22 Oct 2012

Be brave! Revealing the risks is good project management

Category:
  • Project Management

risk management

The benefits of risk management in projects is huge. An essential tool in any project management methodology is the 'Risk Log' or 'Risk Register' which provides a means of recording the identified risks, the analysis of their severity and the necessary management actions required.

The result will be that you minimise the impact of project threats which strengthens your ability to deliver your project on time, on budget & with the quality results your project sponsor demands.

As a general guide a basic Risk Log should contain the following data fields:

Unique ID:

A unique reference number

Description:

Presented in a structured format:

  • Condition - 'There is a risk that'
  • Cause - 'Caused by'
  • Consequence - 'Resulting in'

Trigger:

Early warning signs of risk occurring

Probability:

What is the likelihood of the risk occurring?

Impact:

What will the impact be if the risk occurs? High, Medium or Low

Owner:

There should be a person nominated to 'own' the risk. It should be someone within the project team and who has a vested interest in addressing it.

Mitigation:

What are the agreed response actions?

Revealing risks means that you can actually do something about them. In many cases the risks may relate to support, funding, resources, skills, hidden agendas or planning related issues. Often key decisions that have already been taken and dependencies within a project that if not delivered on time will jeopardise or delay a projects outcome are prevalent. There is no way round this. There is no point producing a risk log at the onset of your project and then storing it somewhere without getting it out again. It needs to be regularly monitored and updated during the lifecycle of the project in order for it to be an effective tool. The risk log should evolve over time with potential risks removed and new ones added as the project progresses.

Identifying risks, grading them by impact and severity and deciding what corrective actions can be put in place to mitigate the risk will ensure that you have an effective risk management process.

Risk management techniques create risk robust cultures and are an asset in the delivery of successful projects.

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