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Risk management for the Agile world

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Old-school risk management techniques don't help agile projects. They're just as flawed as waterfall-style Gantt charts that tell you what you'll be doing on a particular day three months hence. And yet if those risks aren't addressed the project will go wrong, despite all the great agile practices in the tech team.

If you're facing a project with a 'risk register', or if you're looking at projects with suspicious-looking business cases, your success is at stake.

Fortunately, in knowing agile you already have the tools you need to tackle this. This presentation will show you how.

Published in: Business
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Risk management for the Agile world

  1. 1. Risk management for the Agile world Nik Silver for Agile Cambridge 2015 http://niksilver.com @pigsaw
  2. 2. This workshop • What’s in it for me? • A more constructive approach to “risks” • Group exercises • From uncertainties to actions
  3. 3. What’s in it for me?
  4. 4. The risk register A bad thing that might happen
  5. 5. Categories of action Hardware will arrive too late Order hardware in good time http://www.clipartbest.com/clipart-dT8oGAATe
  6. 6. Categories of action Supplier insufficiently skilled Supplier has been selected via rigorous process http://www.clipartbest.com/clipart-dT8oGAATe
  7. 7. Categories of action Loss of intellectual property Contractual constraints http://www.clipartbest.com/clipart-dT8oGAATe
  8. 8. How to look at risks* more constructively * So-called “risks”
  9. 9. Two recent “risks” • Our boss might not like it • Our competitor releases in Germany first
  10. 10. 1. Flip it round • Risk… or opportunity? • Let’s be ready to exploit that • Let’s be open to doing better than planned http://www.cheekymonkeycomedy.com/whats-missing-in-screenwriting/
  11. 11. 1. Flip it round • Our boss might not like it – …or he might • Our competitor releases in Germany first – …or we might
  12. 12. 2. Find the variability • Look past the “risk event” • There are gradations of badness… and goodness http://www.seducingwithstyle.com/style-blog/page/15/
  13. 13. 2. Find the variability • Our boss might not like it – …or he might slightly dislike it – …and he may change his mind next week • Our competitor releases in Germany first – …by one year, three months, 24 hours…?
  14. 14. 3. Zoom out • It’s not a single, isolated thing • It’s got fuzzy edges • Zoom out to see the larger whole http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/alcohol/marijuana.php
  15. 15. 3. Zoom out • The unhappy boss – Isn’t this really about… stakeholder engagement? • Our competitor releases in Germany first – What about features, pricing, marketing…? – What about the next time? – Isn’t this really about… time to market?
  16. 16. Warm-up exercise Let’s rethink some so- called risks…
  17. 17. Warm-up exercise “Failure of client to pay fees” US engineering company wants to provide water treatment facilities in China
  18. 18. Warm-up exercise “Regulators decide to regulate VCs but the chosen regulatory approach fails” European Banking Authority document on governance and regulation of virtual currencies (VCs).
  19. 19. Warm-up exercise “The policy design for some aspects of the future organisation is incomplete. [...] So risk that Bill proceeds on the basis of incomplete/flawed design” Leaked document on Andrew Lansley’s 2012 NHS reforms
  20. 20. Exercise • Look at the business case and risks • Turn each “risk” into an uncertainty – Flip it round – Find the variability – Zoom out. Isn’t this really about…?
  21. 21. From uncertainties to actions
  22. 22. The ideal: Change the way we operate • Change the process • Change the environment • Because that “risk” is part of a larger thing • This requires imagination
  23. 23. Changing the way we operate • The unhappy boss – Continuous stakeholder engagement • Our competitor releases in Germany first – Improve time to market, consistently • Customer who might not pay on time – Incentivise early (or advance) payment
  24. 24. Zooming out, finding themes
  25. 25. Summary • “A risk”  Uncertainty • Zoom out • Handle by changing the process • Where next: – Matthew Leitch – Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management – http://www.workinginuncertainty.co.uk http://niksilver.com @pigsaw

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