What is Product risk in software testing?

Product risk is the possibility that the system or software might fail to satisfy or fulfill some reasonable expectation of the customer, user, or stakeholder. (Some authors also called the ‘Product risks’ as ‘Quality risks’ as they are risks to the quality of the product.)

The product risks that can put the product or software in danger are:

  • If the software skips some key function that the customers specified, the users required or the stakeholders were promised.
  • If the software is unreliable and frequently fails to work.
  • If software fail in ways that cause financial or other damage to a user or the company that user works for.
  • If the software has problems related to a particular quality characteristic, which might not be functionality, but rather security, reliability, usability, maintainability or performance.

Two quick tips about product risk analysis:
First, remember to consider both likelihood of occurrence of the risk and the impact of the risk. While you may feel proud by finding lots of defects but testing is also about building confidence in key functions. We need to test the things that probably won’t break but would be very bad if they did.

Second, early risk analysis, are often educated guesses. At key project milestones it’s important to ensure that you revisit and follow up on the risk analysis.