Risks and Mitigations

What is this method?

This method will enable you to surface risks and plan how the team might mitigate them.

Why do it?

We do this to create a forum where people feel comfortable sharing fears and concerns in order to proactively mitigate issues we think may arise. This session results in a list of prioritized action items that the team can use to get ahead of any risks.

When to do it?

Early in the project, normally during Kickoff.

Facilitator Directions

Step 1: Brainstorm Risks (15 min)

Have the group silently write project Risks and Obstacles this team may face, with one item per Sticky Note.

Ask each person to select their top 3 Risks and Obstacles.

Present the Risks, remove duplicates and group.

Step 2: Prioritize Risks (10 min)

Prepare the 2x2 matrix to start prioritization. Choose the right scales depending on nature, scope and clarity of the outcomes.

Copy the Risks from the last section and prioritize them on the matrix.

Step 3: Brainstorm Mitigations (10 min)

Copy the top Risks from the top right quadrant over to the next board.

Brainstorm Mitigations individually.

Discuss and add agreed Mitigations to the board.

Step 4: Consolidate Actions (10 min)

Copy over Risks and group into categories (e.g., Technical Risks, Business Risks, Product Risks, etc.).

Copy over Mitigations and assign action owners with a target date.

Success/Expected Outcomes

Success is when you have a shared understanding of the biggest risks and have a set of actions items to get started with.

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