Methods for Managing Project Risks

This Post was written by Bridge Technical Talent
Date posted: March 12, 2013

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This post is the second part of a guest blog written by Claudiu Geanta.  Read Part 1 here:  Manage Project Risk like Alfred Hitchcock.

Methods for Managing Project Risks

1.  Identify and define potential risks.

  • Invite experts of each team from your project to discuss potential threats and risks.
  • Create a list of potential risks and arrange it in a document indicating the type of risk (i.e. technical. organizational, legal, etc.).  Create additional columns for rating the risk (high, medium, and low) and the areas of your project that will be affected if the risk materializes.
  • Discuss and review the risk list with your team, and assign grades to each risk that indicate the probability of it happening and the impact of the risk upon the project.

2.  Review the risk list every so often.

  • Establish a period of time when you review the list of risks (usually every week, or even every 2 weeks at the end of a Sprint).  During these review sessions, you can update the list by retiring avoided risks, eliminating risks that were addressed or resolved, and confirm the appearance of new risks.
  • You should constantly check with the members of your team to see how realistic it is that one or more risks could actually occur.  As a good rule of thumb, you should not maintain more than 10 risks per period.

3.  Respond to risk.

  • The best strategy for responding to risks is to consult the risk list as often as possible and keep it up to date.  Next, identify the type of each risk, quantify its impact, and determine countermeasures.
  • Countermeasures can take the form of prevention, avoidance, transference or mitigation.  For example, it is good practice to have insurance policies on critical people within an organization.  That’s called risk transference.

I’m full of fears, and I do my best to avoid difficulties and any kind of complications.  I like everything around me to be clear as crystal and completely calm.” – Alfred Hitchcock.

If you feel the same way about your projects, then do the right thing and get your head around potential project risks.  Understand them until they are clear as crystal, and build contingency plans around understanding each risk and its impact.  You’ll keep your composure, and you’ll maintain a sense of calm for your project.

The work of your project will be unlike that of the Master of Suspense, where you’re never certain what’s around the next corner.  They’ll be more like his production sets, where he was a master of order.  As a project (risk) manager, you can be, too.

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This post is the second part of a guest blog written by Claudiu Geanta.  Read Part 1 here:  Manage Project Risk like Alfred Hitchcock.

Claudiu Geanta is currently a Sr. Project Manager for Precision Design Studios and has over 15 years of managerial experience in technology operations, systems design, software deployment and business development.  He lives in Burbank, California with his wife, Andreea, and their 16-year-old daughter, Bianca.

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/claudiugeanta

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Bridge is sponsoring the upcoming Ocean State PMI Chapter Meeting this Thursday, March 14, to feature a presentation on “Secrets to Project Success: Practical Approaches to Identifying, Evaluating, and Mitigating Project Risk Management.”  We hope you’ll join us for a fun evening of networking and PM discussion.

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