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You can apply mistake proofing to a user story in an agile project or to anything you want, but the approach described here comes from old-school process modelling:
1. Start with something to analyse – such as a value stream map or process model.
2. Assess who is involved in the process – who does something, who gets something at the end. You can use a tool like PAC or just have a chat
3. Look at what could cause something to go wrong from the end user’s perspective
4. Look at what happens when they try to recover from the problem
5. Record all of this in a lazy risk register or add post-it notes to a wall.
6. Improve the process – run through the questions in reverse to find where you can reduce risk. The closer you get to removing the impact the better but in some cases, you might focus somewhere else.
7. Repeat the process above for each particular step of the process if you want to since you will go to another level of detail.
8. Now you have too much information and you might be overwhelmed. But let’s keep going. Look at all the things you could do and rename them options or ideas. Add two more options
9. Now go through the long list of options and prioritise them
10. Have a cup of tea and then commit to some kind of plan. You could use a plan on a page for this, or perhaps a capability improvement table. You might also decide to create a risk register or communication plan if you are serious enough.
Hopefully, I will publish a related article soon – some of the tools or approaches you can use to apply the approach above with more flair, less hassle and more likelihood of success.
Posted by James King
Copyright © James King