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Distinguishing Threats from Issues on Your Projects

Sometimes things happen that threaten the integrity of your projects. Oftentimes there are warning signs to these horrid predictions. In a post for The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall discusses ways to help distinguish potential threats and issues on your project, and how to use this information to save it from demise.

According to Hall, “One of the strongest telltale signs of project trouble is increasing numbers of project issues.” When more and more issues begin to become evident, you know that you are about to face a problematic situation. Risks are uncertain events that occur, and there are three ways for you to help identify possible threats:

  1. Threats are negative.
  2. Threats are uncertain.
  3. Unknown risks are the most dangerous.

After a threat makes itself known, it is classified as an issue or problem. For example, there may be a threat that an employee would steal materials. If this event actually occurs it becomes an issue that needs addressed. Hall shares three ways to help identify issues:

  1. Issues have occurred.
  2. Identify risk triggers.
  3. Identify cultural influences.

The bottom line for an issue is that is it a past-tense event that has most certainly occurred. In order to prevent this from reoccurring in the future you may need to identify what triggered this to happen, and maybe develop some statistics on its frequency. Additionally, issues may be a result of cultural differences amongst the team. Perhaps the team does not know how to effectively communicate with one another.

The best project managers understand how to differentiate between a threat and an issue. They also are proactive in sharing with everyone involved issues that continually arise. They likewise understand the value of a risk audit or review. 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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