In the realm of project planning and management, risk management stands as the sentinel at the gateway to success.
Without a risk management strategy, your projects will be exposed to a heightened level of uncertainty.
According to the PMI, 80% of project failures are due to poor risk management.
But having a good risk management strategy is not enough! You need a good way to execute your strategy.
It’s here that Kanban tools shine as invaluable assets. They offer a visual and systematic approach that enhances visibility, transparency, and collaboration.
Using Kanban tools in risk management can be a valuable approach for projects that follow an Agile or Lean methodology.
There is a list of Kanban tools available online such as Kerika, Trello, Clickup, Asana, and more.
In this article, we will explain how you can use these Kanban tools to carefully plan and implement your risk management strategy.
We are going to use Kerika’s Risk Management template as an example. this template will give you a perfect head start in planning and executing your risk management strategy:
Here’s a comprehensive approach using Kerika’s Risk Management Kanban board:
Table of Contents
This designated column in Kerika’s Risk Management board will serve you as a dedicated space where you can meticulously compile and document an extensive inventory of potential risks that may loom over your project.
You should also encourage your team to list all the things that could go wrong with your project.
These problems can come from the world outside, like changes in the market or new rules, or they can be problems within your team, like not having enough resources or technology troubles.
It’s essential to list all the possible issues so your team can be ready for anything that comes up during the project.
By having a detailed list of potential problems, you’re making your project stronger and helping your team plan for issues in advance.
This way, your team can be better prepared for the unexpected challenges that often show up during a project.
In project management, recognizing and managing risks is absolutely essential.
When we spot a risk, it’s imperative to adopt a structured approach to handling it.
You should either generate a dedicated card in the ‘Identify Risks’ column on your Kerika Risk Management board or, if the risk has already been pinpointed in the ‘Visualize Risks’ column, shift it to the specific space for more comprehensive management.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to emphasize team involvement to guarantee that we actively identify and address risks during project planning and as they crop up during project execution
After risks are identified, they should be collaboratively assessed.
This is where the “Assessment” column comes into play. In this column, you evaluate each risk in terms of its potential impact and the probability of it occurring.
Utilizing risk assessment scales, such as a numerical scale from 1 to 5, can help quantify these two dimensions.
For example, you can rate the impact of a risk on a scale of 1 (negligible impact) to 5 (catastrophic impact) and the likelihood on the same scale, where 1 indicates a very low chance, and 5 indicates a very high chance of occurrence.
Risk Response Planning:
After the assessment phase, where risks have been identified and evaluated, it’s essential to plan a necessary response to them.
Risks that are considered significant or likely to have a substantial impact on the project or organization should be moved to the “Response Planning” column.
Each risk response strategy should be well-defined and tailored to the specific risk it addresses.
These strategies fall into four primary categories:
1. Avoidance: In some cases, it may be possible to avoid the risk altogether by changing project plans or procedures.
During this phase, team members should brainstorm ways to prevent the risk from materializing.
2. Mitigation: Mitigation strategies aim to reduce the impact or likelihood of a risk.
This can involve proactive measures, such as enhancing safety protocols, redundancy planning, or implementing checks and balances.
3. Transfer: Risks can be transferred to third parties, typically through insurance or outsourcing.
When discussing risk response, the team should consider the practicality and costs associated with such transfers.
4. Acceptance: Some risks may be accepted, meaning that they are recognized as inherent to the project or organization.
A clear plan should be developed for monitoring these risks and taking action if they start to unfold.
Create cards in this column for contingency plans or additional tasks that might be triggered if a risk materializes.
Each contingency card should detail the specific strategies or tasks that need to be implemented if the risk materializes
These strategies can vary depending on the nature of the risk but often include steps to mitigate the impact, allocate resources, change project direction, or initiate alternative plans.
For your contingency plan, establish clear milestones and deadlines for the tasks outlined in the card.
Having time-bound actions enables the team to respond promptly when a risk materializes.
Monitor and Review:
To effectively track risks and their evolution, it’s beneficial for you to have a “Monitor and Review” column on the Kanban board, where risks requiring ongoing observation are placed.
This way you can regularly review these risks to identify any changes in their probability or impact.
This column requires continuous observation by you and your team.
The frequency of these reviews can vary depending on the nature of the risks and the pace of the project or organization.
For some projects, weekly reviews may be appropriate, while others might necessitate monthly or quarterly assessments.
Use visual cues, such as color-coding or tags, to indicate the status and priority of each risk.
Team members can easily see which risks need attention and which ones are being actively managed.
The “Done” column serves as a clear milestone indicating you have successfully addressed and mitigated or resolved the risk.
When you move the card to this column, it signifies that the risk is no longer a cause for immediate concern.
Your team members and stakeholders can also see the number of risks that have been successfully dealt with, which can boost morale and confidence in the project or organization.
By integrating Kanban tools like Kerika into your risk management process, you create a visual and collaborative environment that enables teams to proactively manage risks throughout the project lifecycle.
The transparency and adaptability of Kanban make it an effective choice for teams seeking a comprehensive approach to risk management in project planning.
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