Every project manager deals with risks. We all face significant uncertainty. Allow me to share seven things you ought to know about identifying risks.
Project managers must address unrealistic time frames where failure seems unavoidable, scope creep, ambiguous requirements, delays from third parties, and the lack of required skills, to name a few.
How do we manage risks and the causal factors?
Risk management begins with the practice of identifying risks. In this process, we consider future events or conditions that may impact our ability to achieve our goals. Risk identification includes figuring out where, when, how, and why such events may occur.
Not sure how to get the most value from risk identification? Well, here are answers to common questions. If you understand these basic principles, you have the foundation for an effective and efficient risk identification process.
Tom is the program manager for a large, complex program comprised of eight projects. He thinks his project managers have identified most of their risks, but he’s not sure where to focus his attention. What areas have the highest risk exposure? Let’s look at how to actually define risk categories and how they can help Tom (and you).
What are Risk Categories?
Risk categories allow you to group individual project risks for evaluating and responding to risks.
Project managers often use a common set of project risk categories: schedule, cost, quality, and scope. But project managers may use other categories.
Steven Covey introduced the concept of Quadrant II activities—working on things that are important but are not urgent. Planning is a powerful Quadrant II activity that can save you time and energy. Think about the future so you can make better decisions in the present. Let’s talk about how to plan your risk management from start to finish.
First Things First
Some people think of risk management plans in the wrong way. Risk management plans are not a list of risks and what you plan to do (e.g. risk register). Rather the plan is your approach to risk management.
How do you plan to identify and evaluate risks?
How will you develop risk response plans?
How will you periodically review risks and your risk management processes?
Every project has risks—events or conditions that, if they occur, have positive or negative effects on a project’s objectives.And project managers are risk managers, some better than others. If you want to improve your project success through better risk management, consider getting certified as a Risk Management Professional. Here are some things you should know about the PMI-RMP.
1. What is the PMI-RMP®?
The PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) is a designation offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This credential is for project management professionals who wish to demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills in project risk management.
Why is that some project managers have over or undersized risk management plans? First, individuals may be looking for shortcuts. They simply copy someone else’s plan and check a box. Second, others want to impress others with their knowledge by writing plans longer than The Grapes of Wrath.
Want to really make a good impression? Work with your team to develop a risk management plan that is fitting to your project, aids in decision making, and adds value. Document the plan but keep it practical and to-the-point.
So, how can we right-size our plans? Here are four steps to make it easier.
Project managers often give presentations to groups such as senior leaders, boards, and third-party vendors. The truth is most people are afraid of public speaking. After all, we may make a mistake and be criticized. Let’s discuss how to respond to difficult and sometimes unexpected presentation questions.
8 Ways to Respond to Questions
Allow me to share a few tips that can help you to answer with greater ease:
John, Sally, and Bill just left a full-day project management workshop. John said, “Am I the only one who felt like I just wasted a day?” Sally replied, “The trainer lost me in the first thirty minutes. At least, I caught up on my email during the day.”
Are you responsible for project management workshops for a PMI Chapter, a Project Management Office (PMO), or your organization? Want to ensure that your participants get maximum value? Let’s talk about how to design workshops that are engaging. Project managers will leave your workshops excited about what they learned.
Whether you are the trainer or the VP of Programs for a PMI Chapter or something similar, here are some principles to help you design your workshops.
Up your game with new project management resources
If you had to pick a few people who are helping you grow and mature as a project manager, who would those people be? Perhaps these individuals are influencing you through a blog, online videos, online courses, or books. Grab a cup of coffee as I share seven influencers that I follow.
In addition to her books, Susanne provides great articles on her website. She shares her knowledge through videos on her Susanne Madsen YouTube Channel. Susanne also actively shares her knowledge on Twitter @SusanneMadsen.
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