This video discusses the concept of a risk trigger; including what they are, how to derive them, and how to use them effectively to manage risk in your project environment.
- Good project risk managers resemble park rangers. Park rangers construct towers to keep an eye on the landscape, looking for signs of trouble. This works well because where there's smoke, there's usually fire. You should do the same thing. As smoke is the warning sign for fire, I suggest you spend time thinking of what are called risk triggers, early warning signs like smoke that indicate a project risk is about to become a reality.
Let's look at two common types of risk trigger. The first type of risk trigger is one that gives you an immediate indication that a risk may be happening. You may have technical experts that are going to join your project at some point downstream. You request these technical experts to start attending status meetings one month before they're due to start so they can hit the ground running and know what's happening on the project. The time for them to participate has arrived, you remind them of their commitment, and they don't show up for the status meeting.
This is a likely risk trigger that other priorities might put the expert's participation in your project at risk. The second type of risk trigger are forward indicators. Unlike smoke, which indicates the fire is happening now, forward indicator risk triggers are signals something is going to happen in the future. Tuna fishermen provide a useful example of a forward indicator risk trigger because they have risk triggers tied to the temperature of the water at different times of the year.
They understand if it's going to be plentiful fishing season or if there's a risk of poor fishing depending on the water temperature. Project risk triggers can vary and typically involve people's behavior, unexpected schedule changes, or task deadline failures. No matter the type or variety, here are hints for determining and handling risk triggers. I've provided a short checklist of potential risk triggers in the exercise files. First, do some research.
Potential sources for risk triggers include prior risk logs, post-implementation reviews, and issues logs from past projects. Second, once you've determined reasonable risk triggers, empower your team to search for them. The reality is that while you have to keep your eye on things, you can't be everywhere. Empower your project team so they understand the risk triggers too. Get them to staff the watchtowers and look for smoke.
Third, plan what you're going to do when you spot a risk trigger. The whole idea of utilizing risk triggers is to enable you to react quickly and decisively. Have a risk response plan for when you spot that smoke. Just like your doctor uses a series of tests to assess your health, risk triggers help you validate the health of your project. So, just like the park rangers, watch diligently, understand what you're looking for, and react promptly and you'll have a healthy project without large fires.
Note: This course follows the latest guidance from Project Management Institute, Inc., as outlined the PMBOK® 6 Guide.
- Explore why dealing with risks needs to be part of the everyday process used to manage a project.
- Learn to outline the most common, pragmatic approaches to identifying risks specific to a project.
- Recall methods for qualifying and quantifying your risks to determine specific risks and manage their costs.
- Examine the primary considerations for a project risk plan and what components should be included in every plan.
- Assess techniques that help you identify the overall risk a project presents to your business.
- Examine several risk analysis and filtering examples that help ensure you've addressed individual risks properly on your project.