Abstract/Description

It has always been a good practice to engage team members in the estimation process; then agile methods taught us how teams should do the local planning and decision making too. So it should come as no surprise that the best people to undertake effective risk management are team members. They possess the best technical insight and are closer to any execution issues than team leads or project managers.

However, risk management as tackled by many organizations, is academic, boring, seemly removed from real-work and it often ignores the maximization of positive risks (opportunities). This workshop demonstrates how to turn teams into risk-consuming, opportunity-chasing beasts that have measurably different project outcomes!

At the Agile 2012 Conference I presented a session called “Collaborative Games for Agile Risk Management” that introduced fun, team based games to engage the team in risk and opportunity management. In the intervening years many teams have adopted these techniques and become much more effective at Risk Management. However it turns out I was focussing on the wrong end of the lever, the big news are the results teams are getting through Opportunity Management.

Teams using these approaches are not only driving out risks, but more surprisingly, building great inter-organization alliances, being given free passes on bureaucratic process and generally having an easier go of things. At first I was surprised at all the “good luck” these teams encountered but then I saw how small adjustments in team behaviour were being made towards freshly identified opportunities.

A little like the 18th Century discovery linking germs to infections that gave rise to the introduction of hand washing in hospitals increasing survival rate dramatically. Putting teams in charge of opportunity management leads to changes in day to day behaviour that dramatically increased the execution effectiveness and success rates of their projects.

Good leaders know the value of a powerful vision; it “Reveals a beckoning summit for others to chart their own course”. In other words once we know what our true goal is we can make our own micro adjustments. Getting teams to own opportunity exploitation makes them behave differently and benefits start occurring all over the project.

This session outlines the practices and reviews some case studies to so you can equip your team to be risk-consuming, opportunity-chasing beasts that leave a trail of business value and delighted stakeholders. Or, in the words of one team, they “Eat Risks for Breakfast and Poop Nuggets of Awesomeness All Day”.

Additional Resources

About the Speaker(s)

Mike has been involved in agile methods since 1994 when he helped create the agile approach DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method). Mike served on the board of the Agile Alliance and the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN).He presents at agile and project management conferences worldwide and writes on agile leadership for a number of publications including Cutter Consortium, www.ProjectManagement.com and www.LeadingAnswers.com.