How does Scrum treat risk differently?

June 9, 2014

How does Scrum treat risk differently?

Scrum and most of the traditional project management methods define risk as ‘uncertain

event(s) that could positively or negatively affect the achievement of project objectives.’ Also,

risks are identified, assessed, planned for, and communicated continually.

In Traditional project management models, there is emphasis on detailed upfront planning to

identify, assess and determine risk responses for all project risks. During project execution, any

project team member can identify risks and the project manager or the project management

office/project support staff can update them in the risk log/register. The project manager

regularly monitors and controls all risks, and usually identifies specific individuals in the team to

take responsibility for different aspects of risks.

In Scrum, any Scrum Team member can identify risks and the Product Owner can update

the identified risks in the Risk Adjusted Prioritized Product Backlog. The Scrum principles of

Empirical Process Control and Iterative Development enable the Scrum Team to constantly

keep identifying risks and adding them to the Prioritized Product Backlog, where such risks are

prioritized with other existing User Stories in backlog, to be mitigated in subsequent sprints. The

Scrum Team has collective responsibilities for managing all risks for the Sprint.


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