While project managers do an exemplary job of identifying risks, evaluating risks and even creating response plans for these risks, they often do not monitor the risks – which can result in failed projects.
Can project managers control risks?
It is often put forth that project managers cannot be called upon to control risks. This is true, as no one has complete control over projects and risks. Therefore, tasking them with this unenviable job might just be a step too far. However, project managers can make a better fist of monitoring project risks. Let’s find out how they can do just that.
Four-step guide to monitor project risks
- Pre-determine response plans: Every risk or set of risks should have a previously agreed upon plan of response. In conjunction with this, risk owners should act upon these plans. In addition, risks which require immediate and effective responses must be dealt with alacrity and a clear understanding of any contingent risks. Project managers should work in close proximity with risk owners to evaluate responses and make changes if any.
- Monitor identified risks: When creating response plans, care must be taken to ensure that the plan allows the project team to deliver the project on time, within budget, and in-line with the specific requirements. Trigger conditions must be clearly defined and determined by the project manager in consultation with the risk owner.
- New risk responses: Project managers should also keep an eye out for new risks which arise during the life of the project. This can be done effectively by consulting the project team.
- Gauging effectiveness: Once the risk management processes are in place and implemented, the project manager should gauge the effectiveness of the processes. Are the processes delivering the desired results? Is there any inefficient use of time? Further, efforts can also be made to reduce the costs of risk management in accordance with the overarching goals of the project.
Spring into action!
Now, take the time to look over your own projects, and see how they measure up with the points as indicated in the article. If any changes are called for, do put them into action as soon as possible.
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