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Risk Management, Issue Management, Assumption Management and Agile projects

November 8, 2012

I was just reading Mike Cohn’s blog on risk management: http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/blog/managing-risk-on-agile-projects-with-the-risk-burndown-chart that reminds me I need to keep manage my risks, issues and assumptions.

A few years ago, I developed a small vba excel program to make managing risks, issues and assumptions a bit more fun by displaying a fancy and meaningful graph.

Risks are categorized on impact on a sprint or a release if they become impediments. The tool turns them “black” automatically after they have RED 3 times, sort of alerts you can’t mitigate them.

For issues, this is very similar.

Toy can define

For assumptions, I create a risk for each assumption created so I don’t need to review assumptions regularly, I only review risks associated.

This is the graph of a real project. In this particular project, I was recorded risks but could not mitigate them. After a while, they would become issues, delaying the project. Hence you can see RISKS turning into ISSUES!

Colors:

RISK ISSUE
GREEN <Low impact, Low probability> or <Low impact, High probability> on the sprints & end date of the project Delivery dates are not impacted
AMBER <High probability, Low impact> on end date of the project, may impact interim milestones only The end of the project is not delayed but current sprint is affected and not all key user stories will not be delivered as planned
RED <High probability and High impact> to the end date of the project The end date of the project is delayed because of this issue. Additional sprints will be required.

The tool is: Example – Risks-Issues log

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