Defining risks

When you plan a project by using the Formal Project Management process template, you can identify potential risks that can alter the progress of your development. Risks might include such problems as personnel loss, legal concerns, and missed deadlines.

About this task

You can define risks both before and during the project. By identifying risks early in the development life cycle, you can create strategies for mitigating their impact on the project. By default, the plan editor does not display Risk work items. To view risk work items, on the Planned Items page of a plan, in the Exclude section of the sidebar, clear the Risks check box.

By default, this feature is available in the Formal Project Management process template. If you are using the Scrum process template, you can enable this feature by customizing the template. For more information about customizing the template, see Adding formal project management features to a process template.

Procedure

To define risks:

  1. In the Team Artifacts view, right-click Work Items, and click New > Work Item.
  2. Select the Risk work item type, and click Finish.
  3. To create a Risk work item from the plan editor, open the plan. On the Planned Items page, click the Exclude icon, then clear Risks.
  4. On the Overview tab, complete the fields. The Risk work item type contains these additional fields.
    • Probability: The likelihood that the risk will occur.
    • Impact: The degree to which the risk affects the project.
    • Exposure: The magnitude or scope of the risk. The exposure is determined by multiplying the probability and impact and dividing that number by 100.
    • Precision: The degree to which the risk is understood.
      Note: When you define the probability and impact, the matrix shows the risk severity. The cell where the probability and impact qualifiers meet is represented by a letter: L for Low, M for Medium, and H for High severity. The letter indicates the degree of precision. The letters change based on what value you set in the Precision field. You can also define the probability and impact by selecting a cell in the matrix.
    • Consequence Cost: A number that represents the financial impact of the risk. By default, the USD currency is displayed along with the cost. You can set another currency in the project area editor. For more information about setting currency, see Setting the currency of risk costs.
    • Probability Cost: A number that represents the probable cost of the risk occurrence. This value is determined by multiplying the probability and consequence cost. By default, the USD currency is displayed along with the cost. You can set another currency in the project area editor. For more information about setting currency, see Setting the currency of risk costs.
    • Risk Category: Categorizes risks that are based on types. By default, some categories are defined as enumerations for the process template. You can define new enumerations in the project area editor.
    • Identification Date: This date can be in the past, present, or future. If you are defining a risk only, you can leave this field blank and select a date when the risk is identified.
    • Occurrence Date: This date can be in the past, present, or future. If you are defining a risk only, you can leave this field blank and select a date when the risk occurs.
    • Identified For: This field lists the iterations for the project. This field is same as the Planned For field for any other work item type. When you run a query for the risk work items, you can use the Planned For attribute. The Identified For attribute is not available as an option for queries.
  5. Optional: To link a Risk Action work item that resolves the defined risk:
    1. On the Links tab, click the down arrow on Add and select Add Resolved By.
    2. In the Select Work Items window, type the work item ID, and click OK.
  6. Click Save. After you add the Resolved By link from a defined risk, a Resolves link is added to the risk action work item. The Resolves link indicates the risk that the work item resolves.

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