The great unknown

keeping an eye on the horizon, and crafting a contingency plan, can help project teams anticipate and avoid unexpected risks

Ignoring a problem won't make it go away. The same holds true for project risks. Known risks, such as fluctuating material costs or potential project skills shortages, can be monitored and mitigated. But unknown risks present a much bigger problem for practitioners. Whether it's the discovery of infrastructure limitations on an IT project or ancient burial grounds on a construction site, unforeseen risks can trigger delays and inflate budgets. And without advance notice, project managers might find themselves scrambling for a solution, or facing project failure.
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