Consequence Scanning – an agile practice for responsible innovators

An Agile Practice for Responsible Innovators

Introducing Consequence Scanning – a new Agile practice that fits within an iterative development cycle. This is a way for organisations to consider the potential consequences of their product or service on people, communities and the planet. This practice is an innovation tool that also provides an opportunity to mitigate or address potential harms or disasters before they happen.

Consequence Scanning is for organisations looking to ensure that the products or services they’re creating are aligned with their organisation’s values and culture.

Because innovation doesn’t have to be about moving fast and breaking things; it can also be about achieving what you believe in.

How to do Consequence Scanning

Consequence Scanning should feel familiar to anyone who has taken part in other Agile events, rituals or ceremonies. 

The practice is lightweight and simple to understand – you don’t need a lot of materials, preparation or even expertise to conduct or participate. This event is designed to be adaptable and fit in with how you already work as a team. The important part is doing the thinking and acting on it.

You should run the event at initial conception of a product, during roadmap planning, and during feature creation.

In a Consequence Scanning event you will answer the following three questions about your product:

  1. What are the intended and unintended consequences of this product or feature?
  2. What are the positive consequences we want to focus on?
  3. What are the consequences we want to mitigate?

These questions help your team to share knowledge and expertise and raise concerns in a dedicated format so you can have important conversations and map the potential impact of your product or feature. You should log the answers to these questions and assign responsibility to act. This will form the main artefact of the event, and you can then plug them into the backlog, planning sessions and other existing processes.


Download the manual

Let us know how it goes

Have you run a Consequence Scanning event? How did it work for you in practice? 

This is ‘Version 1’ and we will continue to iterate on the event and this manual based on your feedback in order to make it even better!

Share your thoughts either by:

More about TechTransformed

Consequence Scanning Kit 

These resources are subject to Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) 

📥 Consequence Scanning Manual

Introducing you to the foundations of this new agile event and all you need to know to put Consequence Scanning into practice.

Consequence Scanning Manual Cover

📥 Printable Headings

Printable Headings

📥 Recommended Structure

Recommended Structure

📥 Case Studies

Categories and case studies of unintended consequences to help you think about your own potential consequences on people and society.

📥 Consequence Prompts

To help you think through potential consequences, beyond user interactions

📥 Unintended Consequence Prompts