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7 Ways to Identify Risks

Do More Than Talk

You need to do more than simply talk about what risks might be upcoming in a project. While that’s certainly something that feels good to do as a manager, it’s not quite enough to really make any sort of difference. As this post by Harry Hall explains, some project managers don’t go much further than this:

Often project managers start with a splash. They get the team together, identify lots of risks, and enter them into an Excel spreadsheet. Risks are never discussed again.

What happens when project managers do not identify risks in an iterative fashion? The team often fails to invest the appropriate time and energy on the risks that matter most. They may focus on the trivial items or the team may not be aware of emerging killer risks.

Meet Often, Meet Regularly

So how does one get away from this horrible mindset? Hall suggests that meetings about potential risks be held consistently throughout the lifecycle of the project. They can occur at a set date range or after major milestones are hit. As far as actually identifying risks, the project manager can use interviews with stakeholders, brainstorm within the team, use checklists or cause-and-effect diagrams.

The blog post then goes on to share the seven deadly sins of risk identification, which include such things as risks not being identified early, risks not identified in an iterative fashion, risks not discussed with stakeholders or documented in one location.

Read the full post here to learn about the rest of the seven deadly sins and how to avoid them:

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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