Categorized | Risk Management

Risk Management for new Project Managers

For new project managers, risk management can seem quite daunting. The traditional view of Project Management is that of managing tasks to a schedule and to a novice risk management is usually a new and unfamiliar process.

The actual process of risk management involves various steps which will usually include.

  • Risk capture and identification
  • Impact assessment
  • Determining mitigation
  • Executing mitigation actions
  • Periodic reviews

Risk capture

So let’s look at the first step of the process. for Project managers that are new to risk management the initial step is to create a risk register. The risk register is the key document within the project library that co-ordinates risk activity. Risk registers vary between organisations but as a minimum make sure that yours captures

  • A risk ID or number
  • A description of the risk
  • A way of recording it’s impact
  • the probability of occurrence
  • A way of recording mitigation
  • An owner
  • A review period

What risks?

Now you have your risk register your ready to start capturing risks – but first where to start? What works best for me is to establish a brainstorming meeting with your project team. I typically begin my risk assessment by capturing things that will affect

The project Schedule
The project Budget
The ability to deliver against the scope
The quality of the deliverable

Here are some example project risks that You may wish to consider

Insufficient resources to deliver the schedule
Insufficient budget to deliver the project
Inability of 3rd party organisations to deliver project dependencies to schedule
Deliverable does not meet business requirements

One of the best places to start when capturing risks is through the lessons learned logs of previous projects in your organisation. Look at what may be applicable to your project and record in your risk register (note that the impact on your project may vary from what was experienced on this prior project).

It really helps when brainstorming risks to consider your project deliverable, consider your projects work breakdown structure and brainstorm possible risks with the lead in that area.

Implementing a risk management process within your project can be a key contributor to your success. New project managers will of course find this process daunting however there is plenty of material available online including risk capture templates and methodologies that can help.

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