A prevailing belief among Agile and Scrum proponents is that “a great deal of explicit risk management becomes unnecessary when a software development project uses an agile approach.” In my experience, this is a false and dangerous assumption. Project risk is a hungry leopard ready to devour the unprepared. Fleet-footed agilists and die-hard waterfallists alike.
Collaborative risk management brings many benefits to Scrum teams, notably by generating wiser decisions and creating a collective ownership of issues. In his blog, Mike Griffiths describes some collaborative games that can be use project risk management.
The topic of Managing Risk in Scrum projects is addressed by Valerie Morris in these two blog posts. The first part discusses the five risk areas found on most software projects: intrinsic schedule flaw, specification breakdown, scope creep, personnel loss and productivity variance. The second part compares risk management practices between traditional project management and Scrum.
This article discusses several symptoms and causes of schedule flaws, presents metrics and diagrams that can be used to track your team’s progress against its schedule and describes how Agile can address project management risks.
Risk management is a central part of traditional project management and is included as one of the knowledge areas in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) body of knowledge. In many of my classes, participants ask how Scrum and agile address risk management. Some are concerned that agile or Scrum ignore risk management completely. This post explains how to manage risk on agile projects with the risk burndown chart.