11.0 Project Risk Mgt.
Agile Considerations and Emerging Practices
Agile or adaptive projects have higher variability and thus are inherently susceptible to more risk and uncertainty. Project managers need to be aware of the project approach when planning and managing risk. One of the growing trends in risk management that may need to be considered in a risk management plan is the recognition of non-event risks. Most projects focus on the risks that are uncertain future events, but there are also two types of non-event risks that may creep into a project:
- Variability risk is a type of risk that is uncertainty related to characteristics of planned events, activities, or processes. Examples might include higher or lower product defect rates or even weather conditions during construction phases of projects.
- Ambiguity risk is a type of risk that is uncertainty about what might happen in the future in areas such as compliance and regulatory requirements or external technology developments.
Emergent risks are also being recognized with a growing awareness of “unknowable-unknowns,” which are risks that can only be recognized after they have occurred. Emergent risks can’t necessarily be predicted and planned for, but “project resilience” strategies can be incorporated into projects to help minimize the impact of these risks. Some strategies are
- Budget and schedule contingency
- Flexible project processes
- Empowered project teams that are trusted to respond and adapt
- Review frequency can be increased to help identify warning signs of emerging risks