Project Risk Management

Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis

Lesson 2

Test Your Understanding

Before we dive into the lessons, take a few minutes to download and take this pre-test. It's a simple Matching Game for Qualitative Risk Analysis.

What is Qualitative Risk Analysis?

"The consideration of a range of characteristics such as probability of occurrence, degree of impact on the objectives, manageability, timing of possible impacts, relationships with other risks, and common causes or effects." —PMI Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects

Why Evaluate Project Risks?

Project managers and teams must deal with competing demands. There is often more work to be done than there is time. Therefore, we must prioritize our work.

Here’s the bottom line: The goal of evaluating risks is to discriminate between one risk and another. Then we can determine the time and budget to invest in responding to our risks.

How to Reduce Bias

  • Uncloak the bias. Project managers should watch and listen for bias. Expose the bias in one-on-one meetings or team meetings, whichever is most appropriate. Be careful – do not judge or challenge too quickly. Be slow to speak. Listen. Seek to understand.
  • Have open conversations. When a bias is not understood, the project manager should dig deeper. If the bias is based on the wrong perceptions, provide the facts. If the bias is ill intended, ask non-threatening questions that allow the individual to understand how the bias may negatively affect the project.
  • Reduce the subjectivity. Project managers use qualitative methods to evaluate risks quickly. Some project managers fail to understand that they may be creating greater bias. You can reduce the bias by defining the rating scales for probability and impact.