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I returned to the IIBA UK Chapter in March. It was almost three years since I launched my speaking career with this group of Business Analysts, so it was great to be back talking about ‘Risky Requirements?’

To start off, we focused on the things that make projects fail. A few people found large yellow circles under their chairs, each with just one cause of project failure written on it. Groups formed around these and discussed whether business analysis could impact that cause. If so, they stuck their circle up on the wall. Surprisingly to some, almost all of the reasons for project failure were there. So, business analysis does involve risk, especially around requirements, but can affect most areas of projects, in both a negative and a positive way.

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(for clearer pictures, download the outputs)

We moved on to explore the pitfalls which await the unwary business analyst who needs to run a risk workshop. Quite a few came up, ranging from problems with people (wrong people, mix of power in the room) down to disagreements on the meaning of risk itself.

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After all of this discussion, I presented a few ideas of how to make the most of risk workshops. You can see a couple of them in the outputs here, such as anonymous input on what really works for risk workshops. We looked at conflict and how to cope with it through the story of the six blind men and the elephant (see an article I wrote for the BCS on that topic).

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I even got to attend the IIBA UK Chapter AGM as a bonus as it was running that night. It’s good to see the organisation growing from strength to strength!

Thank you IIBA UK Chapter for helping me with Chapter Six of my book. If you were there, thank you for your enthusiasm and input. If you weren’t but would like to know more about the book I’m co-authoring on Facilitating Risk Management, please see our new site here: www.facilitatingrisk.com. (When you sign up there, I will send you a voucher for 35% off the book and we’ll be able to continue the conversation.)

There are more of these risk sessions coming up this spring, see here for the next ones.

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