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Comments on: Who Owns the Risk?



Agile Training | Agile Coaching | Agile Transformation



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By: Luna Abualhaj

Thu, 03 Oct 2013 02:34:45 +0000

Thanks Mike for a great article! Although it was posted long time ago, it yet covers a major issue most companies and contractors deal with. I do believe in the shared risk and how both sides should learn how to trust each other, and to create this shared culture, leading to a unified goal to attain. Would you think an organization would go for a shared risk when they can come up with good estimates of what the customer expects? Answering my question, I think in order for an organization to achieve that, we should think of partnerships and future collaborations and how to build up good relationships and reputation, we have to make sure people embrace such concepts and principles! If this is achieved at a certain point, I (may) agree with you on the last sentence of having no estimates is pretty not having not idea of how far we are going. The problem with your last sentence though, is that most companies cannot go for projects with unknown costs or lack of at least rough estimates, and this goes for both sides! As much fun as it sounds, as more risky and scary it is!



By: Sobre “ágil”, gestión de riesgo tradicional y estimaciones « ::everac99

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:21 +0000

[...] la construcción de la solución que me di cuenta que estaba equivocado. – Mike Cottmeyer, Who Owns the Risk?, [...]



By: Paul Jackson

Tue, 27 Sep 2011 08:27:28 +0000

I worked on a large project in partnership with an external company. We recognised that we'd wear all the risk unless we did something about it. So we organised a "partnership" day, with an external facilitator. We invited representatives from both sides, at all levels of the organisation and we worked together to come up with a shared Charter which expressed the shared goals and risks. We included how we would deal with issues and celebrate success. The resulting Charter was signed by both CEOs and the most junior employees from each organisation to emphasise the shared ownership and then worked to try and live up to the Charter. Sometimes it got a bit sticky and stressful but in most cases this early recognition of a shared goal helped us to avoid the blame culture.



By: Mike Cottmeyer

Wed, 21 Sep 2011 10:29:14 +0000

Thanks Andrew... not making any sweeping promises... to myself or anyone else about how long I'll be able to maintain energy around writing, but I'm optimistic. I just don't see any other way to baseline an effort so we know where we are or what we've got left to do. The only problem with estimates is that sometimes management and/or customers, don't treat them as estimates.



By: andrew fuqua

Wed, 21 Sep 2011 04:16:43 +0000

Ah, nicely put. mike. Nice to see you blogging again. Like you, most projects I see need an estimated cost to gauge net value of the project. And if a budget is involved, someone is going to want to shift blame and responsibility.



By: Mike Cottmeyer

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 17:41:57 +0000

You know, it depends. Sometimes it comes down to just having an open conversation about it. Sometimes its a matter of helping the customer understand that they aren't *really* reducing risk for themselves, just shifting blame. Other times, you leverage their shared experience with late delivery and build a case that agile allows them more *control* over what gets delivered when. Most reasonable people see what I am talking about. It gets unreasonable when the external pressure to deliver is so great and people's careers are on the line. In a case like that, the cultural challenges are much deeper, and to be candid, I am not sure I can really help.



By: Gary Reynolds

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 17:36:11 +0000

Really great post! The sharing of risk between customer and development is something I've rarely experienced in practice. You talk about creating a culture of shared risk - do you have any specific suggestions on how to do this? It it as simple as having both parties involved in the estimation process from the outset?