When you start a project, creating or enhancing an existing product, or most any significant work I hope you attend to some risk issues:

  • how do you know if this will result in value?
  • what happens if the market changes?
  • does your company have the skill set to implement what is needed and many others?

You’d probably think it foolish of anyone to undertake a project that didn’t assess the risk of it not working.

Yet, one of the biggest projects companies undertakes – adoptions of Agile frameworks – is done with virtually no attendance or mitigation to risk. The frameworks certainly don’t provide any insights into it.

Here are some risks frameworks ignore:

  1. The framework is not a fit for the organization in terms of fit for purpose practices, culture, the pace of adoption
  2. People have trouble adapting the framework when appropriate (most frameworks don’t even acknowledge this may be useful)
  3. The organization has the wrong mindset to adopt the framework but the framework does little to shift it
  4. The framework is disruptive when it doesn’t need to be
  5. The framework is missing key concepts required by the company
  6. The framework is overly complicated
  7. People will resist the framework

Framework providers implicitly assume and don’t want you to question, that there is no risk in adopting their framework if the adopters would just do what they are told. That’s not just arrogant, it’s self-serving.

Attend to conversations on social media and tally up how often framework providers blame:

  1. Executives
  2. Management
  3. Teams
  4. The organization in general
  5. The purveyors of the framework
  6. The framework

You will find more at the top of the list than at the bottom. This represents a lack of responsibility for what is being sold.

Note, I am not including Disciplined Agile in these observations. First of all, it isn’t a framework and second of all, it does include risk awareness and mitigation. And it has a history of adjusting itself to how the market adopts it.