While the base processes are fundamentally the same, managing risk in an agile environment is approached differently. This video discusses those differences and how you can maximize your risk management effectiveness in an agile environment.
- Ever have the feeling you've experienced something before like your life history is repeating itself? When you're managing risk on an agile project, that's the case and it's absolutely fantastic. The iterative nature of an agile project is ideal for risk management if you have the right mindset. Here are my recommendations for performing risk management in an agile environment. First, understand that by design risks will change more rapidly in an agile environment.
At the end of every sprint you may add, delete, or reprioritize features. This flexibility in providing functionality for the client is great, but it also changes the risk profile for your upcoming sprint and potentially the entire project. For example, let's say you're working on a project to create an executive dashboard for your company. The dashboard will provide your senior management team with critical information about financial status, competitors' performance, and sales projections.
Each feature that is produced could surface risks such as ensuring that data retrieved for the dashboard is up-to-date, information is from the same timeframe when combined with other datasets, ensuring search capabilities for the executives will yield the intended report. As the executives use each feature and ask for new capabilities, the chances of these risks increasing or other risks surfacing is very high. Diligence in managing these rapidly changing risks is critical.
The second characteristic is fortunately that risks can be revisited naturally due to the agile life cycle. Given the dashboard project that I've just shared with you, at the end of each sprint the backlog of features will be reviewed and reprioritized. This is a very convenient and appropriate time to revisit risk. New features, the sequence used to produce features, and reviewing the results of features already produced are a great source of potential risk going forward.
Taking time at the end of each sprint to review risk should be part of the habits your agile team uses to manage your project. Third, risks can be assessed frequently. As agile sprints are typically only a few weeks long, reviewing risks at the end of each sprint creates a risk management culture within the project. In our project example, the project team and executives that are using the dashboard can discuss risks while the information is fresh.
So the concept of risk management is kept front of mind while progressing the project. Leveraging the agile life cycle to control your risk is one of the greatest benefits agile brings to project management. Take full advantage of this, as it's a prudent way to ensure risks are known and addressed during your project. I guess it's one of those instances where history repeating itself is a good thing.
Note: This course follows the latest guidance from Project Management Institute, Inc., as outlined the PMBOK® 6 Guide.
- Explore why dealing with risks needs to be part of the everyday process used to manage a project.
- Learn to outline the most common, pragmatic approaches to identifying risks specific to a project.
- Recall methods for qualifying and quantifying your risks to determine specific risks and manage their costs.
- Examine the primary considerations for a project risk plan and what components should be included in every plan.
- Assess techniques that help you identify the overall risk a project presents to your business.
- Examine several risk analysis and filtering examples that help ensure you've addressed individual risks properly on your project.