Risk Mitigation with Agile Methodologies for Project Managers

June 3, 2016

Risk Mitigation using SCRUM and Agile Methodologies Every planned activity or a plan of action has a certain degree of risk. In a typical project management scenario, that risk could be an adverse impact to the project goals and objectives brought about by factors which cannot be either accounted for or estimated during the planning phases. The first step in risk mitigation is risk assessment - meaning understanding and clearly be able to quantify the risks.

Risk Mitigation using SCRUM and Agile Methodologies

 

Every planned activity or a plan of action has a certain degree of risk. In a typical project management scenario, that risk could be an adverse impact to the project goals and objectives brought about by factors which cannot be either accounted for or estimated during the planning phases. We have all heard of “Murphy’s Law” - Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. So how can  project risk be mitigated?

 

The first step in risk mitigation is  risk assessment - meaning understanding and clearly be able to quantify the risks. This can be  can be calculated by determining the probability, likely frequency and the level of damages that external factors can cause. Based on identifying the impact and frequency if it is categorized as a certain kind e.g - high impact and high frequency risk  , then a  sequence of steps can be planned out for each such categorization - which can include asks for additional resources, alternate course of actions, contingency communication plans - effectively mitigating the risk as much as possible and leave little room for second guessing after the impact.  The project can also define, upfront certain impacts that can be tolerated and clearly establishing and communicating those boundaries to all stakeholders. This can help reduce overall uncertainty and speaks for good project planning. 

 

Project management that utilizes SCRUM and Agile methodologies, inherently reduce risk. As opposed to waterfall models, agile planning and implementing project phases or sprints allows for shorter increments of time between project investment as well as proof that the product is working. Project and project phase reviews allow for the product owner's involvement and feedback which helps prevent issues between client expectations and the actual project.

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