“Common Project Risks and Agile Mitigations, Part 6, Quality & Stakeholders” from an Old Blog

  • general lack of focus on quality (i.e., assurance and control), leading to critical problems where quality and reliability end up being unacceptably poor.
  • No practical way to show software meets non-functional criteria (i.e., “ilities”) or that the delivered software will “work” for the user.
  • Misunderstanding of the role of quality assurance, giving it a secondary status to other activities and viewing it as just being about testing.
  • the insistence on working software as the actual measure of progress (and success) on a project;
  • early and frequent demonstration of functionality to the customer;
  • clear acceptance criteria that define what it means for functionality to be “done.”
  • Lack of sufficient user input/involvement leading to or as a result of most requirements coming from management or other user “proxies” who do not (or rarely) use the existing system.
  • Stakeholders unable to agree on answers related to requirements, resources, etc. and the consequences of these things, who then “paper over their differences” early on, pushing problems into development where they are revealed when software implementation concerns demand a specific answer.
  • Fear that project threatens their job: their influence (even working conditions) in the organization because many software projects result in one group assuming power and another losing it.
  • Stakeholders who are partners on this project may be competitors in other areas.

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