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risk management in agile vs traditional

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Agile teams traditionally do not use any kind of intentional risk management approach as the very nature of the agile project tends to help address risk and communications.  But don’t let the nature of agile projects be the cause for not doing risk management.  Failure to infuse risk management into the daily or sprint cycles is a huge win for ensuring success or to help a team to stop spinning their wheels and focus on higher priority features. I personally have found that ignoring risk is a huge missed opportunity and tends to increase project costs by the team having to learn through failure.

Use the Short or Small Team Risk Evaluation workshops instead of the large planning session.  These shorter sessions helps to not only begin to ingrain risk planning and thinking in the team, but it also takes less time and helps to avoid time spent on risk analysis that may not occur once you start an iterative process.

Always keep the risk register visible and available to everyone.  SharePoint, Office 365 or using Wikis is an excellent approach.  Just centralize the information and make that collaboration portal (whatever it is) available to the wider team and stakeholders.

Working with agile teams is a very dynamic process and in many cases they are self-organized and very democratic. At Advisicon, we like to establish a role for one of the team as the “Risk Manager.”  Their responsibility is to help identify and to help prioritize and escalate risk steps, mitigation and contingency plans with the team and stakeholders

Don’t overthink risk ranking.  In many cases doing a team vote, or using an electronic tool to help simply weigh and rate them can help to eliminate the loudest voices in the room and to help engage the team in the analysis vs. championing their favorite risk.

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