Agile methodologies are conceived to be driven by risk management principles, but no methodology can eliminate all risks.
Anticipation is a key aspect of software project management, involving the proactive identification and assessment of potential risks and challenges to enable effective planning and mitigation strategies.
The following guidance aims to provide decision-makers with the information needed to make informed choices, understanding trade-offs, costs, and project timelines throughout the project.
- Identify risks in every activity such as a planning meetings, design and code reviews, or daily standups. All team members are responsible for identifying relevant risks.
- Assess risks in terms of their likelihood and potential impact on the project. Use the issues to report and track risks. Issues represent unplanned activities.
- Prioritize them based on their severity and likelihood, focusing on addressing the most critical ones first.
- Mitigate or reduce the impact and likelihood of the risks.
- Monitor continuously to ensure the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies.
- Prepare contingency plans for high-impact risks that may still materialize.
- Communicate and report risks to keep all stakeholders informed.
The same process can be applied to opportunities, but while risk management involves applying mitigation actions to decrease the likelihood of a risk, in opportunity management, you enhance actions to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.