With focused brainstorming and a comprehensive plan, project managers with the U.S. Air Force avoided risks during construction at Spangdahlem Air Base
This article features a case study in risk management: the $180 million project of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) to close Spangdahlem Air Base and return it to the German people by the end of 2005. A project management office (PMO) first detailed the work package, using brainstorming sessions to come up with 25 risk events that were used to create a risk matrix. The risk matrix rated each risk event in terms of probability of occurrence and project impact. Strategies for planning, monitoring and controlling risks were developed using the U.S. Air Force's Operational Risk Management (ORM)procedures. Risk management plans for each risk event were developed, and responsibilities were assigned to each office. Weekly construction meetings kept stakeholders informed about progress, and continuous communication exchanges between the key players have enabled this project to meet scheduling goals, and thus far, be 20 percent under budget.