Successful project managers have a common trait – they identify and manage risks. Let's look at seven tools and techniques to identify risks.
Often project managers start with a splash. They get the team together, identify lots of risks, and enter them into an Excel spreadsheet. However, the risks are never discussed again.
What happens when project managers and their team fail to identify risks in an iterative fashion? Teams spend their time and energy on things that do not matter. Risks are not identified and turn into more costly issues. Furthermore, project teams are not aware of emerging killer risks.
The risk exposure is greatest at the beginning of projects. The uncertainty is high because there is less information in the beginning of projects. Wise project managers start identifying risks early in their projects.
Want to know how to improve your risk identification? Identify risks:
There are numerous ways to identify risks. Project managers may want to use a combination of these techniques. For example, the project team may review a checklist in one of their weekly meetings and review assumptions in a subsequent meeting. Here are seven of my favorite risk identification techniques:
Variety is the spice of life. One sure way to have an unengaged team is to use the same risk identification technique repeatedly. Additionally, mixing it up occasionally will help your team think in new ways and improve the identification process.
“They that are on their guard and appear ready to receive their adversaries are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent.” -
—Benjamin Franklin, Scientist, Publisher, and Diplomat
Think about it. Ninety percent of all risks can be eliminated or greatly reduced through basic risk management.
Take note of these risk identification mistakes:
Consider reviewing this article and refine the risk identification strategy for your current or upcoming projects. Additionally, capture the approach in your Risk Management Plan.
The best time to start identifying your risks is early in your projects. In this online course, discover ways to engage your key stakeholders and identify project risks as you create your project charters.