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What You Need to Know about Risk Identification

Nobody wants to discover five minutes into their morning commute that a family of spiders has secretly made its new home behind the steering wheel of your car. There is a way to prevent such horrors in advance though: risk identification. In a post for The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall elaborates on everything you need to know about this wondrous process.

Identify and Control

Risk identification is defined as “the process of determining the things that may help or harm you.” There are a multitude of benefits associated with this identification process. Project managers are able to collaborate with team members and stakeholders to fully comprehend the full nature of the risk. No one person holds the secret to understanding risks, but collectively, a group can take their pieces and put them together to create the whole picture. Having risk registers helps to make better decisions and help to dictate where to invest money. Additionally, project managers can better orient their projects and gain the best information from registers to report back to different people.

The risk register is the outcome of risk identification and contains information such as: risks, the cause of the risk, impacts, the risk categories, risk owners, and the risk responses. Not all of these categories will be present initially, but as the project develops and more input is given, the project manager will likely add all of them.

Project managers add inputs depending on elements such as size and complexity of each project. Different inputs include requirement and design documents, time and budget estimates, and risk attitudes. All of the inputs may not be identified initially, but eventually all of them will get attention. It is not solely the project manager who identifies risks, because they have a limited view of the project.

There is a plethora of ways to identify risks:

  1. Before the project begins
  2. After the project has failed
  3. Brainstorming in a group, with a category in mind
  4. A facilitated workshop
  5. Analyzing different scenarios or outcomes
  6. Brainstorming in general
  7. Interviewing stakeholders
  8. Cause and effect diagrams
  9. Conducting a SWOT analysis
  10. Conducting a hazard and operability study (HAZOD)

And many, many more! 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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