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Topics: Agile, Risk Management
Do you use "blind review" techniques in risk analysis?

I was wondering if any of you got stuck in a meeting discussing impacts for risks, for instance, and a single individual seems to dominate the talk. This happens to me a lot. This phenomenon comes from formal and informal sense of superiority, i.e., the degree one occupies in the corporate ladder and the recognition of the knowledge someone has.

If this ever happened to you, have you considered or used blind evaluation techniques such as Delphi or Planning Poker? I am considering using the later for an upcoming analysis, and I think it could be used to measure urgency. Let me know what you think.
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Looks like you're taking the personal element out of the equation entirely by using semi-impartial technologies to come to a sensible concensus--excellent work-around for personality clashes!

In Agile when you work with risk the technique is Risk Poker. It is similar to Planning Poker. My recommendation is not using that because the degree of subjectivity which impact on the inherent error contianed into each estimation, not matter the technique you use. Perhaps where you can use it, just in case people that will work with you have used Planning Poker, is during risk identification to make a prioritization of identified risks before to continue. Delphi is a totally different technique. Subjectivity in Delphi is mitigated because the process coordinator work on estimation convergence.

I have been in meetings where a single individual was not satisfied with the mitigation and they kept wanting to bring it up; or they were worried about a risk that not many people thought was likely/large. I think this comes from people wanting their issues to be just as important as other issues. One of insecurity.
"They don't find the risk that my three users may lose VPN access for a day severe enough to warrant a large talk on mitigation - what does that mean for my job?" sort of thing.

(Delphi & Planning Poker) are approaches for reaching a great consensus.

As I know the Delphi used at collect requirements and identify risks (processes).

Risks and approaches summarized and re-circulated to subject matter experts to reach consensus.

(Does not mentioned in PMBOK 6th ed but it was mentioned at PMBOK 5th ed).

Planning poker an approach to estimation used by Agile team.


I encountered such situations before. It is always best that the meeting chair or facilitator define the agenda, timining and be specific as to how much time each is allowed to participate. This could help a lot when you have defined ground rules.

I still prefer face to face interaction rather than blind techniques.

I still think there is some benefit in using a risk poker approach to at least surface the range of qualitative views on impact or probability. This will avoid the situation where the loudest person's voice is the only one heard. A good facilitator might see a case where everyone said a given risk impact was low and one person thought it was high and use that to get a discussion going regarding what everyone else might be missing (a la Twelve Angry Men)...


Thanks guys!

Kiron, I love Twelve Angry Men! I like the 1957 version better than 1997, the first one I've seen.

Do you have any references on Risk Poker I might look at? I think most people can't seem to be objective about risks, and we need a more straightforward technique. I've used AHP in the past, for discussing weights for attibutes and such, but I don't think it applies here.

And I totally agree with Joshua, people tend to think a risk is importante because they have a Ph.D. on the subject, and how is this not important if I spent four years studying it? sort of thing.

I'm tired to see discussions finish the second they begin. It is quite exausting and it steals momentum from the risk meeting, and shifts the control of the meeting from the facilitator to the (insecure) expert.

Thank you!

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