Risk Management

Qualitative Risk Analysis: Don’t Lose Your Objectivity

Depending on if the neighbor kids are watching and cheering him on, a boy might feel differently about how safe it is to jump off the roof and into a swimming pool. Being able to keep a clear head in these situations is kind of vital. In a post for Voices on Project Management, Mario Trentim provides a quick reminder to keep your objectivity when it comes to risk.

The Deep End of Risk

Objective analysis uses observable and/or measurable criteria. Subjective analysis relies on emotions, gut instincts, a specific point of view, etc. Subjective analysis does have its place at times, but not when it comes to good project risk management. Trentim has some tips about how you can maintain objectivity.

For starters, consult tools and standards like the PMBOK. Then define qualitative scales in the risk management plan, about which Trentim offers this:

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission’s Risk Assessment in Practice has created some good examples of what impact and probability scales could look like. (See pages 4 and 5). You may also want to check the Project Risk Management Handbook: A Scalable Approach (page 20).

If you can, bring in an expert to give his or her esteemed opinion of the really tricky risks. (It may be subjective analysis, but at least it is coming from someone who has been around the block.) At the full post, Trentim references and links to several more specific documents that can be used to help you better manage risk. You can view it all here: http://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/22338/Qualitative-Risk-Analysis–Don-t-Lose-Your-Objectivity

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