a new product before you can get to market?
Student software projects carry similar risks. What if someone drops the class? What if our entire team is too busy during a given week due to other classes? We have never used Django… or Heroku… or Travis-CI… what do we do?
The basics of risk management follow a simple cycle:
- Identify - What is the risk and how does it affect your project?
- Analyze - What is the cost of the risk if it occurs and how likely is it to occur?
- Prioritize - How much should you care about this risk?
- Plan - What are you going to do if the risk comes to fruition?
- Mitigate - How can you reduce the possibility or impact of the risk?
- Monitor - What aspects of your project / team should you keep an eye on?
Working on a new project with people you might not know can cause some level of anxiety and feelings of uncertainty and stress. It’s okay to have those feelings! They are natural! Be proactive as much as you can about the risks in the project to help you with those feelings and give you a higher chance of success!