Any project has its own risks, and one way or another you will either have to work with them, or let the risks manage the workflows. So, risk management is a vital component of any project.
What is risk management?
In any project some risks appear: financial, marketing, administrative, technological, production and other risks may arise in any project.
The risk itself is the possibility of an event that is more or less likely to affect the achievement of the project goals: timing, cost or quality.
Risk management begins with the realization that everyone has risks, and there is no escape from them.
Why do you need risk management in your business? Implementing Agile frameworks
The need for risk management arises even at the initial stages of the project, when we need to make complex decisions, for example, at the stage of developing a new product, or when making changes.
Different risks may appear at different stages of the project, so it is most effective to use Agile frameworks.
In most project management systems, there is a clear understanding that risk assessment and management are an important part of the initial process.
At first glance, it may seem that there is no exact place for a risk management component in the Agile methodology. But in fact, Agile is effectively used for risk management, and that’s why:
- Using sprints: Agile projects use short iterations (sprints) to create the final product in stages. This means that work on risks is carried out in every sprint and, consequently, at every stage of work on the project.
- Focusing on every sprint: By that, the Agile team gets a clearer idea of what can cause failures in each segment.
- Sprint automation: After the sprint is completed, the processes used in one sprint can be reused in another. This automates the process, so that risks detected and eliminated in one sprint should not manifest in the next sprints.
- Visible results: Since the Agile team meets regularly with the project initiator, they can discuss how closely the project aligns with the desired end product, and any deviations can be eliminated.
Agile risk management strategy will allow the team to prepare for undesirable events, and neutralize them in time, or at least control them within the project, while maintaining the productivity of the team, and not working in an emergency mode.
Agile and project-level risk management
Agile risk management consists of five main stages:
- Identification of possible risks;
- Classification of risks;
- Drawing up a response plan;
- Monitoring and prevention of risks.
This cycle is implemented at every stage of the project and helps to control and prevent unwanted events. It is also important to identify not only possible risks, but also events that can provoke them – triggers that precede the onset of risk.
Identification of possible risks
To determine possible risks at the early stages of the project, it is worth considering several factors: the experience of project participants, a detailed study of documentation, SWOT analysis, as well as the experience and knowledge of experts from the outside.
At this stage, it is also worth identifying the risk owner – the person in the team responsible for a particular risk, and it does not have to be the project manager.
Make a list of all potential risks and present it to the team to identify additional possible risks during the brainstorming session.
Risks classification and analysis
Potential risks and opportunities should be prioritized after identification. It is unlikely that you will be able to work with all the risks at the same time, so choose the most important ones.
It is important to involve the entire team in the analysis. To classify risks, you can use a risk matrix or qualitative and quantitative analysis.
Create a separate board in Jira to take into account all possible risks and visualize them. You can create cards (tickets) in Jira for each risk and enter all the information there: the priority of the risk, its owner, triggers and tasks associated with this risk. This way the team will fully participate in risk management and monitor the life cycle of a particular etiquette with risk.
Choosing a strategy
After assessing and analyzing the risks, it is important to draw up a response plan that provides for actions to prevent the risk, or what to do if this event has already occurred, and also choose a response strategy:
- Avoid risks. Change the project plan to eliminate threats. Specify requirements, limit functionality or introduce new technologies.
- Distribute risks. If there is a possibility that the person responsible for this risk, or the team, will not be able to prevent this event or work out the negative consequences, then it is better to redistribute the risks and appoint another party that will cope with it better.
- Lower the control. Reduce or eliminate the probabilities and/or consequences of risk to an acceptable level, for example, do more tests or attract additional resources.
- Risk-taking. When it is impossible to avoid risk, as well as to control its consequences, or the risk does not have a sufficiently high priority, it is better to accept it.
Monitoring and prevention of risks
All the work done needs to be recorded. You can create a risk register in Confluence and link or transfer risk cards.
Return to the risk list regularly:
- Make changes, supplement, remove risks;
- Adapt the risk management process.
Jira + Confluence for Risk Management
Certain risk management tools will make this process more transparent and help cover the entire project completely. It is easiest to work with risks in conjunction with Jira + Confluence: keep records of identified risks, create risk cards with possible actions in a given situation, track tasks related to a particular risk.
Visualizing risks in Jira and maintaining a registry in Confluence will help you monitor the current situation, and not lose sight of all possible events, as well as risk triggers and all related tasks.
You can create a separate board to classify all risks, or use ready-made plugins for Jira to visualize risks.
Risk management is a complex process, but it is extremely necessary for any business. Polontech experts will help you implement the right tools and configure the ITSM system using Jira and Confluence integration, and customize them to your needs.