risk management

All about Project Risk Management

What is risk management for project management:

It’s impossible to know everything—a fact that applies to life, as well as to project management. When taking on a new project, this is almost always the case. This uncertainty presents itself as risk, and in the context of project management, this risk must be managed and planned for. Depending on how much uncertainty and risk there is in a project, it can be tricky capturing and accounting for it all. This is where risk management comes into play. By identifying, assessing, and prioritizing risks up front, you can plan the rest of the project with these things in mind. Though it is nearly impossible to know all of the risks before starting a project, it is possible to manage risks once they are known and to develop a process for handling them. Doing more planning up front can also alleviate the pain of unforeseen risks affecting budgets, schedules, and scope.

 What are the main risks:

Going back to the project management triangle—budget, schedule, and scope—we can discern some major risks that threaten most projects:

  • Scope risks: these are some of the most common risks to befall a project. Oftentimes, the project’s complexity is not fully understood in the planning process, which may result in scope creep and require drastic changes to the project’s initial plan.
  • Schedule risks: these risks can develop when dealing with external forces, such as stakeholders or vendors. Generally, something or someone shortens the project’s schedule or delays the completion of a piece of the project.
  • Resource risks: these risks arise from unexpected resource changes, and can affect the project’s quality and budget. If one of the project’s resources becomes unavailable due to scheduling or budget changes, it can jeopardize the entire project.
  • Technological risks: as more and more companies move to the SaaS model, it becomes important to call this risk out. There are inherent risks with using software that is new or known to be complex, and it’s difficult accounting for technology failures without dedicated experts in the field. This too can affect a project’s budget, scope, and resourcing.

Since every project is different, it isn’t fair to apply these risks to every project uniformly, but it is likely that one or more of these risks will threaten your projects at one point or another.

What are its main principles:

Now that we’ve identified some potential risks, we can explore risk management as a process and project management knowledge area. The concept of risk management is built on the idea that the project team should identify, assess, record, prioritize, and create mitigation plans for risks. One tool to help do this is a risk register, wherein the project manager can keep track of all identified risks and list steps for how to monitor, control, and mitigate them. In doing risk management, it’s key that this project risk identification, analysis, and mitigation is done throughout the project as changes occur. These principles align with the project management planning, executing, monitoring and controlling process groups.

OneDesk can help you minimize risks:

Using OneDesk, you can address risks threatening to take down your project. The customer portal enables communication between your team and stakeholders, so everyone can be kept aware of the project’s scope. With the ability to plan out and manage releases, it’s clear to everyone what the schedule is, and by directly linking to particular work tasks, you get insight into the complexities directly affecting the schedule. OneDesk also allows for collaboration between teams, so you’re always aware what the status is on resourcing and availability. The combination of OneDesk’s full suite of features gives you all the tools to tackle risk as soon as it arises.


Photo Credit : “Risk” / Alonis / CC BY

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