8 Ways to Improve Your Risk Management

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Hello to everyone,

below you can find 8 reasons why project risk management becomes ineffective and what you can do to gain better results.

  1. Failure to identify risks early. Some project managers wait until things are out of control before they exercise risk management. Identify and evaluate risks early in new projects.
  2. Failure to focus on the risks that matter. Some project managers start their projects with gusto. Their risk list is longer than War and Peace. However, no one knows which risks matter. When project managers fail to evaluate and prioritize risks, team members become overwhelmed and fail to take action. Be sure to prioritize the risks.
  3. Failure to involve high-power / high-interest stakeholders.Powerful stakeholders have a way of showing up late in the game and disrupting project flow. These people have no evil intent. Once they discover the project, they seek to minimize impact to their interests. Identify, engage, and communicate with key stakeholders early and consistently.
  4. Failure to capture risks in a consistent format. Have you ever looked at a risk register and found yourself frustrated? That’s usually because the risk descriptions are inconsistent. Use this simple syntax: Cause -> Risk -> Effect.


5. Failure to evaluate whether the risk responses are effective. Until we take action to manage risks, nothing else matters. Once we respond, we must evaluate the effectiveness of our actions. Are we getting the results expected? Evaluate responses and tweak the response plans as needed.

6. Failure to engage risk owners. Some project managers try to own ALL the risks. For example, a project manager with no information technology background may address software development risks. Identify and recruit risk owners who have the ability to develop and execute effective risk response plans.

7. Failure to make risks specific. Risk statements are often vague (e.g., we may lose business). As a result, no one understands the root issues. Try digging deeper by asking, “Why?” Each time you receive a response, ask why again until you discover the root cause. Then rewrite the risk statements with greater specificity.

8. Failure to focus on the objectives. Team members can drift in their conversations concerning risks. Individuals sometimes jump from one topic to another and lose sight of the original goal – to identify and manage risks. Ask team members and other stakeholders to keep their focus on the project objectives and related risks.

Source: http://projectriskcoach.com/

Note: “PMI”, “PMP”, and “PMBOK Guide” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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