Project LeadershipRisk Management

PMI’s Guide on How to Escalate Risks

Risk ownership is a necessity at every level of an organization to ensure smooth business operations and project workflow. Else, a project’s growth might suffer due to the lack of accountability and timely escalations. To this end, the Project Management Institute has incorporated a new strategy in their directives to counter and escalate both types of risks, positive and negative. In this article at The Project Risk Coach, Harry Hall talks about how escalation could be used an effective practice to mitigate risks.

Why Is It Required?

Escalation becomes necessary if the threat extends beyond the project scope and the actions required to mitigate such risks are beyond your authority. Then the best solution is to escalate them from project level to the next level of hierarchy – program or portfolio level. It is the duty of the project manager to inform the concerned authorities and ensure that they own the escalated risks. Likewise, the same principle should be applied to escalated opportunities.

How to Escalate?

Risks can occur at different levels of an organization. Here are some strategies to counter the risks that extend beyond the project scope:

  1. Assign the risk to the appropriate level: Identify if the corrective actions required to mitigate the risks exist at the project, program or portfolio level and assign them suitably. Else, you can also put into action ‘The Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Program’ that addresses the entire range of risks and their collective impacts.
  1. Notify the right person: Every project manager should interact with the project sponsors and team members to identify the right person to be informed about the threat.
  1. Ensure complete ownership: Mutual efforts by project managers and sponsors can help in ensuring that risk ownership is accepted by the right person. Else, even an ERM Director can intervene to get the buy-in.

To read the original article in full, visit the following link:

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