Managing Project Risks & Issues

Project Management Topics

Managing Project Risks & Issues

If you were to ask one hundred Project Managers have they ever managed a perfect project, the answer would more than likely be no. There is no such thing as an ideal project. Every project has issues, big and small. The avoid being blindsided, every project must have a Risk Management Plan. The Risk Management Plan will provide the foundation for how risk with be identified, measured, managed and controlled. Risk Planning as with many of the processes is planned early on and begins with a high-level sum Issues and risks defined. Difference between a Risk and Issue

A risk is an uncertain event or condition; risk can be both positive and negative.  A risk is a potential of something happening that will need to be dealt with. It provides the possibility to take preventative action. An issue is a real event that is impacting the project. An issue can impede the project from moving forward. The Project Manager has a responsibility to respond to an issue and communicate to the stakeholders the course of action.

Effective Risk Management

During the initial kick-off meetings, it would be wise to outline the Risk Management Plan as well as review any potential risks that the team is currently aware of. Risk planning is often not done and leads to major headaches and disappoints down the road.  How does a Project Manager plan for risk? Let’s review:

#1 Identify the risk by creating a list of potentials that can impact your project. This activity should involve the project team.

#2 Once the risks have been identified, you need to determine the probability of the risk happening and impacting your project.

#3 There is always a cost associated with Risk. By providing a project value, you have now provided the project team what is the cost if the risk were to occur.

#4 & #5 Once you have completed steps 1-3, you need to have a response to those risks and when the time is right, implement those responses.

#6 With any plan, it should be continually monitored and reassess for its validity. The project team should as part of the daily activities, monitor the risks and evaluate if the plan aligns with the reality of the project.

Issue Management

When a Project Manager, face an issue, it imperative to comprehend the issue and have a plan to deal with it effectively. It is also possible, that during risk planning this was missed and was did not get realized as an issue. It is impossible for a Project Manager to deal with issues if the repercussions are not understood. Working with the project team can be helpful in coming up with potential solutions. Once the issue has been dealt with, the Project Manager needs to follow up with the team to see how it can be prevented for the future.

There will always be unknowns, no matter how much planning is done. Planning for Risk and understanding the impact, will help deal with those unknowns.

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