Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video Incorporating risk management into your project, part of Project Management Foundations: Risk.
As a project manager, not a day goes by when I don't see something that can present a risk to my projects. My primary advice to you is to deal with this thoroughly without it consuming every moment of your day and driving you crazy in the process. Here are a few survival tips for you to consider to help you do this. First, use risk to prioritize what you do on a day to day basis. At the start of every working day, prioritize your tasks.
If necessary, re-prioritize your to do list so you can handle the riskiest things first. For example, if you think that a project stakeholder is concerned about something, you should prioritize your time to visit with them and try to ease their concerns. If you think a risk is going to impact an implementation process, you should look at the process, assess it and attempt to control it. If your project team admits their uncertainty over a deliverable which will pose a risk to your project, you need to work with your team as a matter of urgency.
Second, as part of your general approach to managing your project, include a discussion on risk as part of your regular status meetings. Put it on as a topic to touch on with your sponsor. Ask what risks they think are important and determine what they think of your strategies to deal with risks. Ask for suggestions and garner their support. Third, regularly gather together people as a team and assess your overall risk status. You should include your customers and your sponsor in these discussions.
Consider having these risk assessment discussions at major milestones in your project such as Stage-Gates. Having regular, open and frank discussions about risk will help you manage risk as a regular course of doing business. Lastly, after each of these risk assessment discussions, create or update your overall risk plan. This plan details the risks you are managing and provides an ongoing means of reporting what actions you're taking and the status of each risk. The risk plan helps you ensure you're on top of what's going with risk and your project.
Working these plans proactively can help you be cool, calm and collected in your risk management approach. It treats risk management as an everyday event and an essential part of keeping your project on track. If you ignore the whole idea of risk you'll end up fighting fires. This is a tough way to spend your day. Jumping from crisis to crisis can have a negative impact on your schedule, your costs and the quality of the products you deliver. Not to mention the emotional drain it puts on you and your team.
And you'll be so busy putting out the fires that any process improvement opportunities that could come out of risk would be largely overlooked. If you look and act like you're in control of risk then you'll have a better chance of getting others engaged in a sensible risk management approach. In addition, you will help your management perceive you as a person with a balanced business approach to implementing your project and dealing with the challenges that change brings to the business environment.
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- Incorporating risk management into your project
- Identifying risk
- Categorizing risks
- Performing qualitative and quantitative risk analysis
- Building a risk-response plan
- Deciding when to execute a risk-response plan<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.