Review: Agile Risk Management and DSDM

riskIn one of my previous posts I wrote about DSDM and UX Design. This is another little book in the same style. And this booklet too can be read as an addendum to DSDM’s Agile Project Management Framework or separately to enlarge your knowledge about risk management in an agile context.

Talking about a little book, in the foreword you can find a reference to the famous episode, The Protégé, of the programme Seinfeld. It’s about a 700 page risk management book. Look for yourself and have fun.

Alan Moran is the author of the book “Agile Risk Management and DSDM“. He did a great job explaining risk management in an agile environment.

Agile risk management considers, like PRINCE2, not only treats (negative risks) but also opportunities (positive risks) and is concerned with the identification, assessment, prioritization, treatment and monitoring of project risks.

As a starting point for risk identification the following generic risk drivers are high lighted: requirements risk, technical risk, schedule risk, project (approach) risk, supplier risk and people risk. These can be highlighted in the enterprise and project risk driver maps.

In a next paragraph the agile risk management process is explained. It starts with the understanding of the project objectives, context and risk environment, risk scoping (identification of risk drivers and appetite), risk tailoring (embedding risk management in agile process), risk management (identify, analyse, manage and monitor) resulting risk optimized agile process.

Agile risk management is founded on three principles: flow (ensure that events do not inhibit or delay progress), balance (deliver the same reward with less risk) and transparancy (make visible and accessible all risk artefacts). In the book you will get a mapping to the eight DSDM principles.

In the following paragraphs you get an explanation who (DSDM role) performs which risk management activities and how you have to make amendments to the practice of DSDM to cover the overall project risks.

The author explains several risk tools: enterprise and project risk driver maps, the risk log (register), risk reward prioritization matrix, the risk rainbow mapping of risk exposure to risk response strategies (when to apply which risk response strategy), risk tagging (identify the agile (DSDM) practice(s) to mitigate the risk), risk modified timebox plan, risk modified team board, risk burndown chart, risk walling (making visible the project risk driver map, risk log, risk modified timebox plan or team board, risk burndown chart). See the attached figure for some examples.

Dia1The final chapter explains the social and cultural aspects. A common typology of risk stances is: risk-averse, risk-seeking, risk-tolerant and risk-neutral. Individuals tend to be influenced by conscious, subconscious and affective factors.

In summary DSDM enables a new perspective on risk management by injecting elements of cadence (e.g. performing risk analysis at the start of each timebox), transparancy (e.g. using risk modified team boards including risk burndown charts) and agility (e.g. by using risk tagging). 

Conclusion. Many people will say we are using agile techniques so no need to have a separate risk management strategy. This book gives a good approach to cope with risk management within an agile environment. You get an overview of risk management and how it can be tailored and used in a DSDM environment and it can be applied within other agile frameworks too.

To order: Agile risk Management and DSDM

This is the second post in a series of three. DSDM and UX design was the first and Agile Project Management and Scrum v2 will follow

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3 responses to “Review: Agile Risk Management and DSDM

  1. Pingback: Book review: Agile Project Management and Scrum v2 | Henny Portman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Book review:Estimating in Agile | Henny Portman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Overview of my year 2016 book reviews | Henny Portman's Blog

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