Risk Management is a core part of project delivery and requires commitment to active management by the project team as a whole.
Risk Management is a core part of project delivery and goes beyond holding risk workshops, populating a Risk Register and defining mitigations, and tracking the top 5 risks on a status report – it is a commitment to the active management of risks by the Project team.
So how do you actively and effectively Manage Risks? Here are some best practice techniques we recommend:
1. Risks To What?
The first port of call for all good Project Managers is to drive out with the project Sponsor (the person accountable for the project’s success) what success looks like and how it will be measured.
There will always be differing points of view but ultimately the Sponsor is on the hook to deliver the outcomes and it’s their view that should be set in stone and communicated. When undertaking risk management, the focus is on the risk to achieving success, hence keeping the risks and the project team focused on the end game.
2. Managing Risk Means Manage
Risk Management is not a once off activity – it needs to be built into the delivery DNA of the project team such that risks are routinely reviewed, centralised, reported and dealt with as often as daily, as seldom as weekly.
It is not a project manager that manages risk but the project team as a whole. The project manager (or coordinator) provides the framework, facilitation and documentation but the team at large has a duty to identify and manage risks.
3. Define Your Risk Appetite
It is simply not feasible to have a treatment plan for every risk and even if they all were created, the likelihood of them actually being implemented is slim. A risk appetite should be agreed to upfront with the Sponsor – the appetite simply being what level of risk (scoring of likelihood versus impact) they are prepared to accept and what will the project team need to treat.
4. Make New Mistakes – Don’t Repeat Old Ones
Every organisation has a delivery DNA that has it peculiarities and consistencies. The tacit or experiential knowledge of an organisation needs to be captured and shared such that systemic organisational risks and effective risks treatments in that organisation are the first port of call for any project at inception.
Creating a knowledge ecosphere of risks and treatments that are entrenched in the risk management process goes a long way to helping you make new mistakes and not repeat the sins of the past.
As project specialists, we develop fit-for-purpose project risk strategy and project assurance. Contact us here to find out more about how we work with your teams or call 02 9098 6300.
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