Gestion des risques

Risk Management on Projects

Project Risk Management

How does project risk management differ from any other sort of risk management? Well in many regards it doesn't. However, as it is a project focused activity it will help simplify the total focus by looking just at the center job fundamentals of extent - which are price, time and quality. Remember that, I will test you afterwards!
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There are a range of good training videos available on YouTube that cover this principal. I have added a couple below to help bring home the point of this report. I find watching a presentation often easier to take in than reading some else's thoughts.

Project Risk Management

So what is job Risk Management is all about? In an earlier article I talk about what risk and risk management are about. If you are still confused about exactly what risks are and what risk management is about then read this article, it must bring you into the picture. On endeavors we discuss risk as any function that might lead to an unplanned change to the jobs scope - i.e. impact the project costs, timeline or quality of the deliverables, or any combination of those three.

What is not always evident when talking about project risk management is that we also need to think about the positive effect a risk may have on a project - i.e. reduce costs, reduce the time line or increase the quality of deliverables. In fact it's not very often that project risks present positive opportunities. Never the less, as project managers we've got a duty to recognize and act on these risks negative or positive. That is Project Risk Management.

David Hinde wrote a good post back in 2009 about using the Prince 2 Risk Management technique. Without getting imbedded in any particular methodology, the overall approach to project risk management must follow a similar frame and this is as good as any for the purpose of this article:

David talks through a Seven Step process,

Measure 1: Having a Risk Management Strategy

This usually means establishing a process and process and receiving full buy-in from stake holders in the way in which the organization will handle risk management for your job.

Step 2: Risk Management Identification Techniques

Where do you begin from the identification of dangers around a project? There are lots of risk management techniques and David suggests a few which are excellent. But I love to take a step back and make a list of all of the critical elements of a job on the grounds of "if this task doesn't happen will it be a show stopper?" . This helps be build a prioritized list of critical tasks where I will then think about the dangers - what could go wrong to affect this task.

Here is my thought process on risk identification outlined:

  • List out critical deliverables
  • List out, against every deliverable, determined jobs
  • List out from all dependent tasks and critical deliverables "any" possible event that may delay or stop the delivery to plan.
  • Grab a template hazard analysis matrix and complete the first pass of evaluation - probability v effect for each risk.
  • Take it to a job assembly and use it as the baseline for brainstorming.

Step 3: Risk Management Early Warning Indicators

Do not rely on fundamental performance of the job as a sign that everything is going well. Status reports showing a steady completion of jobs could be hiding a potential risk.

In risk management lots of other factors will need to be on the job managers radar on daily basis. Things that I always look for are delivery dates from vendors - how supported are they, is there a movement in shipping dates (you will only see this if you frequently request confirmation updates from the vendor), resource problems - key individuals taking sick leave or personal leave more often than usual.

Delays in getting particular approvals signed-off from the steering committee or other governance bodies - will this impact orders heading out or decisions being made on crucial tasks? Obtaining qualified people in for inspections and certification (new buildings by way of example call for a whole lot of local regulatory reviews). These are just a couple of the everyday challenges a Project Manager will confront and all may be indicators of trouble to come.

As you get more experience in hazard management you begin to instinctively recognize the early warning signs and challenge the offenders sooner in the procedure. You'll also locates the a good project manager will build-in mitigation for the common project ailments at the very beginning, occasionally viewing the tell-tale signals when choosing vendors or suppliers will be enough to select improved choices and this is what I call dynamic risk management at work.

Also keep your eye on the world around you - economic or geological events elsewhere may have a dramatic effect on local suppliers and supplies of key project substances. For example, flood in Thailand has influenced the delivery of various computer parts that are fabricated there, inducing impact in both distribution prices and lines. (Yes, I operate in Asia so observe this type of impact first hand. .)

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