Risk management and Impediments

When we manage projects with Agile concepts, we normally don’t give much weight to the traditional project management concept of Risk Management. Reason for this is in Agile terms we tend to deal the risks as they occur with impediments during the sprint itself. Besides when we develop software in an iterative manner, and delivering working software at the end of each sprint for the client, makes the possibility of risk considerably in a lower range.
Normally what I encourage the scrum master to maintain an impediment backlog for the sprint, where they have to clear the impediments during the sprint itself. By this way we are dealing with various risk as they occur. This doesn’t mean that we can ignore risk because we are unaware until the risk or the impediment occurs.
As Mike Cohn suggest in his article (Managing Risk on Agile Projects with the Risk Burndown Chart) I find it really easy and it is an effective way of dealing with risk in Agile projects. We normally spend time during the sprint planning meeting to identify any possible risk that could occur, such as technical difficulties that could occur during implementation of certain user stories, setting up server instances for development purposes, or it could be issues with shared resources being not available, such as system administrators, database administrators, etc. One major risk that we need to tackle is to provide requirement clarifications as soon as possible. Failing to do so may result in on hold and incomplete user stories by the end of the sprint.


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