All projects have some level of risk that should be noted and addressed, so everyone is fully aware of these risks early on in the project to hopefully increase the probability and impact of positive events and decrease those adverse to project objectives. Risk assessment also helps to deliver your project on time, on budget and the quality results the sponsor wants.
What is Project Risk?
- Uncertain events or conditions that may occur
- Can have a positive or negative impact on at least one of the project’s objectives
- Examples: Time, Cost, Scope, Quality, Project success/failure, lack of integrated management systems, concurrent multiple projects, dependencies on external participants who cannot be controlled.
High-Level Project Risk Management Process:
- Planning: Approach to how you are going to plan and execute the risk management activities of the project
- Identification: Determine which risks might affect the project and fully document the risk through the help of a brainstorming meeting with the project manager, project team, and other stakeholders in attendance
- Qualitative Analysis: Prioritizing each risk by their probability of occurrence & impact to the project
- Quantitative Analysis: Numerically analyzing the effect on overall project objectives of identified risks, which were determined in the qualitative risk analysis process
- Response Planning: Develop options and actions to enhance opportunities and help reduce threats to the project’s goals and objects
- Monitoring and Control: Track identified risks, monitor residual risks, identify new risks, execute risk response plans, and evaluate their effectiveness throughout the project life cycle
Tips for Success:
- Discuss potential risks early on in the project by devoting project risk on your meeting agendas to set aside to discuss. The main goal is to help prevent future surprises later and have awareness in the beginning so you can set forth a plan of action to deal with the risks.
- Communicate risks through documentation, which is sent out to the entire project team and upper management to help show awareness.
- Once you have a list of risks, make sure it is clear who is assigned to each of the risks to evaluate.
- Track risks and their progress, so once they are assigned to someone, they don’t fall off the face of the earth by not following up
- Ask help from other project managers if you need help, as many are more than willing to help mentor you, as they like to keep their skills sharpened, while helping others.
What tips can you share with us from your experience in regards to project risks?