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What Is the Alternative to Brainstorming in Risk Management?

Attempting to eliminate all conceivable risks just is not possible. Instead, it is a better approach to attempt to manage it rather than be rid of it. In a post for PM Perspectives Blog, Dan Cohen explains how to better manage risks.

A Sustainable Approach to Risk

Approaching risks from a management perspective as opposed to a project management perspective is very different. Managers seek to understand the risk of taking on a project versus not while project managers analyze deeper to assess the knowledge about the project and if anything has been done similar to it. Understanding both perspectives of risks will help to manage the project.

During the planning phase is when a great deal of effort should be placed in analyzing for risks, and this is the job of the project manager to uncover. Assessing for risks is a step during any successful project, but the most effective approach is to assess risks as they come up and address them accordingly. Do not wait until the planning process is completely over.

Brainstorming can be effective, but not so much in risk assessment. In order to fully assess risk possibilities, the team needs to have all of their data and information present, not just paper and a bright idea. Nominal group technique (NGT) allows for the team to sit in silence for a period of time to “brainstorm” and then launch into affinity diagramming to develop solutions. The group can then rank the risks and decipher which ones pose a great threat.

It is during the implementation phase that it will become evident whether the risk planning was effective. When problems arise such as items running late or over budget, it can be indicative of poor risk management. Sometimes it is a risk that could not have been identified, but if it could have been prevented it should have been.

Risks will always be there, but with a little planning, they can be managed. You can read the original post here:

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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