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Product Risk


What is product risk?

Product risk is the risk related to the software product or application arising from its inability to perform as per the expectations of the user or the purpose for which it was developed. These are the potential and vulnerable areas of the software product, which may lead to its failure or prevents it to fulfil the customer's requirements and stand on their expectations.

Basically, it involves the risks pertaining to the functionality and performance aspect of the software product such as reliability, usability, security, maintainability, etc.

Some common product risks:

  • The likelihood of a software product missing out on an important function which formed part of the customer's specification.
  • The product suffers frequent breakdowns.
  • The failure or under performance of the product post installation can deal a fatal blow on the balance sheets of the company.

Why the term "product risk" appears in the software engineering?

Product risk is all about the event or action or weakness or gaps or condition or any such thing, which does not works in the favour of software product quality, and may badly strikes the quality of the developed software product. Few of them are:

  • Non-availability of the requirements either functional or non-functional.
  • Unclear or dubious requirements.
  • Missing functionality or requirement.
  • Disagreement between the development team and client or stakeholders over the requirements.

How to identify & measure the product risk?

To identify a product risk associated with the software product, a tester may go for the following steps:

  • Studying and analyzing each and every specifications and requirements.
  • Brainstorming or a simple, short session with the client or the stakeholders along with the developers to have a better insight of the software product.
  • Manage and use the software product from a user or customer point of view.

After identifying the product risks, these can be assigned the tags of 'Low', 'Medium' & 'High' based on their degree of severity to impact the quality of the software product and accordingly, prioritizing these risks to manage and test them.

How to mitigate the product risk?

An effective approach to lessen the product risk is the risk based testing.
It is a testing approach to prioritize the test cases and organize the efforts to be required in testing based on the likelihood of the defects in the software product, i.e. functionalities or features, which are likely to be most affected by a bug or defect is tested with the priority as sometimes it may not be possible to consider all functionalities or features under the test.