SAFe Roam Board

Document and assess project risks honestly and transparently by using a ROAM board for risk management in SAFe.

About the SAFe ROAM Board

A SAFe ROAM Board is a framework for making risks visible. It gives you and your team a shared space to notice and highlight risks, so they don’t get ignored. The ROAM Board helps everyone consider the likelihood and impact of risks, and decide which risks are low priority versus high priority.

The underlying principles of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) are:

  • Drive cost-effective solutions

  • Apply systems thinking

  • Assume that things will change; protect options

  • Build incrementally with fast integrated learning cycles

  • Base milestones on evaluating working systems

  • Visualize and limit works in progress, reduce batch sizes, manage queue lengths

Keep reading to learn more about SAFe ROAM Boards.

What is a SAFe ROAM Board

A SAFe ROAM Board allows you and your team to highlight risks so that you can take action. After someone identifies and records a risk, you have to decide what to do next. For each risk you come across, you can:

  1. Avoid it and take a different approach

  2. Reduce the likelihood that it’ll happen 

  3. Share the risk by bringing in vendor expertise 

  4. Accept the risk (but keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you ignore it)

  5. Mitigate the risk and take action to reduce its impact

This framework aims to help you Resolve, Own, Accept, or Mitigate risks.

  • Resolved risks: your team agrees that this risk is no longer an issue and everyone can move on

  • Owned risks: if a risk isn’t immediately solved, a team member may take ownership of the task to resolve later (follow up to plan mitigation or work on executing any further action that should be taken)

  • Accepted risks: some risks can’t be reasonably dealt with, so teams should fully understand why before accepting these risks

  • Mitigated risks: a mitigation plan can reduce the likelihood or impact of these risks

It’s important to keep your ROAM Board updated so your team is aligned across each level of risk, and aware of how risks are being handled. If your team uses Jira, import Jira cards directly onto your SAFe Roam Board.

When to use SAFe ROAM Boards

ROAM Boards are used during PI Planning to identify any obstacles to achieving team goals.

Risk and uncertainty are bound to impact any project in some way. Instead of relying on a classic risk management plan or risk log, an Agile approach (such as creating more user stories to add to a backlog) can lower the chances of unpredictability and surprise.

The ROAM method can also help relieve the Agile Release Train (the teams and stakeholders needed to implement, test, deploy, and release software incrementally) of any ambiguity.

Create your own SAFe ROAM Board

Making your own SAFe ROAM Boards is easy. Miro’s visual collaboration platform provides the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the SAFe ROAM Board Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.

  1. During PI Planning, add risks to the Program Risks section. Remember that the number of sticky notes with identified risks may grow or shrink as your team decides on a mitigation strategy during the planning process.

  2. After the final plan review, move all risks to the ROAM Board. Allocate each risk to the relevant category of ROAM: Resolved, Owned, Accepted, Mitigated.

  3. Vote as a team to decide which risks are worth prioritizing. Agile coaches can run voting sessions to decide which risks should be considered high priority. A minimum of three votes is needed to consider a risk in the running as a high priority.

  4. Review and adjust risks as needed. Risk profiles can change as plans and follow-up steps to action. Make sure a member of your team adjusts and updates the board during the weekly or biweekly PO (Product Owner) Sync.

FAQ about the SAFe ROAM Board

What is a ROAM board?

A ROAM board is a framework for highlighting the likelihood and impact of risks, in order to decide which risks are low priority versus high priority. This framework aims to help you Resolve, Own, Accept, or Mitigate risks and increases the visibility of risk management to everyone on the team, which ensures that potential risks are not overlooked or ignored.

What does SAFe stand for in agile?

SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework and defines a set of roles, responsibilities, and guiding principles for everyone involved in a SAFe project or working at an enterprise level that follows agile practices.

When is the ROAM technique used to categorize program risks?

The ROAM framework is used when teams need to identify and manage risks and, as an Agile technique, is often followed by those involved in SAFe project management. Using a ROAM board helps keep everyone aligned across each level of risk and maintains awareness of how all identified risks are being handled.

SAFe Roam Board

Get started with this template right now.

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