Project Management Institute

How project manager-project owner interaction can work within and influence project risk management

Inherent interest conflicts between a project management team and project owner are often neglected in project risk management. Risk management by the project management team focuses on project short-term survival, or project success toward handover to the customer, while for the project owner, strategic success should be more important. To see how this takes place in and influences real projects, seven large projects were studied, and interaction in project risk management between the project owners and project management team was examined for each project. The study revealed that the main focus in the studied projects was on operational risks, even within the project owner's set of high-priority risks. Some issues regarding the two types of project owner representatives--the "super project manager" and the "strategic manager"--are discussed. Mechanisms behind the dominance of operational risks in projects are indicated. The distinction between strategic and operational risks are categorized in this paper.
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