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How to Identify and Manage Secondary Risks

Have you ever created a problem in trying to solve one? Secondary risks, or risks created by responding to a risk, are issues that pop up in any project. In a post at the Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall gives advice on how to identify and manage secondary risks.

Secondary Risk Response Time

A secondary risk is ultimately caused by the risk owner, despite how well-intentioned their plan to solve the risk may have been. They may have been enacting any number of responses to the risk, such as contingency plans or fallback plans, but the result is still the secondary risk.

Naturally, any risk should be put into the risk register and the risk owner should do their best to address what issues may arise from reacting to their risk. Hall provides an example of how this would go down in real life by posing a hypothetical project team that is adding new functionality to accounts in four months:

When identifying risks, the project team is uncertain if the two assigned developers will be able to complete the programming tasks on time.

The team decides if the developers fall behind schedule a week or more, they will add another one. However, the team is concerned that this response may cause a secondary risk — adding a new developer will require the original developers to provide orientation, putting them further behind on their activities. The team captured the secondary risk and developed response plans.

For further elaboration, view the full post here:

About Austin J. Gruver

Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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