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PMP Q #42- Tracking Risks

Q42. Your team has planned an iteration and identified some risks in achieving iteration goals. 

What is the best way to track these risks?

A: Make risks visible and review them in daily stand-ups. 

B: Add the risk to the risk register and assign a risk owner. 

C: No tracking of iteration level risks is needed.

D: Conduct a weekly meeting to review risks. 

Let’s first see more about the situation mentioned in the question –

The team has done Iteration Planning Meeting. The output of the Iteration Planning meeting is –

  • Iteration Goal, and
  • Iteration Backlog

Iteration Backlog is the portion of Product Backlog that team has planned for the current iteration. During the iteration planning meeting, the team observed some technical, people, or management-related risks for the iteration work, which may impact the iteration goal. Now, what should you do about those risks? 

First, explore option one by one –

Option A – “Make risks visible and review them in daily stand-ups.” – When the team identifies risks, they should first make them visible to facilitate time-to-time review and discussion. As risks can impact the current iteration, the team must keep their eyes open to see if these risks can become a reality and what risk response can help. Hence, Daily stand is the best place to review risks – is there any risk which can derail the iteration goal? And if it is true, the team should plan differently for the upcoming 24 hours. Also, you can put them into tracking or Risk Board to facilitate reviewing further. 

Option A looks good but before the conclusion, let’s see other options –

Option B – “Add the risk to the risk register and assign a risk owner.” – The question mentions using the Agile approach, and an Agile team maintains risk-related work either inside the iteration or in the Product Backlog. In Agile, the team may not create a separate risk register and assign a risk owner. In the case of the hybrid (a mix of Predictive and Agile) approach, the team can maintain a risk register, but in a purely Agile approach, it is rare. There is no indication of using a Hybrid approach in the question, so assigning and creating a risk register seems inappropriate. 

Option C – “No tracking of iteration level risks is needed.” – You need tracking of risks in all approaches, be it Agile, Predictive, or Hybrid. The question is related to Agile, and in Agile, the idea of doing Daily Stand-Up is to review how the team is doing for the current iteration. And if the team has some challenge or something is not working out, it discusses how to deal with it. That’s the whole idea of the daily stand-up.

Option D – “Conduct a weekly meeting to review risks” – You should have a solid reason to add another meeting. For example, if you have a trend of many risks and need a special focused meeting, you can come up with the idea of a special meeting during the Retrospective Meeting. But even in the presence of this meeting, the team has to discuss risks during Daily Stand Up; weekly reviewing of risks is not enough. 

So option A is the best choice – Make risks visible and review them in daily stand-ups. 

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