Explaining Software Project Risks in Agile Teams: An Action Case using Causal Mapping

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Agile teams must deal with many risks to their software project’s resources and schedule. This challenge is exacerbated in large-scale agile development by the increasingly specialized team roles with inherently different explanations of the software project’s risks. Against this backdrop, we report an action case study of how an agile team can understand and manage different explanations of their project risks. We used the causal mapping technique to understand how a team’s six different roles explain their software project risks and assessed these maps’ usefulness with the team. From this action case study, we present two findings. First, causal mapping is useful for revealing role-specific explanations of software project risks in agile teams. Second, agile teams can use role-specific causal maps to juxtapose their explanations of software project risks. We discuss how these findings imply a caveat for agile teams seeking to understand and manage team-generalized software project risks and ignoring idiosyncratic explanations of software project risks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th Scandinavian Conference on Information Systems
EditorsEsko Penttinen, Sampsa Suvivuo, Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen, Matti Rossi, Hadi Ghanbari
PublisherThe Association for Information Systems (AIS)
Publication date2023
Article number4
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-64-9639-9
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventScandinavian Conference on Information Systems - Porvoo, Finland
Duration: 13 Aug 202316 Aug 2023
Conference number: 14


ConferenceScandinavian Conference on Information Systems
Internet address


  • Causal Mapping
  • Software Project Risks
  • Agile Team
  • Risk Assessment
  • Action Case Study


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