Risk Management

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Managing Contingency Member Content
– by Rob Seiler, PMP, and Jerry B. Insall, PMP
Contingency covers costs that are reasonably expected to occur but are not specifically known on a given project. Keeping estimates of contingency up-to-date and relevant to the current environment and phase of the project in real time can be a challenge. Through the use of a project information database, application of a PMO reserve, and the use of iterative risk planning, the authors offer a solution to this problem.

Enhanced Risk Assessment Matrix for the Management of Project Risks Member Content
– by Jamie P. Monat, MS, PhD
There are many tools available to assess project risk. However, the tools may be used infrequently due to the lack of a prescriptive risk management protocol coupled with an abundance of options. The author details the relative benefits of the Risk Fishbone Diagram and the Enhanced Risk Assessment Matrix (ERAM), and explains why they may be the only two tools necessary to facilitate risk management for most projects.

Effectively Handling Project Issues, Risks, and Actions Member Content
– by Richard Bernheim, MBA, PMP, Project Manager, SAP Practice
The effective handling of all project issues, risks, and actions by a project manager and/or project management office (PMO) is one of the more important daily responsibilities. Good performance in this regard is a critical PMO success factor. The author proposes some “best practices” for conducting review sessions to collect, record, and address these issues, risks, and actions.

Project Escalation: Prevention is Better than a Cure Member Content
– by Sudhendu Pandey
Today’s increasingly complex enterprise landscape requires better strategic planning and even greater flawless operational execution of that strategy than ever before. This article serves as a quick refresher for understanding the reasons, mitigation strategies, and impact of project escalations for seasoned professionals and a reference for emerging professionals who can use the information in this document to avoid pitfalls.

Managing Risks for Junior Software Development Teams: A Case Study Member Content
– by Stephen Kearns
A large insurance carrier was automating one of their key business processes. The planned result would be one of the most complex InfoPath Forms implementations in North America, with over 50 forms and over 5000 fields and rules, serving an end-user population of over 1000 users. This case study profiles the strategy and tactics their outsourcing technology partner used to successfully deliver the project while meeting a very tight budget.

A Pragmatist's View on Managing Risk Member Content
– by Larry Marks, PMP
There are instances during the leading of an information technology (IT) project when project managers identify issues and concerns. We are also taught to monitor the risks—managed and unmanaged—that impact the successful completion of the project. This paper will briefly discuss a pragmatist’s view to managing the issue and risk logs and understanding their interrelationships, as well as the benefits of developing an integrated issue and risk log.

Complexity Measurement: A New, Comprehensive Metric for Project Management Member Content
– by Giuseppe Graci, Balachandra Deshpande, and David Martin
If properly controlled and managed, complexity will become a critical factor for success in the development and implementation of projects. This paper describes how the complexity of any project can be measured. We will explain how, through its measurement, complexity can provide a significant contribution to management: First, as an early warning indicator that can forecast and forestall possible crises in time-sensitive situations; and, second, from a business intelligence point of view, allowing for identification of the main factors that generate or increase the level of complexity.

Risk Determination in Highly Interactive Environments: How to Avoid the Titanic Factor in Your Project—A White Paper Member Content
– by J. Bruce Weeks, PE, PMP
How do intra-project risks interact and how can we take those interactions into special consideration? Let’s look at a famous example of how multiple-risk materializations led to one of the world’s best-known disasters, the sinking of the RMS Titanic on 15 April 1912. In this case, almost every conceivable known unknown (risks) that could occur did occur, with a couple unknown unknowns as well.

Making IT Projects Work: Managing the Double Technology and Processes Risks Member Content
– by Francis Gituru
This feature article highlights some of the major risk areas of concern in an IT project. The article uses examples from a banking environment to show how a project team can identify and deal with both the technical and process risks at critical phases of an IT project.

Minimizing the Bias of Subject Matter Experts Through Effective Project Management Member Content
– by Gary Hamilton, PMI-RMP, PMP, PgMP; Gareth Byatt, PgMP; and Jeff Hodgkinson, PMI-RMP, PMP, PgMP
Aggregate risk rating and putting in place expert pools are just two examples of how project managers can take steps to minimize the bias of expert opinion in making decisions for their projects (throughout the various phases) by making sure the overall project risk and estimates of work are reasonable for the tasks required. Using a simple risk formula (probability x impact) to validate your information can help you achieve this goal in a precise way.

How to Plan an Information Technology (IT) Risk Assessment Member Content
– by Larry Marks, PMP
Risk management is the process that allows IT managers to balance the operational and economic costs of protective measures and achieve gains in mission capability by protecting the IT systems and data that support their organizations’ missions. The purpose of performing an IT risk assessment for IT systems is to minimize any negative impact to an organization and provide a sound basis for management decision making. Effective risk management must be totally integrated into the software/system development life cycle.

The Top Five Mistakes to Avoid While Planning an IT Risk Assessment Member Content
– by Larry Marks, PMP
An IT risk assessment is intended to help IT management better allocate resources and perform capital budgeting and assign resources based on a risk-based approach. Various regulatory authorities require risk assessments be performed for all financial institutions. This article goes over what can go wrong while planning and executing an IT risk assessment.

Easy Risk Analysis Member Content
– by Teresa James, PMP
I have found the Crawford Slip Method (CSM) a simple and powerful tool for analyzing risk that has the side benefit of supporting team building. This method is an easy way to identify risks with minimal amount of required time, equipment, and training. This article examines some of the aspects of CSM and some from the nominal group technique, which includes the group review and ranking of the answers.

Enterprise IT Integration Framework for Integrating Positive Risks into Project SDLC Processes Member Content
– by Ravi Yerabolu, PMP
Positive risks always exist, whether or not they are detected or recognized by the project management team. In the context of IT project/program risk management practices, project team(s) are predominantly focused on negative risk identification, related priorities, the probability of occurrence, and associated impact on the project goals/objectives and risk response-planning strategies such as avoid, mitigate, transfer, and accept to address the negative risks. It is important that the project management team is cognizant of the risk/reward duality and that they implement the positive risk/opportunity management integration rigor into project systems development life cycle (SDLC) processes.

Planning Tools Overlooked in Projects Member Content
– by Sean Brady, PMP
This article looks at a few tools that can be used in conjunction with each other to enrich the initiating and planning phases. While this article does not attempt to give a detailed description of these tools, we will demonstrate their importance as well as how they can work together, to enrich the initiating and planning phases.

Risk Identification and Assessment Member Content
– by Sam Anderson, PMP, CSSBB
One of the most difficult activities in project management is determining what the risks are and how they should be prioritized. The first step in developing a sound Risk Management Plan is to identify risks and determine their potential impact on a project. The purpose of this paper is to investigate why this activity is so difficult, and to suggest a systematic approach to risk identification and assessment.

Visual Ishikawa Risk Technique (VIRT)-An Approach to Risk Management Member Content
– by Rubin Jen, PMP, P. Eng.
Visual Ishikawa Risk Technique (VIRT) is a technique that is consistent with the Identify Risks process group of the PMBOK® Guide and uses a risk breakdown structure as its main principle artefact. However, it differs in that it uses the Ishikawa diagram (commonly also known as a fishbone, or cause and effect diagram), for the risk structure, to create a graphic view, as opposed to being text based or tabular.