The Art of Agile Risk Management

SECOND EDITION                                                         


S3 Technologies, LLC



In today’s world of fast paced technology and continually changing requirements and project scope, the need for Agile Project Management has greatly increased. Responding to this demand, the PMI® (Project Management Institute) launched a new certification, the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)SM. The result of this fast growing certification is the creation of a new space where Project Management and Agile Practices for Software Development meet. This calls us to ask how do standard critical project management methodologies like Risk Management fit into Agile Practices.

This paper details the methodology of Risk Management as it applies to Agile Project Management. It engages in the steps of Risk Management including: identifying, assessing and managing risks, while mapping these to Agile Practices. Most Project Managers are familiar with Risk Management and Agile, but how do these methodologies relate, and how can we use them to manage resources and do more with less on our projects?

What is Agile Project Management and when does it make sense to use it? How Risk Management relates to Agile and how it is incorporated into Agile Practices will be evaluated. Recommendations for implementing Agile Risk Management will be provided along with best practices and how organizations are applying this into practice.

Risk Management is not only a practice and discipline, it is an Art. Knowing the tools or techniques is not sufficient for success. The nuances of how Risk management is incorporated into agile practices are what generate project success. When requirements and environmental conditions are in flux, our ability to anticipate Risk and plan for it, is critical to managing projects with agility.


The objectives of this paper on the Art of Agile Risk Management are to first provide an overview of Project Risk Management (including defining Risk) and Agile Projects. After providing this foundation, Agile Risk Management will be discussed using the analogy of flight. A view of how this will look for Agile projects will be provided. Finally, recommendations on how to implement Agile Risk Management will be provided.

The goal of this paper is to provide the current landscape of Project Risk Management and Agile project management. Then detail what Agile Risk Management entails and how to implement it for Agile projects.


To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note:  Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the 1st Annual University of Maryland Project Management Symposium in College Park, Maryland, USA and included in the conference Proceedings in June 2014.  It is republished here with permission of the author and the Project Management Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland.

About the Author

pmwj24-jul2014-Parente-AUTHOR IMAGESusan Parenteflag-usa


Susan Parente is a project engineer, consultant, speaker, author, and mentor who leads large complex IT software implementation projects, and the establishment of Enterprise PMOs. She has 15+ years experience leading software and business development projects in the private and public sectors, including a decade of experience implementing IT projects for the US Department of Defense. Ms. Parente is also an Associate Professor at Post University in Connecticut, and a PMP and PMI-RMP instructor. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester in New York and has a MS in Engineering Management with a focus on Marketing of Technology from George Washington University in Washington, DC, USA. She is also PMP, CISSP, PMI-RMP and ITIL certified, and is a CMMI and ISO 9001 Practitioner.

Ms. Parente is Principal Consultant at S3 Technologies, LLC. Her company focuses on revitalizing projects through the use of risk management. S3 Technologies does this by teaming with clients, stakeholders and vendors and using risk management to deliver project successes. Ms. Parente trains and mentors project managers in the areas of project and risk management. She has developed a methodology which she uses to implement risk management programs for both small and large clients and is currently completing her manuscript for a book on implementing risk management.  Susan can be contacted at [email protected].