Risk Management

How to Overcome the Most Common Mistakes in Risk Management

Good risk management demands more planning and greater creativity–two things that mediocre project managers cannot be bothered to spend their time on. But the biggest mistake you can make is believing you know everything, especially when it comes to risk management. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Susanne Madsen provides a comprehensive explanation for how to overcome these common errors.

Defanging Risks

When risk management is done well, project managers are able to consider different scenarios and viewpoints, especially as it pertains to interpersonal conflict. Problems with people will always occur. Being aware of this and applying techniques to handle such adversities ahead of time will greatly help to manage and keep important relationships. Establish meetings with the specific purpose of letting people talk about the risks that might inhibit them from completing their work properly. Madsen notes that such meetings create the added benefit of developing of a risk awareness culture.

Risk management is also about finding positive risks and exploiting opportunities. Positive risks are as important to handle properly as negative ones. People find potential for growth when they are continually pushing boundaries and fighting past the norms. Being able to pick opportunity is a skill that will need to be developed and taught.

Another common mistake that managers often make is not assessing the overall risk of a project. “Risk” is more than just a label for certain elements of a project; it can determine the overall potential of a project. Additionally, keep in mind the difference between the expected and unexpected risks, the known or the unknown. Known risks can be identified, and more often than not project managers handle them well. Unfortunately, it is the unknown risks that often fall through the cracks and are not given proper attention.

Getting better at risk management does not have to be a daunting task. Set up risk meetings for the sole purpose of identifying risks and ask people what they worry about to uncover even more risks. Involve people from all levels on the project and be sure to always communicate with everyone well. You can read the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/overcome-common-mistakes-risk-management/


Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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