Why You Need A Project-Wide Risk Perspective

In 1992, my wife and I decided to move to Macon, Georgia. We found a house that we liked and decided to start the process to make the purchase. We contacted Ned, a certified home inspector, to do a residential inspection.

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Ned walked around the house, through every room in the house, climbed on the roof, and crawled under the house (I bet he could tell some great snake stories). He looked for structural problems, rot, termites, moisture issues, roof damage, heating and air issues, plumbing problems, faulty wiring, safety issues, and health issues. Ned provided us with a full inspection report.

Ned identified several small issues and a couple of significant problems. We asked the homeowner to correct big problems and some of the smaller ones. The inspection process allowed us to discover and address risks before making the purchase and moving in.

Years later, I asked Ned to inspect our home again. Why? Well, we had lived in the home for about 12 years. I knew that things change. Once again Ned found several issues.

Imagine that you had a home inspection and found several issues that you could not afford to fix at once. What would you do? You would likely address the most significant risks first and address the smaller problems later. However, could it be possible that you are ignoring a combination of risks?

Here’s the point: You need a full picture of your home’s health before you can determine the response plans. Waiting until you fall through the termite-infested foyer or a fire starts in the attic due to faulty wiring is not wise. It’s best to proactively inspect and reinspect one of your largest investments in life, the home.

The purpose of project risk management is to inspect and determine the risks across the whole project or program. We’re not looking at one project activity or one facet of our project. We are looking at the full picture.

Once we’ve identified and assessed the risks, then we can determine which risks to address and the best way to treat each risk. The team will be in a better position to develop the best response plans including contingency plans and fallback plans.

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