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Risks Involved In Development: Is It Worth Taking A Risk?

  • Rating — 5 (15 votes)
  • by Alexandra Rostovtseva
  • Updated on February 26, 2020
  • Read —
    9-10 minutes

Just like any business process, web and mobile development involves a number of risks. Sometimes, the number gets so big that you begin to wonder if it’s even worth the effort. Each risk, whether it relates to mobile or web development, can be backed up and managed. If it is not eliminated, it can still be turned into a “positive risk” (positive risks meaning). At GBKSOFT, we have developed an intensive risk management system. Here are some risks you may ask yourself and some solutions that we can provide to you.

  1. Risk #1: What Do I Want?
  2. What do I do if I have this risk?
  3. Risk #2: Technical Specifications
  4. App Development Deadlines
  5. App Development Resources
  6. App Development Costs
  7. Risk #4: The Wind of Change
  8. Risk #5: Communication

Development Risk #1: What Do I Want?

The first thing you should do is understand what you want to develop. The risk grows and the chances of the app becoming successful drop to minimum if you don’t know what you want to receive in the end, why you even need it, or how you will benefit from it.

What do I do if I have this risk?

The risk of knowing what you want is one that can easily be resolved. You can turn to GBKSOFT to help you prepare the specifications and describe the whole idea, or you can try doing some homework before turning to our development company. Utilizing this small tip first will help you to answer and form the following ideas:

  • Define the main purpose that your app should resolve.
  • Define 5 other business purposes that your app should resolve.
  • Define the target audience of your app.
  • Analyze your target audience: Decide if you want to target users of Android, iOS, WEB, or everything, if they are female or male, their age range, etc.
  • Find apps similar to your idea and determine if they are similar or identical.
  • Look at the number of downloads your competitors receive to determine if it is popular.
  • Take a look at your competitor’s reviews: search for what people want to change in their app and discover what they like or don’t like.
  • Define how your app will be different from existing competitors. Write down the features that your competitors have and determine what you and their users like.
  • Write down the features that you would like to add.
  • How will you make money of it?
  • Will users pay for what you are going to sell?

By answering those questions, you will form a vision of your app. And when answering all other questions from our development team, keep in mind those goals that you defined. Any decisions you take should be based on those business goals.

Development Risk #2: Technical Specifications

Your idea needs to be fine-tuned into specifications that would be clear to developers. Development without specifications is not a risk that our team takes, nor do we suggest it to you. If you are working on “Time & Material,” you will spend lots of money by redoing what was already done. If you are working off a fixed price, it’s only a matter of time before you exceed your budget. Technical specifications allow us to understand the scope of the whole project at once, bringing proper architecture.

If you want to draw the wireframes yourself, it’s also a risk unless you have experience doing it because wireframes should be designed in a way that keeps the application both user-friendly and comfortable to use. Some tools that would be helpful for wireframing include:

Axure: This is the tool we use at GBKSOFT for wireframing. With it, you can make an interactive prototype with its sharing option and numerous widgets.

Balsamiq: This is a paid service that claims to give “rough” interfaces to encourage and provide lots of feedback.

Justinmind: This is a popular, paid solution for beginners.

What do I do if I have this risk?

We would recommend that you turn to a team of developers. In our company, the client is involved in this stage too, simply by working through each screen with us. We also have regular meetings where we provide suggestions and help the client come up with a final decision.

Development Risk #3: Resources/Budget/Deadlines

Do you remember a famous triangle?risk_post2

With that in mind, you need to select the section of the triangle that would fit your business goals:

  • If it’s a small prototype, it makes sense to select “Cheap” and “Good,” and then invest more into the project once you verified your idea with users.
  • If you just need a presentation for investors in order to acquire funding, it makes sense to get fast and cheap.
  • If you are looking for a high quality application, you need to be patient and go with expensive, good, and definitely not fast at all.

What do I do if I have this risk?

When you get a quote from the development team, check it against this drawing and make sure that you are critical to:

  • Your deadline
  • The budget you are willing to allocate
  • The development team you are hiring.

App Development Deadlines

Find out what timelines the development team is comfortable with and see if it’s better to agree to those timelines, but get better quality. Select the deadline together with the team, instead of pushing for tight deadlines that can affect results.

App Development Resources

Use the following resources when searching for your app dev team:

  • See the reviews of the team you plan on working with (Clutch is a reliable resource for it). Ask for references and a portfolio.
  • Check if they provide a specifications stage (all good companies provide it). If they don’t, see Risk #2.
  • Ask them to tell you about their process of development with the following questions:
    • Will I have access to the code? It’s better if they do provide it, so that if anything goes wrong, you have the code you paid for.
    • Will they provide test apps and links? It’s better if they do, so that you can track the progress.
    • Will you have a dedicated team? It’s better if they do because they won’t be distracted by other projects and will keep to the timelines they have promised.
    • How will the process of reporting and communications go? It’s better if they provide a dedicated project manager who will keep you up to date and communicate with you while the whole team is working.
    • Do you have experience in the development of similar apps? It’s better if they do, but a history of working with the features that you want in your app is good enough.

If you are satisfied will their answers, feel free to negotiate the quote. Remember that a reliable team with proven experience will usually cost more because they have a process in place. Turning to a freelancer or an unreliable company without references, reviews, or even a portfolio would have risks because the company could disappear when it feels that it can’t meet the terms you agreed to.

App Development Costs

Compare the timelines that you developed compared to the developer’s timeline, as well as the number of features you got from the expenses. If the cost is not what you expected, it’s not the end. You can still work with the budget. See our blog article on managing software development costs.

When you are reviewing the quote, make sure that the development team didn’t miss any functionality that both of you agreed to include in the app.

Already have an awesome app idea?

Development Risk #4: The Wind of Change

Even though agile development is very “agile” about the changes, it still has its limitations. All changes are re-estimated and planned for next milestone, sprint, or whatever you call it and are not introduced chaotically right here and right now.

What do I do if I have this risk?

Assess the number of changes you are giving to the team, including the following:

  • Do you evaluate those changes against business goals before their approval?
  • Assess how important they are on the scale of 1-10, where 10 ranks as extremely important. If they rank more than 7 points, request the estimate of change.
  • Make sure that the team estimates the changes and lets you know how the change affects the architecture of the app. Assess if the app needs it now on the same scale of 1-10 when you know how much the change would cost and how much effort it would take. If they rank more than 7 points, plan this change for the next milestone or release.

Development Risk #5: Communication

One of the biggest risks with app development is when the decision-maker is unavailable. This is especially true about clients who are busy with their regular business and are ordering the application as their second option for revenue.

Our team takes the major part of work and is always ready to make recommendations, but if there’s no person to make a decision, answer questions, make a payment, review the ready part, etc.; the risk of the app becoming something they didn’t intend it to be is very high. Therefore, communication is a risk factor that needs accounted for.

At the stage of specifications, the application’s development would take 50% of your time. The more time you allocate to it, the quicker this stage goes. Once the stage is over, we will need less of your attention. The release stage is another heavy stage that requires your involvement, since it will include lots of preparations, legal documentation, purchasing of services, etc.

What do I do if I have this risk?

In relation to the risk of not being available or having lack of communication on the app development, follow these suggestions:

  • Make sure you indicate the time when you are free for meetings with the project manager or the team.
  • Make sure you check emails regularly and provide answers to the team in time.
  • If you are not available or are going on a business trip, please provide a person of contact that can make decisions while you are away.


So in the end the table of risks looks like this: risk_post3

Click to the risks table Feel free to use the table of risks chart and fill in the rows with a ranking of 1-10 points.

Red risks are high ones, orange risks are medium, and yellow risks are low risks.

Once you are done filling it in, here’s a chart for you to identify how risky the development of your app is: Risk results 

If you have questions or suggestions on improving the risk system, feel free to leave your comments below the blog. We’ll be glad to hear from you!

Already have an awesome app idea?

Alexandra Rostovtseva Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.

Comments (3)

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May 18, 2018 at 4:40 PM

Thank you for this information. It is pretty interesting.

Dec 26, 2016 at 6:11 PM

I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also visit this blog on regular basis to take updated from most recent information.

Apr 14, 2017 at 10:37 AM

You bet!


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