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Tag Archives: risk management

Practical Advice for Project Managers

I’ve been managing projects for about 30 years or so, far longer than I’ve been writing about it. Along the way, I’ve collected a few useful thoughts that never made it into an article or blog post or book. At first, I was just jotting notes on paper. Then I took to creating short text files, saved to a folder. The last few years, I’ve been using OneNote to capture those fleeting thoughts. Here are …

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Risk Response Strategies: Transfer or Avoid the Danger

As I’ve noted in other articles, a risk is an uncertainty that matters. Some event has a significant probability of occurring, and there will be a significant consequence if it does. A risk represents a threat, and a wise project team endeavors to identify project threats and analyze them for effective strategies, so that the probability of occurrence can be reduced or the consequences reduced. Or both. Of Mice and Risk Management Consider the following …

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How to Identify Risks with a SWOT Analysis

Project managers can use several tools to identify project risks, including interviews, brainstorming, checklists, assumption analysis, cause-and-effect diagrams, the nominal group technique, and affinity diagrams. One of my favorite techniques is the SWOT analysis, where you and your team can identify and prioritize strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you’ve completed the SWOT analysis, you will have identified opportunities (positive risks) and threats (negative risks), inputs for your risk register. The information can help you …

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Simplicity: What’s Left When You Ignore Everything Else

Have you ever stopped at the supermarket to reflect on the constantly improving state of the art in maximizing grain yield per acre? Of course not. You simply grab a loaf of bread, glance at the “Sell by” date, and put it in your cart. You don’t feel a sense of gratitude that you and your family probably won’t die of starvation, as was so common for earlier generations. You don’t feel a sense of …

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7 Ways to Mitigate Risk on Projects

If you conduct your projects the right way, some risk management is already baked into the equation. But to best control your project’s fate, you need to get more mindful and explicit in your actions. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin shares seven ways to mitigate risk and how to conduct each: Clarify the requirements. Get the right team. Spread the risk. Communicate and listen. Assess feasibility. Test everything. Have a …

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The Common Sense of Risk and Opportunity

In a post for Voices on Project Management, Marian Haus combines the agreeable disciplines of risk management and project opportunity management. The goal is to evaluate how they parallel in effectiveness and make their union second nature. It is out of the project manager’s control when risk and opportunities that are triggered by external project sources arise. One can only attempt to lessen their impact when they occur, and incorporate them if they are good. …

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3 Dimensions of Signs That Your Project Will Fail

If a boy runs for class president and loses, it could be for a spectrum of different reasons. Maybe someone else ran on a better platform. Maybe the boy had no charisma. Maybe the boy accidentally ran for president of the wrong school. IT projects can fail for an equally diverse spectrum of reasons. In an article for CIO.com, Moira Alexander examines three potential culprits for where your project could be going wrong. Dimensions of …

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How to Manage Project Risk While Running Your Project

Managing risk is one-and-done in the same way that getting a haircut is one-and-done: There is no such thing. In a post at Project Bliss, Leigh Espy shares her process for managing risks over the life of the project, while still making time for everything else associated with the project. Risk in Paces You want to begin by creating a project risk matrix, which should include “trigger activities” that describe when action is needed. Watch …

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Managing Risks That Evolve over Time: 3 Cases

Most project managers are used to making a qualitative risk analysis in two dimensions: the likelihood that an event will occur, and the impact of the event. And most risk management plans include some sort of “T-shirt” sizing scale to facilitate classification of probability and impact as small, medium, large, and so on. While not particularly rigorous, this approach does have the benefit of getting SME participation without making great demands on their time or …

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Three Easy Ways to Communicate Organizational Risk

Risk management is a critical piece to the security puzzle for any organization, and most organizations are great about having these necessary conversations in their leadership offices. However, a recent survey revealed that only one in three middle managers and a mere fifth of front-line managers receive communication about risk management. In an article for Risk Management, Matthew Shinkman and Peter Young share how to better communicate this crucial leadership element. A Stronger Risk Culture …

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