Risk management is tricky business for the project manager. With so much responsibility laid on one person, how can you keep tragedy from striking? PM for the Masses has a podcast with Carl Pritchard, experienced project manager and author of the chapter on risk assessment from Project Management Body of Knowledge, or PMBOK. Pritchard advises that risk assessment is a group effort. Different people see different risks. If you open risk management up for group discussion, and assign everyone a different problem to look out for, you greatly increase the chance of catching any issues early on.
Risk management doesn’t have to be depressing. It’s getting rid of problems before they start. When you are looking for potential problems, you can also find opportunities. Don’t just ask what bad might happen, but what good might happen as well. With every risk prevented comes an opportunity to look smarter in the future.
Finally, remember that lessons learned don’t belong at the end of the project. They belong throughout. Document what happens and you’ll have one less risk to worry about for the next project.