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Finding the Attitude of a Good Risk Owner

Everyone has a bad day now and then; it makes the good days all the sweeter. But what happens when the person having the bad day is the project manager, and now the project is at risk? In a post for PM South, Harry Hall elaborates on some risks that may occur and what can be done to make the project stable again.

Whether it be that the test region has become unstable or something detrimental has happened, like a member of the team was in an accident and will need to take a leave of absence, unknowns can sprout up on the daily. Having a risk owner to help make decisive choices about what to do can save the organization time and resources, but not all risk owners are the same.

Modes of Control for Risk

One risk owner may be “out of control.” This person does not like to plan and prefers to jump from one problem to the next as they arise. They enjoy feeling heroic and coming in to save the day with their hands-on approaches. Another risk owner may be “in control.”  This person is very proactive in their planning and is constantly planning for and managing risks. Risk management is a daily activity. Which person seems more appealing?

A mature risk manager possesses the knowledge and ability to effectively execute elements such as: learning from past mistakes or successes, involving stakeholders, reviewing the risk checklist, or conducting a simple brainstorming session with all managers. They are proactive in their approaches and consistently plan for not only the uncertainty, but for back-up plans as well.

Oftentimes for large projects, there are just too many potential risks for a single manager to account for, especially with all of their other responsibilities. A risk manager can help with this by taking control and defining risks, all while preparing the project and overseeing it from beginning to end to ensure all is well.

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About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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