Risk Brainstorming and Mitigation is a collective thinking activity to develop the team criticisms, awareness, and responsiveness for possible challenges ahead of it.

Running the activity:

  1. Draw the canvas for the activity, as shown in the picture below.
  2. Ask participants to identify possible risks:
    “Write down things that can negatively impact our project. Place it on the top of the canvas.”
  3. For the identified risks, ask participants to discuss and add notes in the following order:
    * Prevention – What is in place that will attempt to stop the risk happening in the first place? (E.g., security, awareness & training programs, qualified staff, planning, and/or procedures.)
    * Detection – What is in place that will let me know if and when the risk does happen? (E.g., staff/customer reporting mechanisms, financial reconciliation, fire alarms, audits.)
    * Response – If the risk happens anyway, what measures do we have in place to lessen the impact? (E.g., contingency plans, backups, insurance, resolution processes.)

Every team needs to think about risks and how to mitigate them. Instead of just listing risks and thinking about mitigation steps, this activity adds other aspects to it—how to prevent it in the first place, detect it if it happens, and define what the team’s response should be. It is a collaborative activity where the whole team has a chance to contribute with ideas.


Remote-team advice: This activity works well for remote teams. Use a remote board of your choice.

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